This morning I made the short trek to Efrat from Tekoa having some business regarding my drivers license eye exam to take care of. I love exploring yishuvim and areas I’m unfamiliar with. I love when I learn where I’m going in Israel. It’s a huge achievement for any new immigrant. So, I gladly pat myself on the back.
What we all don’t love right now is the third intifada we’re facing where stabbing, shooting and car ramming attacks are happening all over the country.
On my way from the health clinic walking safely to the Trempiyada (where people hitch rides) was windy and sunny. The more I walked, the more open and naked I felt to an attack. I know what my friends in Efrat would say; “you’re fine, don’t worry.” But was I? Are we? And why was there not one soldier guarding that area so our citizens can safely get picked up G-d forbid a forced kidnapping were to happen in broad daylight by terrorists.
I stood in the brutal wind watching car after car go by. Kind fellow Israelis letting me know through hand gestures they were leaving the Gush and couldn’t afford me a ride. And then it happened; Many Palestinian license plates revealed themselves. It wasn’t just one here and there. It was one after another. I was alone at this area where people hitch. Without cause or second guessing myself, I quickly pulled out my pepper spray, tightly in my hand ready for anything. Still, the feeling of complete isolation overwhelmed me. Everyone in Israel knows someone directly involved in a terrorist attack. It could be any of us at any time morning, noon or night.
Yes, a black SVU with the other area license plate drove by, slowed down and proceeded to open the car. Calmly, I allowed them to see what was in my hands ready to spray directly in their faces had the individual tried to harm me. I was and am prepared. I hope everyone who carries it makes sure it’s in their hands at all times while we’re out conducting business. I know what you’re all thinking; what if they come up behind you, Estee? Well, I would be fresh out of luck, but at least knowing what’s in front of me leaves me with some sort of defense.
Before I made aliyah to Israel, I owned a plethora of firearms. I learned to shoot correctly through the National Rifle Association. It is the biggest self esteem booster for a woman to learn how to shoot a gun. It’s an even bigger boost to know having a husband who fully trusted me with a firearm and a small child while he was at work knowing he felt I could protect us in the event of a crime is the greatest gift a husband can give a wife. But now? Downgraded to pepper spray until the three year mark of living in Israel is over, and I can apply for a permit. One per home in Israel. For now, it’s one can of pepper spray for the three of us. Something is better than nothing. My hope and dream is for our government to issue more gun permits and put their trust in us to use our common sense in defending the lives of our family and loved ones.
Do you think the men in Palestinian license plated cars don’t stare at Jews waiting for rides? Combine bloodthirsty with rage and sprinkle knives on top of it and it becomes an opportunity to never miss an opportunity to choose between terror and feeding their family. When they choose terror and our security neutralizes them, their widows and children can expect a bulldozed house that leaves them homeless and going hungry. If anything, the family that terrorists leave behind should blame the stupidity, arrogance and selfishness on the husband/father who causes this to happen to his own family. A man or teenage boy who chooses to destroy the lives of a Jewish family It’s time their demand for privilege and world sympathy come to complete halt. You only have yourselves to blame for choosing this way of life. They attempt to destroy a Jewish family’s existence. They stab their own people for looking Jewish and destroy any ounce of trust that could come with a peace deal. In my humble opinion, any deal will never see the light of day.
Only until they are sick and tired of being sick and tired will they begin the hard road to recovery. I hope that road that won’t be laden with relapse. And we pray that Hashem fixes their minds for the better. Whether it is in my lifetime or my child’s future is the question. In the meantime, I see no future of Palestinians ever choosing to accept the existence of a Jewish state that is here to stay.
I can guarantee one thing is for sure; you terrorists won’t be ruining our Hanukkah any time soon. We will light the candles, sing, eat and rejoice that the G-d almighty is with us every step of the way.
For now, I remain downgraded to pepper spray.
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