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An eerie quiet descends on Jerusalem as the bombs start to fall in Baghdad

By S Ross Jones - posted Friday, 21 March 2003

As cruise missiles fall on Baghdad and scuds on Kuwait, Jerusalem has become very quiet. Schools have been dismissed. The streets of East Jerusalem are mostly empty, as so many are staying inside to watch the 24-hour TV coverage. Part of the quiet is the weather, for after a day of sandstorm we are now in the second day of rain. Yesterday I took some Canadian friends to catch the last British Air flight (until further notice) out of Tel Aviv, and the airport was crowded with those leaving. The few we knew were leaving only because they had been told to do so, and one of those acquaintances was in tears at abandoning friends.

But the quiet is not just the noise level. There is an inner quiet as well, at least for me and (I think) for most people. The questions of right or wrong, good or bad, wise or foolish no longer seem important. Those things will be answered by God and by history, for there is no turning back. The concern now is one of minimizing human death and suffering, preventing starvation and disease, and being vigilant lest some take advantage of the situation for illegitimate ends.


My brothers and sisters, the task ahead of us now is perhaps more daunting than the waging of the war itself, for we already know how to wage war. The global community needs to be re-built, and a new world order founded on the respect and dignity of every human being. May God give us first the strength to survive the war here in the MidEast, particularly those who will mourn. Then may He give us the wisdom and the grace to re-build. Those gifts are not just for the people of Iraq or Jerusalem, but for the entire world. People we will never see are also brothers and sisters with whom we need to work. The new world order begins with you and me and the integrity of all our relationships.

Almighty God…..Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory. Amen.

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This was first published as Dean Jones's e-newsletter, UPDATE on 21 March 2003.

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About the Author

The Very Reverend S Ross Jones is Dean of St. George's College Jerusalem.

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