I should stop turning my cell phone off when I go to sleep at night. In the past, I thought it was a good idea so that wrong numbers and drunk calls would not wake me in the middle of the night. Now I think I need to leave my phone on. Too much happens late at night and early in the mornings that I don’t want to leave off until I turn my phone on in the mornings. Two things happened that I found out about only after I turned my phone back on.

Saturday night, there was a shooting at the Tel Aviv GLBT community center. Two people were killed and 15 more were injured when a masked gunman walked in and opened fire with his M-16 on a group of teenagers at their support group. I am shocked and saddened.

The next morning, two Palestinian families living in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem were forcibly evicted from their homes.

In the past two weeks I’ve spent a good deal of time with these families, in their homes, hearing their stories. One night last week I slept at one of their houses to try and prevent their eviction. The Israeli police arrived early this morning, they broke windows and arrested 21 people (3 Israeli and the rest international) who were sleeping at the houses to possibly deter, and if not, document the state’s actions. After the Police forcibly removed the two Palestinian families from their homes, they escorted a group of settlers into the homes. Internationally, a large and broad consensus has denounced these evictions as a case of a politically ideological group exploiting the legal system to obtain unjust and immoral results.

I see these two events, which happened hours apart, as being connected. Both events impacted marginalized communities; communities fighting for full and equal rights. GLBT Israelis face high levels of homophobia and discrimination, while Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem are systematically denied full rights because of their status as “residents,” and not citizens. Additionally, the timing of the first seems to be acting as an opportune distraction and cover for the second. The media, both Israeli and international, is focusing coverage on the Tel Aviv shooting. They should. It is an important story and deserves coverage. But the time of the eviction appears to have been chosen for a moment when Israelis and the world would be distracted.

All of this is to say, I woke up at 7:30 this morning. When I finally turned my phone on at 8:15, I learned about the shooting from last night, and the eviction from early this morning. I’m not sure what knowing sooner would have gotten me, but still, I needed to know. From now on, I’m sleeping with my phone on.