Sitting at my desk this morning, trying to concentrate on the novel I’m editing, I heard a siren. Probably an ambulance, as we live close to the route to a large hospital.

Normally, I would ignore it and carry on. But these days aren’t normal. Did something happen? Sure enough, my phone indicated yet another news flash: eight people badly wounded in a shooting attack on a bus.

More ambulances drove past and I reflected. During periods like this, I become afraid of Arabs. I know that the vast majority of them wouldn’t commit these terrible crimes, but when I meet one, how can I know their intentions?

People in other countries, far away from this, criticise Israel for its treatment of Arabs, stopping them at checkposts. It’s wrong, they say, to subject so many to checks because of a few. But they don’t suggest an alternative; there isn’t one. I read about a nineteen-year-old female soldier who apprehended two would-be terrorists at the same checkpost in the last few days.

There’s an update: one dead and seventeen wounded in two attacks in Jerusalem today. And it’s only 11:00.

Peace. Is it too much to ask for?

UPDATE: three people died in the two Jerusalem attacks. (We don’t include terrorists in the count.)