Special Report June 16, 1995
This morning, several minutes after 10:00AM, 19 year-old Avraham Ariel, a Jerusalem resident living in Hebron for the last half a year, was stabbed while walking from Beit Hadassah towards the Avraham Avinu neighborhood in Hebron. He was stabbed in the chest and wounded seriously. After managing to reach soldiers, Waldman collapsed. He received life-saving first-aid on the spot and was rushed to Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital by an Intensive Care ambulance. Yesterday, I walked the same route that Avraham Ariel walked. Although I am usually armed with a 9mm Beretta pistol, yesterday I didn't have with me while strolling down the street. Today, I ask myself what I would have done had Avraham's attackers been a day earlier. A word about weapons - I know that after the last sentence, the one about carrying a pistol, many of you are thinking, "those armed bloodthirsty fanatics..." I first came to Israel in the summer of 1974, less than a year after the Yom Kippur War. As much as I enjoyed wondering around the streets of Jerusalem, I had a very difficult time adjusting to one facet of Israeli life: all around me I saw soldiers armed with Uzi's. For a 19 year-old American, arriving from a small New Jersey suburb, the sight of automatic machine guns on city street corners was shocking. It took quite a while to get used to the it, and that only happened with development of a deeper understanding of what was actually happening in the State of Israel. "Newspaper account" understandings are too superficial to allow any kind of true comprehension of what goes on in this country. It's difficult enough for those who live here to understand what's going in Israel. As a matter of fact, a great percentage of the population in Israel doesn't understand what's going on here. So much for all the "newspaper account" experts living abroad. Even after moving to Kiryat Arba, 14 years ago, I refrained from purchasing a gun - the thought revolted me. Only when I had no choice, when I found myself daily waiting for a bus at night, by myself,on a dark stretch of road across from the city of Efrat, near Gush Etzion, did I buy a pistol. Today, with the military-political situation the way it is, a weapon is an unmitigated MUST. There is no way a person can defend himself if he is unarmed. And for all those who believe that we need weapons not for reasons of self-defense, but in order to attack "poor, defenseless Palestinians", excuse me, but your ingnorance is second only to your blindness. The "Palestinians" are neither poor nor are they defenseless. And the initiative to attack is not Jewish, it is Arab. And it is being orchestrated by Feisal-El-Hussaini and Yassir Arafat. The terrorists belong to Arafat's "moderate" Fatach until they act, until they attack. Then they are magically transformed into "extremist Hamas". Until they repent. Then they are whisked back into the fold, good little boys, Fatach. Unfortunately the Israeli government is an active participant in this continuing farce. They use whatever tools they deem necessary in order to achieve their aims. However, a detailed article concerning the real aims of Rabin's three ring circus is not my present concern. Maybe next week. But for the time being, it should be plainly noted that it is very easy to attack and comdemn from afar. Even those who support Hebron's continued settlement speak too fast, before KNOWING the facts, before receiving details of what is really going on, what is really happening. It is of the utmost importance to speak only after examining the events - from all directions. Events don't happen in a vacuum - there is always a reason. Think before you speak.