One man holding an olive branch in silence (July Story Journal)

Another demonstration tonight, in Tel Aviv. More than a thousand are gathered. The air is serious, heavy. Not much chatting, as is often the case at demonstrations in central Tel Aviv. Instead: chanting, drumming. Across the street, the pro-war group is small and angry. And yet, the media and TV cameras seem to be paying focused on them. A man on a motorcycle drives back and forth, revving his engine. Police separate between the two demonstrations. Up near the police barrier, a man stands holding an olive branch. He doesn’t speak and he doesn’t move. Occasionally, he switches hands. Suddenly shy, not wanting to disturb whatever this man is processing- Who is he? What have his eyes seen? Who does he know?- I tentatively ask approach him:

“Can I ask you why you are holding this?”

He looks at me, his eyes meet mine. He responds, quietly:

“I believe in peace. It’s that simple for me.”


Tonight, through the heaviness, through the noise and silence, a word found its way to my lips: Amen.