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October 20, 2015 11:45 am

Terror Attacks Having Impact on Jerusalem Nightlife

avatar by Jonathan Benedek / Tazpit News Agency

The Bezeq vehicle an east Jerusalem man used to ram a bus stop on Malchei Yisrael Street in Jerusalem. Photo: Hillel Maier, TPS

The Bezeq vehicle an east Jerusalem man used to ram a bus stop on Malchei Yisrael Street in Jerusalem. Photo: Hillel Maier, TPS

JERUSALEM — The current wave of terrorist attacks has some Israelis rethinking their daily routines.

“They call it terror for a reason,” Udi Kaniel, co-owner of Jerusalem restaurant Mike’s Place told Tazpit Press Service. “People are terrified and staying in.”

As is true of many other businesses in the capital, Mike’s Place has experienced a decline in customers since the spike in terrorist attacks two weeks ago.

“It’s clear that business is down substantially, due to the situation,” Kaniel told TPS. “It has hurt every single business in this area. Other business owners I know are suffocating, and they are in a place where they really don’t know what to do.”

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Kaniel even gave a specific example. “It’s always nice and busy on Sundays during American football season, when we show a lot of NFL games,” he said. “However, last Sunday was substantially less busy, as some of our distinct group of regular customers didn’t show up.”

Mike’s Place is no stranger to terrorism. In fact it has been hit more than once. During the Second Intifada, a car bomb exploded outside the Jerusalem branch of the bar-restaurant. And its Tel Aviv branch was the site of a suicide bombing.

“Every couple of years we get a repeat of some kind of terror situation,” Kaniel said, adding, “I live in Israel and I intend to stay in this country for the rest of my life, along with my business.”

Other Jerusalem locals have also adopted a resilient attitude. “A lot of people are understandably scared about the current situation, but I think the most important thing is that we cannot show them fear,” said Zvi Besser, an American-Israeli currently serving in the IDF.

As a soldier in active duty, Besser is has the legal right to walk around the country with his gun, provided that he abide by all IDF regulations. Other Israelis must fulfill certain legal benchmarks in order to obtain a gun license. Besser, therefore, feels he has a certain level of responsibility to look out not only for himself, but for other citizens, as well.

Daniel Cohen, a 19-year-old American who recently immigrated to Israel, told TPS that he believes everyone should go about his daily routine. “If we show fear, we lose,” he said.

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