Jerusalem: About to Explode Like Fireworks

Hagai Agmon-Snir (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Jerusalem: About to Explode Like Fireworks

The most unsettling final exams I’ve ever been a part of.

I was working outside on July 20 near a road overlooking Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood. Silwan sits in a steep valley next to the Temple Mount. Predominantly populated by Arabs, it has a reputation for frequent clashes between rioters and Israeli police. But I never felt threatened around there before.

At about 9:00 in the morning, I heard shots popping. In any other city, this may cause widespread panic, but it is nothing unusual in this part of Jerusalem. But I couldn’t tell what was being fired, who was firing or what the target was. I asked a colleague of mine, “Should I move to a less-exposed area?”

He assured me I wasn’t in danger. “It’s just fireworks.”

Fireworks—fine. But what for? Was it a protest? Did police clash with terrorists at the al-Aqsa Mosque? Did another country recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital? Was somebody planning to burn a Koran in Sweden?

Actually, it was high schoolers receiving news of their final exams results. It’s apparently a Silwan tradition to celebrate by launching fireworks in broad daylight.

The celebrations spread further south until most of the neighborhoods across the road were shooting fireworks. The explosions became more visible, flashing for less than a second above Silwan’s ramshackle houses packed together like sardines. Orange and red sparks flew from the explosions like glowing embers. It would have been quite the show if it were at night. This continued on and off for several hours.

“I don’t just hear fireworks,” another colleague of mine inferred. “I hear gunshots.” I couldn’t tell if she was being serious or metaphorical.

Another friend suggested: “It makes no sense to be firing them now. All you hear is the noise.”

But that was the point, I thought. The intended audience understood what those launching the fireworks were implying.

No police came to Silwan to investigate the explosions. They did come five days before, when rioters protested against an illegal building in Silwan. There were fireworks then as well—aimed at police. Maybe some of the fireworks I saw were leftovers from that skirmish.

“I hear gunshots.” Maybe there were no actual guns fired that morning. But it isn’t hard to imagine gunshots coming from Silwan or any other high-tension area in Jerusalem. Guns being fired for more than just celebrating a good grade. Guns that aren’t aimed at the sky.

Seeing those fireworks made me think of Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy. The third chapter of that booklet is called “Jerusalem: About to Explode.” He writes:

Presently the Jews rule over all of Jerusalem, even though East Jerusalem is mostly comprised of Arabs. The Palestinians want this half for their capital. But most of the Jews won’t budge, saying they must rule all of Jerusalem.

Both sides proclaim that they must rule East Jerusalem or there will be war!

When I think of those fireworks going off on the other side of the road—right next to some of Islam’s and Judaism’s holiest sites, in the middle of the city the Bible says “all the people of the earth” will be gathered against (Zechariah 12:3)—I can’t help but get the feeling that Jerusalem is about to explode like fireworks.