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Popsicles for peace

What smiles you create when you hand over free cold, creamy goodness to all the warm people in Jerusalem's Old City

On another scorching Jerusalem day, when even the street cats don’t prowl, and the grass can’t find the energy to flutter, and everyone moves like they’re stuck in jelly, and tensions run high, and any sane person was locked inside worshiping the AC, a group of people stood on the cobblestone streets of the Muslim Quarter, handing out free popsicles to strangers.

Who were these people, and what did they want? What were they selling, what were they promoting? I’m sure these are the questions running through your head now, just like they ran through the head of every Muslim, Hasid, tourist, and soldier I offered a free popsicle to, one scorching Jerusalem day. Organized by Sarah Tuttle-Singer, when everyone wanted to stay in, a group of us were out, promoting peace.

It didn’t matter to us if you were wearing a full headdress, or a black hat, or shorts and a tank top, or a soldier’s uniform, because we’re all human. And it’s a hot day. And we all get warm, and we all need to cool down.

We’re all inflamed, inflamed by the scorching hot sun and by the tempers and tensions that run wild through the Jerusalem streets, fueling everything they touch with rampant flames. And those flames burn hot, so we need to cool down, cool down with a nice popsicle. And a free one, at that.

Some of you may be angry, but trust me, that anger would’ve melted away as soon as you saw the look of joy on a child’s face as they’re handed a free popsicle.

Some of you may be scared for me, but that anxiety would have disappeared if you saw the bewildered expression of a tourist being handed a free treat, then break out into a smile.

The feeling was unlike anything I’d ever known. The smiles and thanks, and the looks that made me know that in a time full of anger, I cooled that down and made their day a little better.

“It’s a good day for peace,” I told myself.

Whether you want a one-state solution, or a two-state solution, or any other solution you can think of, we will get absolutely nowhere if we can’t be kind. If we can’t say hi to one another on the street, if we can’t be friendly, if we can’t even look at each other without judgement and hatred, nothing will ever get done. That’s a fact.

If anything I’ve said resonated with you or you desire peace as well, join us in the Old City for this incredible experience. If you can’t join for whatever reason, you can still support the cause by donating here.

It’s another scorching Jerusalem summer, and we’re all human, and we all need to cool down. So, have a popsicle, on us.

About the Author
Hadar Tennenberg is a writer, artist, traveler, amateur guitar player and lover of dogs. Hadar is a teen who made Aliya with her family and is now living in Jerusalem, where she is trying to figure out this new country and enjoys the vibrant culture and beauty of Israel.
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