Monday, June 14, 2010
A simple thank you note would have sufficed
It seems that ever time the Israeli government removes check-points, or in any way makes an effort to ease the conditions of the Palestinians, the thank you we get in return is terror.
In recent months, under intense pressure from the U.S., the Israeli government has ordered the Ministry of Defense to dismantle all but a dozen check points in the entire 'West Bank' (Judea & Samaria).
Since my daily commute takes me through the heart of the affected area, I have seen more and more of the previously closed roads become open to arab traffic... with a rather large check-point removed just a few kilometers south of Hebron (the Dahariya crossing).
And without exception, with each wave of road-block removals, there has been a corresponding wave of terror attacks.
This morning, three policemen driving on Route 60 just south of Hebron were shot from ambush, with two of them having to be airlifted in serious condition with chest wounds to a hospital in Jerusalem, and the third in light condition with a wound to the arm was taken by ambulance to Beer Sheva for treatment.
[Update: It is now being reported that four policemen were wounded and one succumbed to his wounds. May his family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, and may his blood be avenged]
This happened less than 45 minutes after I had passed the very spot where the attack occurred. And the terrorists are assumed to have escaped (do I even need to tell you?) via the road where the Daharya check-point used to be.
[Update: Do any of you remember last year I posted pictures of an improvised Nazi flagthat had been hung from an electrical wire along my commute? Well, looking at the photo below from YNET News, I realize that this morning's attack took place roughly where I stood to take those pictures].
Photo: © Noam Moskowitz / YNet
Last night a Jewish resident of a town in Samaria was driving near his home when he saw what he thought was a police car's blue light signaling for him to pull over. The driver, who was physically handicapped, was dragged from his vehicle by Arabs, beaten, and left laying in the road while the assailants drove off in his car. This attack also took place just a short distance from a check-point that had just been removed.
And just two days before that, An Arab drove his car into two Border Patrol (Mishmar HaGvul) soldiers in East Jerusalem, and then tried to flee on foot. He was shot and killed by one of the soldiers after he failed to heed warning shots.
All these attacks, plus countless other smaller attacks using stones and molotov cocktails, have taken place in the short period since Israel began doing something that directly benefits the Palestinian population. And not a word of protest or denunciation is heard from the so-called 'moderate Palestinians... only celebration.
It has been several years since I stopped wearing a bullet proof vest on my daily commute (although I've continued to carry a pistol). I guess as hot and uncomfortable as it was (not to mention hell on my back), I'm going to have to go back to the vest.
Not driving on our roads is not an option.
I know it sounds trite, but if we stop driving on roads that we built, light and and maintain, we hand a victory to the terrorists and all who support them. One day the territory through which the road passes may change hands through diplomacy... but that day hasn't come, so as far as I'm concerned, I'm as free to drive on it as the Arabs.
Simply put, if we can't go there... it's not ours.
May the wounded policemen be granted a full and speedy recovery.
Posted by David Bogner on June 14, 2010 | Permalink
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mr. treppenwitz, i enjoy your blog very much and hope to continue reading it for many more years. might i respectfully suggest that your adorable little customized vespa might not be the best mode of transport for you on these roads, as the americans like to say, "at this time"?
Posted by: jonathan becker | Jun 14, 2010 1:18:26 PM
jonathan becker... Okay, Jonathan, I'll bite. What kind of conveyance would be appropriate?
Posted by: treppenwitz | Jun 14, 2010 1:23:22 PM
Might you consider editing this into a letter to, say, the NY Times? This would make an extremely valuable op-ed. (Yeah, I know, I'm probably dreaming. But it's worth a try, no?)
Posted by: Alisha | Jun 14, 2010 1:32:10 PM
hmm, wasn't expecting such a prompt reply, and hadn't thought of an alternative. i guess i was just thinking of a car with regular migun, at least. but now that i think about it... how about a volkswagen with army-age "hilltop youth" hanging out the windows, peyos flying, waving m16's and hollering tehillim at the top of their lungs? :)
Posted by: jonathan becker | Jun 14, 2010 1:33:21 PM
i meant the "beatle", btw, not a stam volks. it's the only volkswagon i'd consider, the hippie conontations override the nazi ones imo.
Posted by: jonathan becker | Jun 14, 2010 1:35:31 PM
Alisha... The New York times reading crowd considers the presense of Jewish policemen in the west bank to be a provocation justifying any and all violence. I'm not about to try to tell them otherwise.
jonathan becker... You'll forgive me if I find your description of a bunch of "army-age "hilltop youth" hanging out the windows, peyos flying, waving m16's... " to be just a tad too close to the way all settlers are portrayed in Haaretz. I don't enjoy perpetruating that flawed and deliberately biased image... even in jest.
Posted by: treppenwitz | Jun 14, 2010 1:48:42 PM
Thanks for posting this. This stuff never gets reported *at all* in America. How terrible for their families.
Posted by: Bryan | Jun 14, 2010 1:58:49 PM
well, there i go again, testing the limits of humor. it was meant to be a joke about the negative stereotyping you described, which i also object to. perhaps, in the context of the attack on the police here, humor is inappropriate b'chlal. sorry for any offense my natural defense mechanisms may have caused.
Posted by: jonathan becker | Jun 14, 2010 2:00:53 PM
Bryan... No prob. It's what I do.
jonathan becker... Don't worry about it. We're fine. I'm just a little on edge just now. I still have to ride home today. And my bulletprof vest is at home.
Posted by: treppenwitz | Jun 14, 2010 2:03:24 PM
keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the...handlebars.
Posted by: jonathan becker | Jun 14, 2010 2:08:34 PM
Years ago, before making aliyah, our family was in a hired van heading for the airport from a kibbutz near Beit She'an. The driver took us through the Jordan Valley. While stopped in traffic for a security check (mirrors underneath the cars, random questioning, etc), we got into a discussion with the driver about why he had taken us this route. Some of the family were not too happy that he had not gone around to the west and driven through "Israel proper." He essentially gave the same argument - no one was going to force him off Israeli built roads, and as soon as he gave in and went completely out of his way to drive on the other side of the line, then the terrorists win. I thought that was awesomely chutzpadik, since he never consulted the paying customers as to what our preference was.
Of course, now I know "awesomely chutzpadik" is essentially the Israeli way of life. Hope the vest doesn't weigh you down too much. Stay safe.
Posted by: Alissa | Jun 14, 2010 2:15:55 PM
ברוך דיען האמת. Baruch dayan haemet. Sadly, one of the policemen -- Yehushuah "Shuki" Sofer ע"ה/A"H -- has died due to the severity of his wounds.
Posted by: zahava | Jun 14, 2010 2:48:40 PM
Hopefully, we won't hear about the next wave taking place on 443.
Maybe the supreme court should be located on the side of these roads.
My heart goes out to the police officers and their families.
Posted by: Yossi | Jun 14, 2010 4:01:12 PM
Sickening the way the government, which was put into office to correct the appeasement policies of Kadima, is following the same disastrous route. Those checkpoints should be reinstated immediately, whether Obama likes it or not.
Posted by: Marsha | Jun 14, 2010 5:51:06 PM
Some folks are distressingly hopeless!
Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Jun 14, 2010 11:20:35 PM
I would probably object if you suggested the NY Times editorial staff was completely homogeneous in its outlook, but speaking as a NY Times reader, I will definitely object when you suggest the readers are all of one mind about Israel and the West Bank. Didn't you used to read it yourself in a former life?
Posted by: LARRY | Jun 15, 2010 12:19:34 AM
It is frustrating that we don't hear about this in the US. This is one reason why your blog is so valuable to a lot of us.
Posted by: Kimber | Jun 15, 2010 10:51:06 AM
in the vein of jonathan becker, Trep, I'll suggest this transport for the nonce: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlTQ5uA9Iy8&mode=related&search=
Posted by: Wry Mouth | Jun 16, 2010 9:08:54 AM
My heart is heavy for Israel; she has a right to defend herself. I am angry at the current President of the USA who in my opinion jeopardizes Israel's safety by his behavior. Rest assured this small political minority does not express the will of a majority of Americans.
Posted by: Susan | Jun 22, 2010 8:17:34 AM