This week the Monitor hands the ball to The Weekly Standard, which in its Sept. 10 issue featured a transcript of a conversation between a caller identified as “David from Minneapolis” and Diana Nyad, the host of “Savvy Traveler,” a Minnesota Public Radio show.It’s not clear from the conversation whether David is Jewish, but he sounds suspiciously like a lifetime subscriber to Tikkun magazine or a charter member of Americans for Peace Now. Nyad was discussing travelers’ experiences with crime when David called in to report on his own harrowing experience: being mugged by Palestinians while returning to his Jerusalem hotel late one night.
But the attack by the Palestinians was not what left David traumatized, as the nitwit himself explains in his own words:
DAVID: I decided to enter through Damascus Gate which is the entrance to the Arab quarter.
DAVID: So I went in, and it was absolutely deserted. And so I walked down the street and a couple of people started to walk beside me. And one of them started to talk to me and – and after just a minute or two, I ended up being shoved up against the wall by about five or six of them.
NYAD: Oh, no.
DAVID: They started, sort of rifling through my stuff, and they had me just shoved up against the wall. And somehow I got out, and I just ran screaming. And after like 30 seconds, all these guys with machine guns come down, all – it’s the Israeli guard.
DAVID: There’s probably about eight of them, and they all have huge machine guns and huge flashlights. I felt really, really – I felt more wrong having that happen than being robbed, I think. I felt more – it felt terrible being on the side of people with machine guns.
NYAD: So who was the bad guy in the end?
DAVID: Well, it’s hard to say. I mean, you know, it’s no fun to get robbed, but it’s also no fun to, you know, have machine guns on your side. It makes you feel really ambivalent about why you’re there and, you know, who deserves to be there.
NYAD: I can understand that. On the – on the other hand, you know, if they hadn’t come around, you don’t know, you could have been like, you know, have your head – your head – your head kicked in, something like that.
DAVID: It – it was just a really interesting thing because I know a lot about biblical history, and that’s kind of the Israel that I was looking for.
DAVID: And, of course, I knew contemporary politics, but it just made it really ? made it really real for me, the street level of it.
NYAD: Yeah, and such an instant volatility.
NYAD: I mean, if you as a tourist in the middle of the night just yelled out a couple of times and within, sounded like you’re saying 10, 15 seconds, they swarmed around…
NYAD: I mean, they – they are ready. They were ready to go.
DAVID: Mm-hmm. Yeah, they were definitely ready. And they – you know, they were really, really anxious to find a bunch of Palestinians that they could, you know, harass or arrest or beat up or something.
NYAD: Yeah. Well, David, I’m just glad you’re all right.