I came to Israel with very strong views. But I have come to realize that the situation in this country is much more complex than my trivial attempts to see the problems easily solvable. I have refrained from drawing parallels between what I have seen here and what happened in my own country under Apartheid. I think to draw a direct parallel is to ignore many other factors that were not present in my country, and many that are not present here.
Besides the high fences and frequent armed children, I have seen a measure of tolerance that does not appear in our country all that often, albeit a forced tolerance. Today Muslims prayed in the Muslim Quarter of the Temple Mount. To my shock, a few people around me started mocking the prayers which were resounding from the Mosque. I had to call my brothers to a place where we do not only tolerate, but respect the religion of others. An so we started listening. And instead of praying against them, I gave thanks for their example of unashamed devotion. I wish we had the same measure of commitment to public witness.
A complex place with complex people and complex issues. I pray for my redemption, for I cannot say "Well, thank you Lord that I am not like..."