I understand that there is a great deal of concern in the US in the aftermath of the Soleimani assassination. For better or worse, I am not feeling that same level of concern here in Israel from the Israelis in my group nor from the group leaders, one of whom is Israeli as well.
Whether the assassination was right or wrong, it seems inevitable that there will be another terrorist attack somewhere in the world and that the opposition will say that it was carried out in retaliation for the assassination of Soleimani. I just hope it is small and no time soon.
Regardless of the Israelis at ease around me, to be in Jerusalem or Israel more broadly at this time of tension feels less than ideal. As America’s major ally in the Middle East, it would seem to be a natural target for retaliation. Still, I am somewhat comforted in terms of my own safety by the fact that there exist easier targets such as the Strait of Hormuz among other American targets in the region. I also understand that Soleimani will be mourned in relevant regions until his burial on Tuesday at which time I will be on a flight back to Newark, so I am optimistic that nothing will happen anywhere before then.
I very much hope that nothing happens to escalate the situation at hand. It is in times like these where one can sense the grave danger of the potential for the devastating kinds of war and violence that have occurred consistently throughout the history of the world. Everything else seems to pale in comparison. Tomorrow we will be visiting Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum in Jerusalem, and bringing to the forefront of our minds a horrific time in history. No one on any side really knows what a modern war of a similar scale would look like, and my hope is that a relative state of peace will be preserved by the fact that no one on any side wants to find out.