Since the beginning of Ramadan, the holy month of Islam, tensions have been rising between the Jews and the Arabs in East Jerusalem. The city is under Israeli control but Palestinians claim a right to it as well. The violence broke out Thursday night when Palestinians gathered around Damascus Gate to protest the closing of a plaza in front of the gate and, separately, Jewish extremists marching towards them chanting “Death to Arabs!” Both protests resulted in clashes with police and ended with 105 people injured and 50 arrested.

An interesting aspect to this event was the inflammation of tensions over social media, particularly TikTok. There are videos of Jews assaulting Arabs and Arabs assaulting Jews, and it’s making the whole situation worse. The TikToks gave a reason for the Jewish extremist group, Lehava, to hold their Thursday protest. It also makes it harder from an outside perspective to see who is in the right here, given that both sides seem to be behaving poorly. Obviously in reality the situation is much more complicated than those videos, but if that’s what the average person sees then widespread support will be extremely mixed.

Eleanor Haas