Utah student in Jerusalem plans to stay, despite tensions

Oct 13, 2023, 11:03 AM | Updated: Nov 30, 2023, 5:45 pm

Christian Moody, a Utah student in Jerusalem speaks with KSL NewsRadio reporter, Aimee Cobabe via Z...

Christian Moody, a Utah student in Jerusalem speaks with KSL NewsRadio reporter, Aimee Cobabe via Zoom. (Screenshot, Aimee Cobabe)

(Screenshot, Aimee Cobabe)

JERUSALEM — Many Americans living in Israel plan on staying, including a Utah student studying in Jerusalem. Christian Moody attends Hebrew University near the BYU Jerusalem Center, and said while he’s trying to stay home right now, he feels totally safe.

The Utah student studying in Jerusalem spoke with KSL NewsRadio on Thursday, Oct. 12.

“Jerusalem has a very clear east-west divide of Israeli Jews on one side on the west side and Arabs on the on the east side, mostly Muslim,” he said. “And I definitely do feel more tension in between those groups,” he said.

Moody said that right now, he lives in a mostly Palestinian Arab neighborhood. 

“For the first couple days, it was definitely more quiet. The past I would say, yesterday and the day before and then today as well. Things have sounded a little bit more normal.”

According to Moody, his classes are currently on hold and he stopped traveling in the area for now, especially to the West Bank.

Possible evacuation orders

Moody has spoken with his family and said he has a plan if Americans are told to evacuate.

“You know, I can get on a flight and go home if I really needed to. But there are many people that can’t,” said Moody.

“The real people that you know, need the prayers and really need the support are those Israelis you know, and the Arabs that are struggling through.”

Orders came from Israel on Friday for over 1 million Gazans to evacuate as the war escalates. However, Moody said he doesn’t foresee the violence making its way to Jerusalem. 

Utah student speaks of neighborly support

Moody said he and other members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints living in Jerusalem are trying to do what they can to help their friends and neighbors.

“The university students in my program, we’ve been reaching out to each other [and] making sure everybody’s okay. And it’s actually been really beautiful to see that.”


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Utah student in Jerusalem plans to stay, despite tensions