April 14, 2017, Jerusalem, Israel
I was not planning on writing a blog today. The hour is late and the Sabbath begins soon, but I must. And, there will be nothing new in this message but yet I must say it again.
A woman was killed today in Jerusalem, I know the area well. She was a tourist, British. Her killer was an Arab. (Did I really need to add that?)
The comments on social media were quick to come, the attacks on all sorts of people and agencies that really could not have done too much. But there were two points in the articles that sparked this blog.
One was a mention that this killer and many other Arab killers like him were known to have "personal problems", or "mental illness".
Why is this relevant? Why would I care? Does that make the woman any less dead? Why can't the press report something useful like the angle of attack or the style of the attacker, so we can actually learn something useful from the tragic incident?
Another point was the great work of the "First Responders" . What they mean by this are all the cool looking people in uniform who came afterwards. They are swaggering around with guns swinging, and of course the medical teams are picking up the wounded, and the burial society are picking the remains of the dead.
But this is not what I refer to as first responders, and the mental illness of the attacker is not the illness that concerns me.
The first responders should be me and you, us, all of us. Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying that a few Krav Maga lessons will solve the problem. I am not even saying that years of any sort of training will give us a 100% guarantee that we will beat up the attacker, no one can make such a promise. What I am saying is we must do our share to protect ourselves. We must train and learn to be ready when the attack comes. We cannot criticize the UN or the PM because we are too lazy to train. We, you and I, must be the first responders, not the guys or girls who come to pick up our earthly remains. You and I.
So now who is mentally ill? The killers illness is not the issue, our mental illness is the issue. We have been warned. We have had ample warning and ample time to prepare. This is not our first round. And yet, what are we doing? Well, nothing.
When attacks start the phone starts ringing, everyone wants Krav Maga lessons, but soon like the monkeys in the sun we return to our little games and forget to prepare for the future. We are the ones who truly suffer from mental illness as we have proven to be totally incapable of learning from past mistakes.
I am watching my little grand nephew. He is just learning to eat. He makes a mistake, he drops his food but slowly he learns. Failure to learn from mistakes, is, God forbid, a sign that something is wrong. But yet I look at us all while my guitar gently weeps and I see apparently normal people but they are incapable of learning from mistakes. I look at the comments on Facebook and NOT A ONE deals with taking responsibility. Vulgar language criticizing everyone but themselves!
Now of course we want protection from our government, military, police, and I know they are doing their utmost. We have truly amazing soldiers who devote themselves night and day to our well being, but they cannot be everywhere all the time, that responsibility fall on US.
A young woman called me today asking about Krav Maga lessons. She was disturbed by the attack today. First thing I said to her is "You are clearly not mentally ill, come, join us, you are welcome here, among the sane."
Time to take responsibility, time to train.
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