Nir Nachshon, the moving company employee who was extricated from a lynch after mistakenly entering the east Jerusalem village of Issawiya Sunday night, is still trying to digest the harrowing experience.There was a similar event last year when a car with tourists made a wrong turn into that neighborhood.
Speaking to Ynet from his hospital bed he said that "they started throwing rocks and cement blocks right into the car. I realized I was going to die and I started thinking this isn't the way I want to die."
Nachshon, 28, was on his way home to Ma'aleh Adumim from the Mount Scopus Medical Center but a GPS device mistake meant that he ended up in the Palestinian village. He was evacuated to the Ein Kerem Medical Center after sustaining light head injuries.
The realization that he was in hostile territory, he said, came "just as I made the turn, I figured out that I made a mistake, but I didn't realize how big the issue was. This is Jerusalem. This is home."
"Immediately when I made the turn a 12-year-old boy started screaming 'Jew, Jew'. Each time he called out dozens more people arrived." That is when they started throwing rocks and cement blocks into the car.
Nachshon recalled how during the lynch he searched among his assailants for "children or young people, I tried to look them in the eyes and find an ounce of humanity in them but all I could see was murder in their eyes. I felt my life would be over at any minute."
Nir then described how his life was saved: "Someone came out of nowhere and tried to rescue me from the people; there was screaming but he managed to get me to his house. I was still scared, I didn't feel safe, and the people in the house said they needed to get me out of the village or they would also come under attack.
"I was scared to go out but three of the young guys inside the house said they were with me and would protect me no matter what." The rescuers were one of the village's muhtar's and his sons. "I owe these people my life," Nachshon added "I hope I'll get to meet them again soon and thank them in person."
Nachshon's saviors took him outside to a police patrol car waiting outside the village. Meanwhile Border Guard forces were rushed to the scene as well as Magen David Adom units, which took the victim to the hospital. Police forces canvassed the area but no detainees have been reported.
In addition to the physical trauma Nachshon received from being beaten by clubs, rocks and wooden planks, he has to contend with the emotional trauma. "I'm still trying to digest everything that happened, all I know is that this was a miracle, I got my life back and first and foremost, I thank God for the gift."
Interestingly, when there is PR value, the residents of the neighborhood are happy to behave friendly towards leftist Israelis, as this +972 author got happily duped by them when the weekly Sheikh Jarrah protests was moved to Issawiya after the November incident:
It felt like the whole neighborhood (or more correctly, the men and boys) was out in the streets, protesting peacefully, with the children being carefully directed and guided. The Palestinian representative, who spoke on behalf of the neighborhood in both Arabic and Hebrew, shared the grief and angst experienced by the residents and the need for more playgrounds and services for its children. He stressed the desire to be treated like any other tax-paying resident of the city and invited all the Israelis there to feel welcome in the neighborhood and come back to visit.See how much they welcome Israelis to the neighborhood?
In a neighborhood known for its volatility and rock throwing, today was a lesson in genuine civil resistance and partnership between Israelis and Palestinians. However it is a process. Once the protest ended, Israeli border police did in fact enter the neighborhood and fired tear gas grenades, and a few children could be seen throwing rocks. What came first is unclear.It was very clear - just not to a useful idiot who wants so hard to believe that the people he is defending are sweet and innocent.
I'm also not so sure that residents of Issawiya pay their share of taxes. I saw one source that said that where they refused to pay development taxes and chose instead to illegally build their own sewage system.
(h/t Serious Black)