In the past two weeks, Israelis have faced a wave of violence in many cities throughout our homeland.  Parents have lost children.  Children have lost parents.

Yesterday, Mayor Nir Barkat of Jerusalem held a phone conference with 1000 concerned North Americans.  He assured us that Israeli officials, the IDF, and other police and security forces are doing their best to keep Israel safe.

He further said that there is no truth to the media’s claim that the status quo on Har Habayit is changing. Moslems still have access to the Temple Mount.  There is no excuse for this violence; it has been incited and provoked by radical Moslem leaders, not by any change in policy in the holy city of Jerusalem.

Mr. Barkat and national government officials are working with moderate Arab leaders and Arab school principals to see how they can prevent more young people from committing acts of violence.

The recent events leave us filled with a variety of emotions including pain, anger, fear, sadness, and frustration.  One of the most important things that we can do is stay informed, help educate our children and grandchildren about the context of the conflict, and continue to affirm that violence achieves nothing but the destruction of life.

We pray that God will comfort those who are bereaved, heal those who are injured, guide those who protect the people of Israel, strengthen the resolve of the Israeli people to live life as it should be lived, and realize the vision that the streets of Israel will one day soon be filled with the sounds of joy, peace, and tranquility.

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