A Postscript to “A Tale of Two Sons”

A sad postcript to my recent post, “A Tale of Two Sons”.

Last Friday night, there was a terror attack on the road near where I live. Across the road from us is a chiloni (secular) yishuv. Some residents, coming home late on Friday night, saw huge rocks strewn across the road, with a man in a helmet standing near them. They thought he was an IDF soldier and continued driving until they were very close to him. The “soldier” then started firing point blank at their car. Only a miracle prevented him from killing them. The terrorist ran away, leaving them slightly injured and the car damaged.

We have had stone throwing incidents for the past few months, and occasionally a suspicious object is put on the side of the road. One of these suspicious objects even turned out to be a small homemade bomb. One Friday night a few weeks ago, at at the start of Ramadan, some local men came up to the gate of the yishuv and threw rocks. But this shooting on the road brought the violence up to a whole new level.

The people in our yishuv and the two others close by decided to come out on Saturday night and protest. At one point the women and teenagers went home, and the men went into the nearby village. They flipped over some cars and threw rocks through windows. (The IDF was there but did not stop them from going into the village).

I have lived here for 16 years, and I cannot remember a similar incident, where my neighbors felt the need to take things into their own hands.  Even six years ago, when one of our neighbors was killed by a sniper on the same road, the people in our yishuv did not feel the need to take this kind of action.

The people I live with are not known to be “hotheads”. We have been derided by others who live in more dangerous areas as being “tzfonim” – the Israeli slang for bourgeois. In truth, we are! The people who live here are middle class professionals, who are not looking for confrontations. At the same time, most of the men have served in combat units, do reserve duty, and fought in the last Lebanon war.

They know when there is a need for deterrence. A few nights ago was the time.

There have been many incidents of Arab violence this past month of Ramadan. But it seems that the only thing you read about in the paper is the pipe bomb put near the left-wing professors door, supposedly by a “settler” (there is no proof at this time). The media has been milking this for all its worth for the past ten days, but there has been very little attention given to the violence by the Arabs. (The incidence near my yishuv was reported by Arutz 7 and ignored by every other media outlet).

As I wrote in my previous post, my upbringing in the safety of liberal America should have me condemning my neighbors for acting as “vigilantes”. But I don’t condemn them. I am sad that it has reached this point, but I am grateful to them for taking action.

Because maybe the next time a local hothead from the village decides to be a “hero” during Ramadan and try to kill one of us, another person from his village, bourgeois like us, will remember the rock thrown through his window and stop him.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tnspr569
    Oct 02, 2008 @ 15:10:12

    Sorry to hear about the latest attacks…

    Hopefully things quiet down again.

    Wishing you (and everyone else over there) a safe, peaceful, happy and healthy new year…

  2. aliyah06
    Oct 02, 2008 @ 17:50:10

    Hope you caught Evelyn Gordon’s article here: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1222017417894&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

    Vigilanteism is the response when the democratically elected government demonizes one segment of the population and breaks every campaign promise upon which it was elected. Whether it was your yishuv, the Boston Tea Party or African-Americans burning down Detroit — when a people feel lied to and disenfranchised by the very government that claims to protect and support them, riots are the result.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: