Rights vs Practicality

June 10, 2024, Israel


I often take unpopular stands on issues. Even as a child I embarrassed my family when I was referred to as "the individual". I have learned to be respectful of others, and polite, but if it matters, I will not hide my point of view. There is value in speaking the truth. 

Today is a day of celebration in Israel, which is rare. Four hostages taken by Hamas on October 7, 2023, have finally been rescued by Israeli military action. These four hostages were violently taken during a so-called music festival, but actually it was a drug party held very hear the Hamas controlled terror ties. I do not believe it was a good idea to hold such a party at such a location. Now we never blame a victim for being a victim, but we should try to learn from each and every case. 

As a Krav Maga instructor I study violence. I want to see how people succeeded and how they failed. We can learn from all cases. When I hear of an attack, I immediately seek video footage, eyewitness reports, anything I can learn from. If I hear of a successful defense, I want to hear how it happened, is there anything I can learn from the case. And of course, as I have been taught, the best defense is to avoid trouble in the first place. As Mr. Miyagi wisely says, "Best Defense not be there". Avoid the trouble in the first place. 

So what happened here. Thousands of young people decided to have a big party, a "rave". This was not a music festival. It was a trance electronic "music" gathering, which a large Budda statue and there were stations set up for people who would experience a bad "trip". i.e. the organizers knew there would be overdoses and drug abuse. It was not as if a few people snuck in some drugs, this was the nature of the party: drugs, drinking and all-night dancing. And all this within gunshot of Gaza. So let us think about this, a bunch of Israelis and foreign tourists partying out of control just a couple of kilometers from the Hamas terrorists, a group hell bent on killing Jews and destroying Israel. There were parhaps 20 lightly armed police to protect these thousands of partygoers. If you ask me, it was a recipe for disaster, and we must learn from this. Best defense - not be there. Every child who watched the Karate Kid knows this. 

Sometimes the truth is painful. Often the truth creates awkward situations. I wrote this and someone wrote - you are victim shaming. I wrote back, I don't care. My goal is not your feelings, my goal as a self-defense instructor is to Protect you!!! even when you don't want to be protected. A parent, a teacher, is not your friend, he is your guide!!

Our goal as self-defense instructors is to uncover the facts, the true facts without hiding the uncomfortable parts. We do not define reality, we discover it. The reality as it is, not as we want it to be. Our techniques and training must follow this reality, rather than paint reality in a way that justify our pre existing techniques. This requires constant evaluation, constant change. constant honesty.

The same individual who accused me of victim shaming, added, "a person has the right to walk, or party, anywhere they want to". My response, yes, you have that right, but you have to ask yourself, is it practical? This person was from Amsterdam. I pointed out to her that I was just in the Netherlands, but I was advised to avoid Amsterdam at this point, "You look too Jewish, Arabs are everywhere, it is dangerous". One can demand their rights; or chose their path carefully. Do you want to insist on your rights or stay safe? Are you going to be like the old song, we will fight, for our right, to party! If so, prepare to fight, but remember; these guys are serious. They are not partying, they are training, they are training hard! Understand whom you are up against before it is too late. While you are working on your dance moves, they are working on their shooting. And you are their target practice. 

Victim shaming? No, it is not victim shaming, it is victim educating, and us learning from the unfortunate experience of others. When I was growing up this was just simple common sense. I made a mistake, my father pointed it out to me, and I learned a lesson. Point taken, it will not happen again. There was no molly cuddling. You screwed up, it will cost you, now learn the lesson and stop whining. Don't justify your behavior, just admit you made a mistake, pay for it and move on. 


Moshe Katz, 7th dan Black Belt, Israeli Krav Maga. Certified by Wingate Institute. Member Black Belt hall of fame, USA and Europe.

Understand the Israeli Fighting Mentality - Israel a Nation of Warriors by Moshe Katz


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