When, all of a sudden, ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) emerged on the scene and in a matter of days occupied large swathes of mainly Sunni-inhabited parts of Iraq and Syria, including Iraq’s second city Mosul and Tikrit, birthplace of Saddam Hussein, and called itself the Islamic State, many people, not least Western politicians and intelligence services, were taken by surprise.
Rabbi Brant Rosen leads a congregation in Evanston, Illinois and is author of the new book, Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi’s Path to Palestinian Solidarity
Jewish groups have reacted furiously to a letter to Congress
by 15 leaders of Christian denominations asking for a review of whether some of the three billion dollars in annual United States aid to Israel is being used in violation of U.S. law and policies.
“See the bullets from the 1948 and 1967 wars,” Badr Abu Ad-Dula says, showing the scars of the old frontline on the outer walls of the building where he and his family of 13 live. “Here’s the Jordanian outpost.” The elderly Palestinian points at a loophole, now a bedroom window.
Filistin Hamdallah looks disoriented, walking without purpose amidst the furniture strewn in the courtyard, as if she was moving home. Only the fresh laundry hanging on wires indicates that the Palestinian family is here to stay, to stay in conditions with Jewish neighbours that show just how difficult the divisions in Jerusalem can be.
Thousands of ultra-Orthodox men, women and children have been demonstrating in Jerusalem against the Israeli government’s move to make military service mandatory for members of their community.