Photo Credit: Hadas Parush / Flash 90
Israeli Border Guard Police officers stand in Jerusalem neighborhood of A-Tur, where a police vehicle was hit by a Molotov cocktail, causing it and two other cars to catch fire. (August 2015)

Jewish vocalist Avi Miller and his family barely escaped an Arab lynch mob this past weekend in Jerusalem near the Mount of Olives, in the neighborhood of A-Tur, while taking a shortcut towards Mount Scopus.

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Miller is a hareidi-religious performer who this past Shabbat sang for guests at the Seven Arches Hotel.

On their way home, Miller told the Hebrew-language Kikar HaShabbat website the attackers – armed with clubs and rocks — were scrutinizing cars passing through the neighborhood to see if the passengers were Jews.

The road was blocked by the mob, to allow the attackers time to smash any Jewish vehicle. As Miller’s car approached, he spotted the mob waiting with clubs, some already throwing rocks.

“It was too late to turn around and drive away, and they had already started throwing stones,” Miller said.

“The car’s windows were scratched up pretty badly, and my kids were flipping out; my youngest daughter who was in the back was in a state of shock.”

Miller himself was also armed; he is licensed to carry a firearm, and knew it was time to use it. He stopped the car, got out and confronted the mob, firing two shots in the air. “I made sure I wouldn’t hit anyone by accident,” he emphasized.

The gunfire inspired the mob to run the other way, some leaving their clubs behind. Israeli Border Guard Police arrived within minutes, providing the badly-needed backup and taking control of the situation.

“At first the officers took my gun. . . But they returned it right away after they learned what had happened,” Miller told Kikar HaShabbat, “and even thanked me, saying I behaved exactly as I should have.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.