Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Picture Terror


"The terrorist yelled, 'God is great.' I grabbed Oron's handgun and fired three bullets. As soon as I was sure he was dead I lifted the gun so as not to hurt passersby." Israel Policeman Eli Mizrahi

Picture yourself on vacation, sleeping peacefully in a hotel bed. Maybe you're having a nice dream. Perhaps your partner is snuggled up to you, making you sweat a little in the summer heat but adding even more peace to your last moments of sleep.

You wake up, get dressed, have breakfast, prepare for the day's schedule of site-seeing, shopping, whatever. You find the right bus, jam into it with locals and other tourists like you --well, they're tackier than you, but still, fellow tourists-- and hope like hell the bus has air conditioning.

Picture the noisy streets, crowded, clogged with traffic, especially in the heart of town, around the old bus depot where construction workers are building a shiny new train station. Also, you notice with a smidgen of interest, it's near the central headquarters for local broadcasting stations.

Now picture you're feeling a little annoyed, all that equipment blocking the way, making traffic a nightmare. Resigned to a long wait, you gaze out the window apathetically.
Then you notice the bulldozer. It's driving away from the construction site, moving against traffic. Cars are crashing, horns blaring. Finally, unbelievably, you realize it's heading directly at your bus.

Picture terror.

The bulldozer plows into your bus, knocking it over onto its side like a bowling pin. Like more pins, passengers and debris are flying everywhere. In the process a small Toyota is flattened, it's female driver killed instantly. Other cars have been hit. Pedestrians too.

Picture a horrifying scene of carnage, blood, broken bodies, crumpled metal, destruction. Picture an elite police terror squad as they climb onto the bulldozer and kill the terrorist driver at point blank range.

Then, picture this: ordinary citizens rushing toward the scene, giving all the aid and comfort they can as ambulance sirens wail closer. Jerusalem is now under an official state of emergency.

Picture too, that an event like this is so commonplace my niece called this morning from Jerusalem to apologize she couldn't pick up the special tee shirt for my son because the store she'd planned to visit was in the heart of the chaos. But, she assured me, she'd try another area of the city not prone to attack.

This is my family. This is where they live. This is where I am now. Safe and sound. But only because my family lives in the right place. So far.

Picture the real truth. In America and most of the Western world, terrorism is a political issue. In the Middle East it's the real deal.

It's been quiet in Israel recently with hope focused on the proposed peace talks. But as every Israeli knows, quiet is relative here. Today one crazed, fanatical criminal took peace into his own hands and shattered it. Tomorrow it could be dozens, hundreds, thousands.

I want to hear from Barack Obama and John McCain what they're going to do about protecting Israel. No more tap dancing, dammit. I want a clear picture.

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Blogger Daniel Rubin said...

i wish i could lend you my sneakers. they served me very well over there. Godspeed.

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Increase Your Web Site Traffic said...

Great post sally! I really want to hear what they are going to do about protecting israel, too. I think its about time.


2:39 PM  

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