Matti Friedman of Globe and Mail-Canada reports: Yerushalayim is always said to be on the brink of catastrophe. Every act of bloodshed here is heavily covered by the media, which creates the impression that Jerusalem is a violent place, but that’s misleading. If you count every violent fatality this year in this city of 860,000 – not just political violence but apolitical homicides, too – the number is 27, less than a quarter of the homicide number last year in Jacksonville, Fla., a city the same size.
In the Talpiot industrial zone in Jerusalem, an Israeli area, of the 50 workers I counted at one of the big supermarkets, at least 2/3 were Palestinian. One cashier, a Jewish woman with a modest hair covering, was serving three Muslim women with modest hair coverings. At a SuperPharm nearby, an Arab female pharmacist was serving a Jewish woman with a prescription. It’s remarkable how unremarkable it’s become to see Palestinian customers or salespeople in a Jewish part of town. Jewish Jerusalem is drawing more and more workers from the city’s Arab areas, and mixing in the workplace has dramatically increased. Nearly half of the city’s Arab workers are now employed in Jewish areas and the number is rising. So is the number of Palestinian students enrolled at Israeli universities. Palestinians and Israelis might not like each other, but their fates are becoming more tightly entwined, and everyone has more to lose if things fall apart.