January 8, 2017, Maaleh Adumim, Israel
A people persecuted from time immemorial.
Today another terrible attack and terrible results. An Arab drives his work truck into a group of soldiers, kills 4 (so far. May all the victims recover speedily from their injuries, several are still fighting for their lives). Many are hurt in the attack.
The attack itself was tragic but there is a great deal more.
I watched the TV experts and military analysts analyze this situation. Over and over again I heard the same refrain, "There is no solution, this is something we have to learn to live with."
Various options were discussed, and dismissed as ineffective. The home of the terrorist was destroyed. As in the past this has not proven to be any sort of deterrent. The town where the terrorist lived was surrounded by the military. Again, this will only last a few days and has absolutely no effect. Some call for collective punishment but this will not happen. In brief, no one has any solution but to keep doing what we are already doing and understand that there will always be terrorism.
Of course I find this unacceptable.
There is more to this story. The event was partially covered on video. What I saw was tragic and unacceptable. There were about 300 soldiers there, granted they were not combat troops but still, they are Israeli soldiers. More than that, before being soldiers they are Jews and Israelis. We should know better. This is the people that survived 2,000 years of persecution including Auschwitz. We should know better.
Four people were killed and at least fifteen wounded when a terrorist drove a truck into a group of soldiers at the Haas Promenade in the Armon HaNatziv neighborhood of south Jerusalem.
There were hundreds of soldiers in the area when the attack occurred, about to take part in an educational program about Jerusalem as part of their training. The promenade overlooks the historic City of David. Surveillance footage showed many of the soldiers running away from the scene after the attack began. (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/222944)
So who did open fire? The tour guide.
Tour Guide Ethan Rond, who shot and killed the terrorist who carried out the ramming attack, told Army Radio that he was shocked that none of the soldiers reacted by shooting the terrorist.
"I do not know why 40 soldiers did not open fire. I have no doubt that if they had opened fire immediately, we would have had fewer injuries." Rond said.
"Of particular note is the fact that a citizen, a tour guide, was the first to shoot the terrorist to prevent the attack from continuing. He joins a growing list of civilians who have stopped terror attacks during this terror wave. I will continue to push and encourage law-abiding citizens to carry arms and to back those who do so according to the law. "“In a fraction of a second during which I was speaking with one of the officers, I saw the truck plowing into us. After a few rolls on the grass I saw the truck start to reverse and then I already understood that this was not an accident. I felt that my pistol was still on me, so I ran up to him and started emptying my clip. He went in reverse and again drove over the injured,” the guide, Eitan Rund, said.
Eitan said, "I ran toward him and emptied my whole clip. He drove backward and onto the wounded again. I saw them quiet, some wounded and some scared. It wasn't a good scene."
“I have to ask why it took a 30-year-old civilian to fire first,” he said, “when there were well-armed officers” present.
He claimed that the soldiers who were on the scene were hesitant to
shoot at the truck that slammed into the group of people. The fact that
Elor Azaria was convicted of manslaughter for shooting a wounded
terrorist was the reason for this hesitation, according to Eitan.
"There was hesitation to open fire. I have no doubt that this was a significant factor, because all they tell them recently is to be careful. It could be that a few minutes less of hesitation and the situation would have been better," he added.
Two of the 300 soldiers present did do as every Israeli solider is trained to do. They charged forward and shot the terrorist as well. He died of his wounds.
Another tour guide, Leah Schreiber heard shots and realized something was going on.
"The whole thing took maybe a minute and a half,” Schreiber said.
According to the Ben Zvi Institute, which led the trip for the army, the soldiers were cadets from the IDF’s officer’s training course, but from non-combat units. Now the incident will be reviewed and it will decided if some of those officer candidates should be dropped from the course. Collectively the behavior was shocking and inappropriate for any soldier.
I do not ever accept the "no solution" argument. I feel that something is very bad here, something is rotten to the core. We have become too complacent.
Yes, I was not raised this way but the new generation wants a "normal" life free of fear. Well that is simply not our reality. I grew up being suspicious of every match box or cigarette box on the floor, never touch anything as it could be a bomb. Yes, vigilant always. So what happened to the Club Med generation? Looking for an easy life? not in your life. Not for us.
We have become too "Normal" and we cannot.
Now how does Krav Maga figure in here? As one of my students asked tonight, how can Krav Maga help against a truck?
Good question. But here is the answer. For us Krav Maga is not just physical. Unlike the international commercial Krav Maga associations we do not promote the perfect female body and the body builder man. We do not sell "boot camps" and the Tough Guy Bad Ass image. No.
Krav Maga, more than anything else, is awareness and preparedness. It is being the Nachshon who jumped into the Red Sea and caused it to part. It is caring for others. It is living with reality. A Krav Maga student should have his eyes open at all times, there no "time off", ever. Krav Maga teaches you to be aware and prepared. To realize at once what is going on and not to run away in fear. Krav Maga teaches you to accept reality and live it. Krav Maga means running towards the action, not away.
Those soldiers were too complacent. They had rifles and uniforms but most of them were not warriors and will have a lot to answer for. We cannot teach you to stop a truck with your empty hands but we can teach you awareness, responsibility, appropriate action, and attitude.
I am proud to share some words from my friend, Zionist colleague, and IDF commanding officer, Svietka Rivilis
"The problem is Moshe that we are becoming lax. When soldiers are in the city, wearing uniforms and guns, they somehow think they are on a boy scout outing. A well trained soldier, like a well trained police officer IS NEVER OFF DUTY...especially when in uniform. Chaos is what I saw. And it is understandable. BUT, there were a lot of officers and soldiers present....it is an unacceptable situation to me that NONE of them acted, that they ALL panicked. Yes, I am judging. Yes, I expect at least few of them to get their barrings and do what the CIVILIAN tour guide did--he is obviously doing his miluim (Reserves) on regular bases."
IN a NUTSHELL what I am saying is this: Our reality is such that you can never relax, never. Yes, you constantly need to be on the look out. Just like we all have it "ingrained" into our psyche not to touch forgotten luggage or "suspicious" packages. Just like you know you all sweep the bus with a concerning eye, or check out the passengers in line to any flight in the world or look over your shoulder while shopping in Rami Levi supermarket... You are in uniform. You are armed. You are not a tourist -You can not be lax or relaxed. Yes it sucks. Yes we can't rest. Yes I would like it to be like Switzerland. BUT it is NOT and it will never be. Be vigilant. Be on the lookout and get armed.
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