Israel and Palestine: A narrative response

BY DAVID PEYMAN

In last week’s RECORD, Donovan Rinker-Morris ignorantly reinforces the stereotype that Jews living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip “intimidate and beat people.” Morris also equates Jews in the West Bank with White settlers who occupied Native American land. Perhaps after reading-up on his history, Rinker-Morris will realize that Jews lived in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza since at least the second century C.E., , before they were massacred and expelled by Palestinians in the pogroms of the 1840s, the Arab massacre of the Jewish community of Hebron in 1929, the Arab revolt of 1936-39, the Jewish massacres during the Holocaust (under the direction of the Palestinian leader and Hitler collaborator Haj Amin Al-Husseini), and the expulsion and extermination of the Jews from the West Bank and Gaza by invading Arab armies in 1948-1949.

If children returning to the homes of parents who were massacred and expelled are “settlers,” then that term should be glorified. As to Rinker-Morris’ contention that “settlers” intimidate and beat, perhaps this narrative by “settler” Moshe Saperstein will illuminate the reality of who the real murderers are and what the “settlers” deal with on a daily basis:

I had been hearing reports of attacks around the country. I had planned to drive to Ashkelon to do some shopping the following day, but the reports, combined with a bad case of cabin fever, put me on my high horse. I started declaiming on the “Zionist imperative” of getting in the car and going for a ride. Thus do the stupid get into trouble.

I got into the car, lit a cigar, turned the music up, and set off. My headlights picked up a car that seemed to have stopped at the side of the road. I thought this unusual, as no one stops on this road unless they are forced to. I slowed up as I approached the vehicle, intending to help.

Just as I drew abreast of it, I was hit by a burst from an AK-47. The shooter must have been hiding in dark on the other side of the road. Two bullets hit me in the hand and one in the leg.

My car rolled for a few yards and stopped. I looked at what remained of my hand. My palm had been blown away.

Unbeknownst to me, an army jeep with an officer and a driver was a few hundred yards behind. They raced to the scene, pulled up behind me and came out of their vehicle. They ran towards me. One of them said, “We’ll protect you.” There was a burst of gunfire and they both fell alongside my car. The shooter then appeared from the darkness.

He was wearing a Palestinian Police uniform. He walked up to the two soldiers laying on the ground. He paused to look at me. We stared at each other. He turned from me and proceeded to shoot each of the downed soldiers in the head.

He turned back to me. He was standing in front of my car, caught in my headlights. He held a hand grenade in one hand and his AK-47 in the other. With an elegance and nonchalance that would do credit to Saladin and his other forbearers, he flipped the hand grenade at me. It hit the roof of the car directly above my head, made a dull noise and rolled off the back of the car without exploding. He raised the AK-47 and aimed at me. Filled with fury and frustration, I pressed my good foot on the gas pedal. The car shot forward at him.

He was surprised but agile, and was able to move fast enough so that I did not get him dead center. I had merely given him a glancing blow, which knocked him off balance. He bounced off the guard rail, picked himself up and calmly walked to the side of the car. I suspect that I had succeeded in really pissing him off because what he should have done was to go back into the darkness and wait for his next victim. Instead, he stood in the roadway, exposed, determined to finish me off. He raised the AK-47 again.

He was apparently so intent on me that he hadn’t heard other jeeps driving up. A soldier had opened fire and wounded him. Another grenade he was carrying exploded on him, finishing him off. The soldier who wounded him was injured by the explosion. I am amazed that I, who was even closer than the soldier had been, received no further injury.

Four soldiers, in full battle dress, crouched near my car to protect me. Except for the excruciating pain in my leg, all I felt was embarrassment that these children were putting themselves on the line for me.

It wasn’t until a day or two later than I learned that the car at the side of the road contained the body of a beautiful 30-year-old mother of two.

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