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Kimberly P. Yow

Kimberly P. Yow

Hi there! I'm Kimberly Yow, a passionate journalist with a deep love for alternative rock. Combining my two passions, I've found my dream job. Join me on this exciting journey as I explore the world of journalism and rock music.

Arab Israeli Christians Stay and Serve as Gaza War Riles Galilee

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With tens of thousands displaced from the northern border with Lebanon, believers balance their Palestinian and Israeli identities in pursuit of peace with all.

One Friday evening, a young woman sat her toddler on her lap at Christ the King Evangelical Episcopal Church in Ma’alot-Tarshiha, a mixed Arab-Jewish town in northern Israel five miles from the border with Lebanon. Like mothers everywhere, she clapped her hands and beckoned a response.

What does the cow say? “Moo,” the child replied.

What does the dog say? “Woof,” came the answer.

What does the bomb say? “Boom,” and they both laughed.

Only a few hours earlier, with Hezbollah rockets flying overhead, intercepted sometimes by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, church elders had debated meeting at all. When the siren sounded during the service, members wondered if they should enter the concrete basement shelter.

The playful mimicry belies the seriousness of the less reported conflict in the Galilee region, but it also reveals its everyday normalcy.

“By now the bombs have faded into the background,” said Talita Jiryis, the 28-year-old volunteer youth leader at Christ the King. “Dark humor is our mechanism to cope with fear and the uncertainty of tomorrow.”

That is, for the northern citizens who remain near the border. But a different uncertainty pains the tens of thousands evacuated from their homes. Arab Israeli Christians offered different assessments to CT, but all pray for peace in the land of their citizenship. The war in Gaza affects them too.

On October 8, one day after Hamas crossed the border into southern Israel and killed 1,200 Israelis, Hezbollah—the Shiite Muslim militia similarly aligned with Iran—launched its “support front” from Lebanon.

Daily exchange of rocket strikes and retaliatory fire has continued since.

But compared …

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