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Reign of Fear

Binyamin Rose

In a nation where security and danger coexist at seam lines, bus stations, and on city streets, there are times when the balance tips decidedly in one direction. Whether or not the current wave of terror can be called a third intifada, the past month’s spate of stabbings and shooting attacks has citizens on edge and the government searching for a fitting response.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Don’t think that everyone is afraid to walk in Jerusalem these days. Just ask Tommy Walker, a retired farmer from Nashville, Tennessee, with a flowing gingi beard more fitting for the streets of Meah Shearim than the Rechavia neighborhood near the prime minister’s residence, where he’d joined a security protest. Walker isn’t Jewish. In fact, he had never met a religious Jew until he set foot in Jerusalem for the first time 11 years ago. He arrived again last week, with a group of 150 volunteers from HaYovel, an organization that brings Americans to Judea and Samaria (Yesha) to lend farmers a hand and study the situation up-close so they can go home and become effective brand ambassadors for Jewish settlement in this beleaguered and hotly disputed region. “None of us is afraid,” Walker says as he hangs out leisurely in front of one of the protest tents set up by Yesha just a few meters from the security guard who controls entry to the street where Binyamin Netanyahu lives. “We’re obviously taking precautions, but our guys are very motivated to take care of the Jewish People and see them prosper.” Walker and his group may have Israel’s back, but most Israelis are watching their backs and looking over their shoulders in public places since a spate of stabbings in Jerusalem and elsewhere erupted around Rosh Hashanah time.

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