That American Yeshiva students are killed in Eretz-Yisrael while studying Torah as has just occurred is not, unfortunately, a new phenomenon.
Already in 1929, eight Americans were murdered in Hebron and their names are:
William Zev (Wolf) Berman, Philadelphia;
David Sheinberg (Shunberg), Memphis;
Benjamin (Bennie) Hurvitz (Horowitz), Brooklyn;
Harry Frohman, Chicago;
Wolf Greenberg, Brooklyn, N.Y.;
Hyman Krasner, Chicago;
Aaron David Epstein, Chicago;
Jacob Wexler, Chicago.
But did you know just how parallel a situation exists between the events of 1929 and 2015?
The 1929 riots broke out due to the Mufti fueling the flames of religious hatred based on the false claim that ‘Al-Aqsa is in Danger’ and that the Jews not only desired more rights at the Western Wall but also sought the rebuild the Temple.
The Arabs began to realize that the Jews could manage without upsetting the status quo, but the Arabs started to build. They built a new gateway near the Western wall, they opened a doorway so that they could disturb the Jews, and they declared that the status quo pertained only to the Jews and not to them. The Jews protested, but to no avail. The Arabs began to disturb those engaged in prayer. The British government was silent! Only the Jews were causing trouble! On last Thursday, youth from the Trumpeldor legion [Betar] rallied against the government regarding access to the Western Wall. They marched to the wall and decried the Zionist leaders for their weak stand. But they did not hit or even touch anyone. The next day the Arabs rallied too. But this was an entirely different protest. They marched out of the new gate and hit Jews in the midst of prayer, tore up prayer books, and removed the notes of beseechment that had been placed in the crevices of the Wall. The British police did nothing, not only that but they did not even permit the Jews to approach the Wall to pray. And this is the status quo?! Then the British issued a statement that equated the two protests!
(JNi.media) David Ashur, owner of a jewelry store on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem, was among the locals who helped stop two teenage terrorist cousins who carried out a stabbing attack with scissors at the entrance to the Mahane Yehuda market Monday morning. The grotesque, Chien Andalou style “knives intifada” being launched by ever-younger Arab youths in Israel reached a new low with the two girls (14 and 16) from eastern Jerusalem who came to the market armed with scissors and tried to stab passersby—only to end up stabbing in the head and the back a 70-year-old Arab gentleman who came all the way from Bethlehem to do his shopping.
Can things grow more surreal? A Western country lives its normal, hurried life, cars jamming the streets, factories pounding, fields harvested, the shopping malls are packed, television and the Internet are sizzling, and all the while life is interrupted for short spurts during which some teenagers armed with sharp instruments lash at strangers in the streets, only to be gunned down eventually by security forces. Mad enough for you?
“At about 11 AM I heard from outside the store someone shouting, ‘They’re stabbing me! They’re stabbing me!’” Ashur, 58, a resident of Jerusalem who owns the ADM jewelry store told Walla. “I went out, and, acting on instinct, grabbed a chair from the shop next door. I ran and saw two female terrorists, one with a pair of scissors. I focused on her, neutralized her with the chair, then a policeman came and shot her.” The jeweler added: “She was just a girl, dressed like a pupil. She was all covered up except for the face. She did not scream or speak.”
One of the girls was, indeed, shot by a policeman, the other was wounded, then the same policeman apparently shot a security guard who arrived on the scene. There’s a video-gone-viral depicting the cop rushing out of a barbershop, still wrapped in an apron, running through the streets like a lavender-caped Superman. Where are Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí when you need them?
The entire scene took place right in front of the District Health Ministry’s Office, which could probably serve for laughs in a comic take on Israel’s crazy season. It also happened right on top of the light rail tracks, which resulted in the suspension of light rail traffic for a while, which was decidedly less comical.
Minister Naftali Bennett said earlier on Monday that the IDF must re-invade the Palestinian Authority and cleanse the terrorism out of it. He might want to reconsider and send in an army of psychiatrists instead, and truckloads of valium.
It was meant to be a very busy, but typical day (November 2, 2015) in my work as a tour guide in Israel. I was scheduled to meet a couple at Jaffa Gate for a 3 hour tour of the Old City starting with the new excavations in the Tower of David Museum, then meet up with another group in the Jewish Quarter, and finish the day with an after school program for elementary school girls who live in the Old City, telling them stories about Jerusalem and doing art projects that are related to the topic.
I met the couple – Jewish American tourists from NY named Stu and Corky – and we started to talk about the history of the area. While we talking, a young man, 22 year old Arab from Jerusalem snuck up next to me. He said in Hebrew, “slicha,” meaning, “excuse me,” as if he were about to ask a question. I turned to him expecting that he was someone who wanted directions to the Western Wall, as often happens to me while I’m guiding in the Old City. Instead, he took a heavy, glass bottle and struck me several times with it, breaking it over my head. By the second blow, I fainted. I woke up a little later on the ground, realizing what had happened, and that I was bleeding.
Stu and Corky
I was able to walk, so I made my way around the corner to the police station, assuming that Stu and Corky had run away, and that there was no possibility anyone would ever catch the terrorist. As soon as I arrived at the Police station, a van pulled up with “magavnikim” security personnel who are under the auspices of the army and police and serve in the Old City. “We caught him! We caught him!” they told me. I couldn’t understand how they knew who I was, but then I remembered the blood on my head. Just after that, Stu and Corky arrived to the police station. Amazingly, they had actually fought off the attacker and chased him. Stu was a volunteer firefighter, and knew from his training that chasing after him yelling would help draw the attention of the security forces, which it did (as well as ensuring that the person who was caught was the same one who carried out the attack which has been very helpful in the court proceedings). Corky, who had taught over 20 years in the NY, said she knew how to fight back as well.
It turns out that the entire incident was seen on camera (there are over 300 cameras throughout the Old City which are monitored 24 hours a day). The ones watching the cameras immediately contacted security forces in the area, and the terrorist was caught in moments.
Unfortunately, the rest of the day (which happened to also be my Hebrew birthday) was spent getting a CT and stitches in the hospital, and speaking with police investigators, and I didn’t make it to my scheduled plans. But, thank God, I wasn’t more seriously injured. I follow the Jewish tradition of married women covering their hair, and I wear a scarf that is wrapped in a way that has a good amount of padding on the top – exactly where he hit me. After the attack, the scarf also served as a bandage until the ambulance arrived, and they were able to start to take care of the wound.
But, of course, I was left with a dilemma: I have been guiding in all areas of Jerusalem for years, feeling safe to go and explore, and loving it! What do I do now? Should I continue to do this? Thinking through everything that had happened, I realized that actually, the area very is safe with all the police and army all throughout the city, and the cameras. And more than that, I decided that I’m not going to let terror keep me away from what I love to do, and all the more so, Jerusalem and guiding throughout Israel. I will continue to learn, explore, and guide in every corner of the city and the country: Gush Etzion, the Dead Sea, Tel Aviv, and in Southern Israel, showing visitors the inspiring history, and about the security situation.
Learning about the history, archaeology, and Biblical sources is very empowering. With all of the problems we are facing in Israel and around the world, I think that the healthiest response is to take the opportunity to strengthen ourselves in our knowledge, commitment to what we believe in, and physically (and yes, I’ve signed up for an awesome program of self-defense classes for women in Jerusalem!)
Just a week after the attack, I was back in the exact same place giving a tour, and was able to say the blessing thanking God for doing a miracle for me in this place, and I can say that on my birthday, my life was renewed for me.
(JNi.media) On Sunday morning, a female terrorist was attempting to stab a girl in the bus station at the junction of the Samaria Regional Brigade, when former Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika noticed the incident and drove his car in her direction to try and stop her. Mesika’s car ran into a ditch after hitting the terrorist. At that point, according to Elyakim Gross from Itamar, he, Gross, shot two bullets into the terrorist’s body, and a soldier who had rushed over also shot her twice.
“What happened at Hawara checkpoint. A witness said that Ashraqat Taha, 16-years-old, she wanted to cross the street near the barrier as a BMW vehicle run over her and then a settler got out from his car, his name is Mesika, the Chairman of the Council of Jewish settlements in the northern West Bank ,and he opened fire directly on the girl and then the Israeli soldiers came to the scene of the shooting and fired 10 bullets on the girl, Later they found that the girl was carrying a bag with her own laptop and then throw the knife next to her.”
Two radically different narratives, except the first one is supported by at least four eyewitness reports cited widely in Israeli media, and the second one cites an anonymous witness. And there’s the terrorist’s father, Taha Qatanani, who told a Palestinian news agency (see Google-translated page):
“Thank God my daughter has done what needs to be done … I am proud of every one of [my children].”
He also said his daughter constantly asked about current events, and was always asking her mother for “the best knives in the house.” (H/T Elder of Zion).
JNi.media complained to Facebook about the offending image, which was accompanied by the caption: “Killer of 16-year-old Girl at the checkpoint.”
Meanwhile, the same Fatah official Facebook page announced that “The Ministry of Health officially announces the martyrdom of the girl Ashraqat Taha, 16, years of Nablus (Shechem) near the Hawara checkpoint.”
JNi.media Received this response from Facebook to our complaint:
“We reviewed your report of حركة التحرير الوطني الفلسطيني ” فتح “/الصفحة الرسمية’s photo.
“Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the photo you reported for containing graphic violence and found it doesn’t violate our Community Standards.”
Update: The incitement to murder post has now been removed.
More than a thousand people protested in front of the Prime Minister’s office on Sunday morning, demanding that security be restored for Israeli citizens, and to give the army their marching orders to clear out the terror nests.
Citizens and politicians spoke to the crowd, but the most touching was young Elkana Zamura, who is not only a student of Rabbi Litman who was murdered last week, but also the son of the stabbing victim in the Rami Levy terror attack on November 6.