I was originally asked to write about the impact of the war in Ukraine and how it is felt in Tel Aviv but since the recent series of terror attacks started here in Israel it has all but vanished from the public consciousness. While the first attacks were far away from my new home in Tel Aviv and there was still a hope of them being a one-off occurrence, the one last night hit close to home, quite literally. Since the weekend starts on Friday here Thursday night out is basically Friday night out. I wasn’t feeling too active so I decided to go to a little jamming session at a local synagogue, instead of hitting the bars and clubs of the city center, as I might have otherwise.
Sometime after we arrived the messages started coming in that there was a shooting in the center, so to go home, if possible, but there were no details. Since we were in a different area we decided to just stay put, as the manhunt for the terrorist was still underway and he was hitting different areas of the city, so we did not want to be out on the street. Most of the other visitors seemed to think the same, and while many were scrolling their phones or calling people, we were still enjoying the rabbi’s sick bass solo (you can see him play in this week’s picture).
It was a bit surreal, knowing that there was a terrorist roaming the streets while sitting there, drinking beer and listening to jazz. Our roommates asked us to come home so at some point we left the jam session, taking electric scooters to limit our time outside. Everyone was gathered on the terrace, drinking, eating, making the best of the situation, while in the background the sirens blared. I went to sleep early and woke up to the news that they had found and killed the shooter in an area close to where I live in the early morning hours. Then my boss called me to make sure I was fine and told me some of her friends were among the victims, luckily all survived. Some friends of mine were also in the area apparently. It feels surreal to know I could have easily also been there with them had I felt slightly more energetic last night. But on the other hand this sadly is not an isolated incident here and I knew the risks before I came. And given it is the third or fourth attack within the last two weeks alone, I guess we are getting used to it.
Konrad von Klitzing