Last May, possible evictions in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem stirred up deep tensions between Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, and Palestinians. The violence that grew out of this legal dispute rocked the streets of Israel, brought to light some of the deep divisions in Israeli society and captured the eyes of the international community. Eventually leading to nearly two weeks of fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Discourse around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict spiraled into an all out brawl across social media platforms, demonstrating how powerful technology can be in shaping conflict in the 21st century and leaving many of those affected by the war, Jews and Arabs alike, feeling trapped in a pressure cooker of half-truths and polarized talking points.
For many in our Atidnik community, the impact of last year's events are still felt today. Looking back one year later, we seek to answer the following questions. Why did this conflict hit such a nerve with people around the world? What does this incident say about the state of Arab-Jewish relations within Israel? What has changed in Israel and Palestine in the last year, and how are these changes reflected in East Jerusalem? Most importantly, is there reason to be optimistic about the future?