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Ferguson & Israel


I stopped watching news coverage of Ferguson. Too much hype. It gave the impression to the rest of the country – and to the world for that matter – that St. Louis was terribly violent, and that it must be really scary to live here.

I live in the Greater St. Louis Area. What you saw on the news is not how it is. I still go into St. Louis regularly. I don’t give it a second thought. I know the situation, but I also know that the images you saw on the news do not define St. Louis.

It is safe to live here.

It is safe to visit STL.

I am thankful that things are getting back to normal here. And I am thankful that things are getting back to normal in Israel.

When I travelled with the Catholic Press Association as a guest of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, I felt safe. I probably felt safer than I do in St. Louis. And I have been thinking about Ferguson and Israel. They are alike to some degree.

The media did a number on Israel. It was terribly violent… must be really scary to live there. That’s what they wanted us to think.

I am not trying to minimize the situation in Ferguson a few weeks ago or what was happening in Israel this summer. The point I am making is that the media paint a picture that is far more dire than reality.

The reality is that people are still travelling to the Holy Land. They were visiting during the time of conflict, and they continue to visit now as the Holy Land gets back to normal. You can bet your last dollar that you would have heard if  an American tourist to Israel had been harmed during the conflict.

I’m thankful that time has a way of healing wounds and helping people make peace. But that doesn’t make a good story for the secular news media.

Ferguson & Israel – they may be worlds apart, but they aren’t so different.

I like living in St. Louis.

And I’m ready to go back to the Holy Land.

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