A couple of days ago, there was a terrorist attack in Israel, during which a man drove a truck straight through a group of Israeli soldiers waiting to get on a bus, killing four and injuring over a dozen more. In the wake of this tragedy Germany made a gesture of solidarity towards Israel, resulting in one of the most powerful images I have seen in a while has cropped up on the internet.
The top panel is the Bradenburg Gate in Berlin 80 years ago. The bottom panel is the Bradenburg Gate yesterday.
80 years. Not thousands, not hundreds, but a meager 80 years have passed between those two pictures. It puts into perspective how far Germany has come, and how much change a single person can witness in their lifetime.
This is not about agreeing or disagreeing with Israel’s policy with regards to Palestine. Germany itself often disagrees with the far-right position of the current Israeli Government, as do I for that matter. But when innocent people are mowed down by either terrorism or state violence, we can stand in solidarity with the murdered and their families. We can feel for them, regardless of which side they were on, or what their personal political opinions were.
That picture gives me hope and reminds me that, even in the midst of terrible things to which you cannot see a way out, dramatic change is possible, it has happened, and I can believe it will happen again.