11 Million and 1

Sunday was a big day. It was the day we officially remembered the Holocaust, all of its horrifying events that took place, and all of the incredible 11 million people that were killed. While we honoured and remembered the deaths of these 11 million, the intentional killing of 1 human being also took place. Osama Bin Laden was murdered on Sunday as well. I have yet to go onto Facebook, but I have heard through news sources and friends that people are up in arms. Some members of the social network site are praising his death, and others are threatening to kill Americans. But before we all get so involved on taking sides, let’s look at a more intra-conflict within the States.

I think I can speak for the majority of Americans that we all breathed a sigh of relief when we heard the news. But it’s been a few days now and the reactions have been differing. Some people are partying, frat-style, over it. I think this is hypocritical, entirely unnecessary, and makes me a little sick to my stomach. Remember when September 11 happened and we heard the news of people parading in the streets celebrating? How did we feel then? Were we not horrified to see that people were smiling and cheering in the deaths of over 3,000 Americans?

This was a victory for the United States, yes. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be celebrated outlandishly with beer and chanting. I have read many interesting editorial pieces on the topic and if you are interested in this like myself, please check them out.

This one is an editorial piece from the Huffington Post and is entitled, “The Psychology of Revenge: Why We Should Stop Celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s Death”

This next one, from salon.com, is entitled, “”USA! USA!” is the wrong response.” I particularly like these last few paragraphs from the writer, David Sirota:

“Again, this isn’t in any way to equate Americans who cheer on bin Laden’s death with, say, those who cheered after 9/11. Bin Laden was a mass murderer who had punishment coming to him, while the 9/11 victims were innocent civilians whose deaths are an unspeakable tragedy. Likewise, this isn’t to say that we should feel nothing at bin Laden’s neutralization, or that the announcement last night isn’t cause for any positive feeling at all — it most certainly is.

But it is to say that our reaction to the news last night should be the kind often exhibited by victims’ families at a perpetrator’s lethal injection — a reaction typically marked by both muted relief but also by sadness over the fact that the perpetrators’ innocent victims are gone forever, the fact that the perpetrator’s death cannot change the past, and the fact that our world continues to produce such monstrous perpetrators in the first place.”

A lot of people have been asking me recently what Israel has been like after Osama’s death. I don’t know if it’s because the events took place on Yom HaShoah, or if to Israeli’s it’s something that they’re unfortunately more routinely used to, but it wasn’t a huge story in the beginning. Since, I’ve done some research and read that it was a 50/50 ratio of Palestinians who were interviewed about being pleased or not about Bin Laden’s death. Just the other day in central Jerusalem there were also some Arabs protesting against his death.

The day after Sunday was Monday. This was also the first day of my internship. I got there a few minutes early, settled in a bit, and very soon after a siren sounded. At 10:00a.m. a siren was heard throughout the entire country of Israel. I looked out the window of my building and down onto Yafo Road, one of the busiest streets in Jerusalem. As soon as the siren began everything stopped. The cars, the trains, the people. Everything and everyone froze. Anyone who was sitting rose. No one moved. For two minutes people stood still and remembered. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced before, and I was extremely moved by it.

After it ended I began my internship. It was all really exciting; as soon as I arrived I began working and I was busy until the time I left. I am so excited to be back in the public relations/marketing/general communications world. And this time to be promoting something I am passionate about is exactly what I’ve been craving.

At my lunch break I received a phone call from my Madreech that the apartment we moved into (I am now living on the Hebrew University campus!) on Sunday is in the middle of being renovated and they placed us in the wrong one. When one of my roommates went to go drop off our old keys the woman asked how we could have ever lived in there, and didn’t realize sooner that it was an unlivable place. I found this funny, that five of us girls didn’t mind at all, in fact we didn’t even notice something was wrong. It was this moment that made me realize how I’ve come here and learned to not sweat so much about small things that can be easily fixable with some cleaning and personalization.

So after work I had to head back, repack what I had unpacked the day before, and then move into my new place and unpack again. There was a lot of cleaning, a lot of lifting, and a lot of organizing involved. I am now officially (hopefully) settled into my new place. I’m living with four other girls from my program, but I have my own room, which is a very pleasant surprise. Aside from my bedroom in Massachusetts, I’ve never had my own room so this will be new and exciting. Check it out!

I am looking forward to continuing working and experiencing what life is like in Jerusalem. And of course, sharing all of that with none other, but you.

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