Forget any ideas you may have about Jerusalem unless you’ve actually been there.
In my recent visit to the city I travelled regularly on the tram system. There’s only one line, but it is modern, cheap, and efficient. Everybody uses it. You’ll see if you look carefully at this picture that there are orthodox Jews (big hat) white westerners (in the window) and Muslim women (heads covered) on this carriage. The girl in the foreground will be a secular Israeli (head uncovered).
Probably elsewhere on this tram you’d see a soldier or policeman or two going on or off duty. (carrying their automatic weapons.) Not all is rosy, however; western tourists are advised not to travel to the “end of the line” in East Jerusalem (an Arab area.)
However poor Hannah Bladon was not “out of area” when she was stabbed and killed yesterday. She was by the town hall, just outside the old city (which the tram skirts). It is the equivalent of Oxford Circus, and her senseless murder will have caused upset and sadness across all faiths who remain keen to promote the Holy City as a safe and vibrant visitor and student destination.
Please remember Hannah’s family and friends this Easter, as we recall the death of Christ, another innocent. We pray that for Hannah’s family there will be some light and hope in the years to come.
Revd Canon Kevin Davies