Dave and I went in there one October Day in 2015. Tel Aviv was only a 3 hour flight from Baku so it was a great trip to make in one week.
We got to Jerusalem by bus and stayed in the Damascus Gate area. There was a LOT of trouble around the Gate. The neighbourhood we stayed in was a Hebrew one, but crossing the street, you were straight into a Palestinian neighbourhood.At this time, Palestinians were knifing Orthodox Jews, with kitchen knives. The Israelis responded with machine guns I suppose. But I don’t blame the Israelis for being scared-I was scared!
Anyway, we decided to go into this site called the Burnt House. It was an ancient site, preserved, as a result of the Romans setting the Temple on fire. So there we were, just the two of us, sitting in the burnt House, watching a hologram type movie which showed the site as it was back then.Suddenly two young men, well a 25 year old and his side kick little brother who was maybe 10, came running in.They flashed their I phone lights in our faces. I was about to say “Hey buddy, cut it out”, but suddenly I realized these crazies were exactly that- crazy.They made it clear they were looking for Jews.
They said “Is anyone else in here?” I think they also asked the ticket girl “are there any more rooms in here?”. Anyway we just sat, terrified. We kept looking at the site.
They looked at us and decided we weren’t Jews, we weren’t Orthodox, so they left us alone. We just sat there, frozen. Neither of us said anything for a minute or two.
It was so bizarre.Then they ran out as fast as they came in.
We ran up to the ticket lady.
I said “Why on earth would you let them in here?” They could have killed us!
She said “They just ran past me, I couldn’t stop them!”
It was then I realized these guys weren’t kidding. They were looking for people to knife. Living in Jerusalem was living on the edge. Everybody had a story to tell .Yikes, I’m glad we made it out alive.