Terror on Jaffa Road

Crazy. Two blocks from my house a terrorist took a bulldozer from a construction site and went nuts, crushing cars, knocking over buses and killing three people. Luckily he didn’t get far before he was killed.

In this dramatic video, you can actually see an off duty soldier take out the terrorist driving the bulldozer.

You can go to all the usual places for details – Jerusalem Post has good coverage. The point is, for those of you worried, all the residents of Beit Jewlicious are fine. Thanks to Sasha Perry for the pic…

There’s more video footage on Haaretz. It’s really disturbing too. I feel awful for the people that died, but I also feel bad for the guy that shot the terrorist and, call me stupid, but I also feel bad for the terrorist and his kids. How awful to be so full of hate…

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Glad to hear you are A-OK ck. what a crazy deal, i guess it beats the old days of suicide bombers.

  • And he didn’t even lose his sense of humour…

    Düsseldorf maybe odd, but it’s safer, y’know.

  • Why didn’t more Israeli citizens attack the bulldozer?

    I thought you all walked around with Uzis?

    When did that change in your society?

    Every citizen a soldier should be your motto, regardless of whether one is in the IDF or not. Every Israeli should own at least one Uzi and keep it on hand for when situations like this develop. If not an Uzi at least a handgun that you keep strapped to your leg.

  • The HERO who shot the terrorist should now fake his own death and come to the US to make silky smooth…he’s served his country enough…the fighting …when will it end?

  • The guy who shot the terrorist I only feel sorry for him to the extent that now his face is being shown all over the world and he could be a target.

    As for him killing the scumbag, I though that is bothering him at all. I know that wouldn’t bother me.

    As for the terrorist and his family, no I don’t feel bad for them one bit. And for calling you stupid, well more specifically you are a self-hating Jew for having any sympathy for people who would dance in the streets if you, your friends, and your family were ever killed.

  • Sorry I made a typo. I doubt that is bothering him at all that he took the terrorist out except to the extent that he is now a target.

    And as for sympathy for the devil, it is really not healthy to do that. It is either you or them. In the end that’s what it comes to, you or them.

    Your choice.

  • Craig, I think there’s a quote from the Talmud regarding what you said: “All who are made to be compassionate in the place of the cruel
    In the end are made to be cruel in the place of the compassionate.” (Kohelet Raba 7:16)

  • Joshua, you mangled the quote a bit:

    “Those who are kind to the cruel, in the end are cruel to the kind.”

    That is exactly what Israel’s peaceniks have caused by fawning over terrorists and giving them concessions.

    CK – why should you feel bad for the terrorist? He lived in Jerusalem, and enjoyed the relative freedom and opportunity that come with Israeli citizenship. He could have done well for himself. Instead he chose violence.

    Look closely at those film clips – there was a policeman in the cab of the bulldozer who DID NOT — USE HIS GUN – because the police have been pussy-whipped by the left-wing court system, and are afraid to take out a terrorist using necessary force. Talk about learned helplessness.

    We saw the same pattern in the Merkaz Harav sniper incident. It took a civilian to do what had to be done. Pathetic.

  • It makes a change a bulldozer in the hands of a Palestinian not the Israelis..
    Maybe we should ban bulldozers.

  • I watched the local NBC affiliate nightly news in Boston yesterday and they showed footage taken from Spanish TV. The segment was so slanted towards the Palestinians’ favor in showing how the evil Israeli officer aggressively tried to stop the Palestinian terrorist (who just so happened to be innocently trying to plow people and buses down). Honestly, I’m not quite sure how they managed to make a terrorist look sympathetic, but kudos to them for turning what is a vicious and intolerable act into a humanitarian mission to rid the world of the state of Israel. What would we do without the likes of CNN & The NY Times?

  • The BBC’s first headline was “Israel bulldozer driver shot dead” and the caption that shows on their video footage says “Jerusalem bulldozer driver shot dead by security”

    – see, he’s just an innocent bulldozer driver.

    Original AP headline:
    Driver rams vehicle into Jerusalem bus, killing 3

    … as if it were a traffic accident.

    This incident took place right in front of the building that is headquarters for CNN and other major media companies. There is no excuse for them getting it wrong.

  • some of the media outlets are actually doing something important by 1) grieving this horrible loss and 2) not immediately jumping to label this a “terrorist act” when the evidence isn’t there yet.

    walking around jerusalem that day and talking into the night with people, tons of folks i was talking to were saying, “this wasn’t planned…the guy snapped…he went crazy,” and “this is different than in the past, it’s not so clear cut.” the immediate jump to using the term should be questioned.

    and now the israeli government wants to demolish his home, punishing his whole family by clearing their home and taking away any social benefits they might receive, holding the whole family responsible for his actions. i’m sorry, but that’s just wrong. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/998404.html

  • What’s “wrong” is this guy trying to take out a whole city block and systematically obliterate innocent lives. Taking no action on this behavior (whether an act of insanity or not-and you can argue all of this conflict stuff is pure madness anyways) is like wearing a sign that says, “We condone this type of behavior.” It’s naive and ignorant and a luxury that media outlets might have but Israel sure as heck doesn’t.

  • I understand where you’re coming from Cole, and I sympathize, but you can’t really ignore the context I suppose. Was this just a Columbine style attempt at mass murder? Perhaps. But what makes it an act of terror was the unavoidable political context. Given the neighborhood, it was inevitable that most of the victims would be Jewish… also he reportedly screamed “Allah hu Akbar” prior to getting shot. Also he didn’t just ram the bus, he distinctly operated the bulldozer to flip the bus over and he backed up into a car to crush it – that shows a lethal singularity of purpose – he wanted to kill. Again, I think this is a tragedy and while there are calls for retribution against his family, I trust that cooler heads will prevail and a suitable decision will be made that will take into account actual culpability and effectiveness.

  • “I trust that cooler heads will prevail and a suitable decision will be made that will take into account actual culpability and effectiveness.” …i hope you’re right ck…b/c while beth and everyone agrees it was wrong, punishing his whole family, or his whole community, for his actions is also wrong…and i hope more people do see that.

    glad you are ok and my condolences to those in mourning…

  • I dunno about those cooler heads. this is the headline on ha’aretz:

    Barak orders demolition of Jerusalem, yeshiva terrorists’ homes
    Mazuz: Demolition of terrorists’ homes permissable by law

  • Oh Geez Louise…
    We don’t do “extermination” around here. All indications are that the family of this terrorist had nothing to do with the attack. I know in the aftermath of such a horrible act, people clamor for some kind of retribution. Victimizing the innocent appeals to people’s anger but does nothing to make the streets of Jerusalem any safer and does nothing to advance the cause of justice. I’d like to think we’re better than that.

  • I’m not sure you’re right that this form of retribution doesn’t make Jerusalem safer. Won’t the next murderer of Jews because they are Jews think twice before going on his murderous rampage? After all, unless Hamas or Fatah are going to agree to pay for his family’s home and then some, as they often do in the territories, the murdering terrorist has to consider the impact on his actions on his family and not just upon Jews. This can be viewed as more than “retribution,” this can be viewed as a preventive measure.

    The question here is one of fairness but fairness cuts both ways. A society’s right to live in peace and take steps to protect its citizens isn’t any less of a right than that of a family to be sheltered from the destructive, murderous actions of its son.

  • Well, OK Middle, but there’s no limiting principle here. Why stop at destroying the perp’s family home? Why not kill all of his living relatives (as the Chinese imperial regime used to do to dissenters)? Wouldn’t that make he or she think twice?

    Israel’s approach may well increase, not lessen, violence. You may have read this week’s NY Times report on female suicide bombers in Iraq– a striking number have in common a close male relative among the insurgents who was either killed or imprisoned by the US.

    The Olmert government’s reaction reflects its desperate need to cater to public opinion whenever it can, regardless of the cost to legality.

  • Arab society is clan-based.

    Many young terrorists are recruited with the promise that their death will bring financial support to their families – a promise that Hamas and Hizbullah make big efforts to keep, and publicize.

    So certainty that a terror attack will result in the deportation/impoverishment of surviving family would be a very strong deterrent.

  • Muffti thinks that Morrissey’s question still stands. If we accept that we are allowed to exact measures on the non-agent of the crime for the sake of deterrence, why stop at bulldozing etc when there are surely deterrents that are even more effective? We know that it violates all sorts of principles of due process and the like that democracies and their citizens tend to hold dear so lets not kid ourselves into thinking that this policy is anyhting other than a means to an end. Maybe in the end this is what needs to be done – c’est la guerre – but you have a responsibility to exhaust other options. Have they been exhausted? for example: (1) If the family is invovled in the bombing, they can be charged with conspiracy/aiding and abetting. And so you can investigate potential aiders and abetters and exact legal measures against them if guilty. (2) You can make it a crime to benefit from Hamas or Hizbullah for you sons actions — in which case if payment is received and unclaimed you can exact legal revenge in the form of taxing it back.

  • Sure, muffti – go ahead and dot the i’s. But please stop making this sound like it’s an extreme reaction, because it isn’t.

    WRT house demolitions – either the terrorist is (was!) the legal owner, or the underage ward of the legal owner. In either case existing law allows the property to be confiscated to cover actual or punitive damages.

    So can we please stop hyperventilating about some nonexistent slippery slope into lynch-mob vengefulness?

    (and I don’t recall the same solicitious desire to limit the scope of responsibility when it came to tarring all settlers with the crimes of a few… then people were willing to clear out entire villages for the misdemeanors of a few teenage hotheads.)

    What’s the limit for such “collateral” punitive measures? It depends on the scope of the terror action – that is, if the bulldozer shahid really did just spontaneously snap, then it ends with his property/family.

    If an attack is planned and coordinated by a local or regional Hamas cell, then they are all subject to retaliatory/punitive measures.

    The Geneva Conventions allow expulsion of entire civilian populations when they are intractably hostile to a defensive occupier (that is, one occupying an area for self-defense after attack).

    This has applied to all of Gaza (and probably some hot-spots in Judea and Samaria) for over a year now, if not more.

    So: none of this is beyond the pale, extreme, or fascist. Could the PC lily-whites calm down?

  • Here’s an interesting article and history lesson from somebody who agrees with Tom and Muffti.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    … basically a leftie trying to relive the “glory days” of Oslo. The decision he so approvingly quotes – along with other policy shifts of that time – scuttled credible Israeli deterrence and invited subsequent attack.

    But at least the article is useful as a confirmation of what I said – on his way to his pet idea, the author acknowledges that international law sanctions these actions, and more severe ones (and so do many Labor politicians – including the defense minister).

    But like most peaceniks, he doesn’t think the normal rights of self-defense and deterrence apply to Israel.

    Back in the “REAL 1st Intifada” – in the 1930s – the Palis bombed British railroad lines. So the Brits made local imams ride in the cow-catcher of every train. They also imposed other collective punishments. Nobody said boo.

  • Shouldn’t it make a difference where the terrorist act occurred, and the legal status of the perpetrator? Ben-David, this creep was from E. Jerusalem, no? –which, as I understand it, Israel views as an integral part of its territory. Further, he was a legal resident, with proper ID, and had even married a Jewish Israeli.

    It’s one thing to take draconian measures on/against hostile foreign turf, like Gaza, against non-citizens/non-Israeli residents. It’s another to do so on one’s sovereign territory. Look at the Bush Administration’s treatment of Moussaoui, a French citizen accused of plotting 9/11 terror on US territory. He got a trial in federal court with the full panoply of constitutional and other protections.

    At some point, due process kicks in and we can’t treat terrorists as ‘enemy combatants’ who get held without being charged, or tossed in Gitmo or the equivalent, etc. If the Mexican dude who cleans my building goes postal and sprays the local federal building with gunfire, the government doesn’t get to tear down his house the next morning.

    Israel has an interest in observing norms of due process/equal protection with respect to crimes committed in Israel by lawful residents of the country.

    Further, what’s the evidence that house destruction deters?

  • Ben-David — the decision to stop punitive demolitions had nothing to do with Oslo, the IDF committee cited made its recommendation in 2005. If the army concluded just three years ago home demolition was both not an effective deterrent, and possibly even counterproductive, what evidence can you cite it was “credible deterrence?” and since suicide attacks have decreased in the last three years, how can you claim the decision “invited subsequent attack?”

    From the article:

    “The recommendation in effect put an end to what had previously been common policy, after that policy was shown to be counterproductive. In its conclusions, the committee said that nowhere was it demonstrated that home demolition put an end to terrorist activity or even substantially curbed it; the move perhaps even increased it. Thus, the deterrent effect was found to have failed. “

  • Morrisey –

    1) The queasiness about house demolitions and other collateral punitive measures seems to stem from moral considerations. It’s kinda funny to then hear a rather technical distinction between citizens and others.

    2) Terrorism – and in particular Pali terrorism – has blurred the distinction between combatants and civilians. Including focusing very hard on recruiting Arabs with Israeli citizenship, who can more easily move about Israel.

    Due process is a somewhat lame slogan when faced with this reality – an enemy who purposely mixes up civilians and combatants. Taking the “high road” can be suicidal.

    You are also forgetting that Israel has no constitution – officially we are still operating under 1948 “emergency wartime law” that allows even the rights of Jewish Israelis to be summarily suspended by those in power. I’m not saying that’s what should be, but that’s what is.

    And with regard to the allegiance of Israeli Arabs, we really are still fighting the War of Independence. The intifadas have renewed separatist feelings. The fact is that even being married to an Israeli Jewess didn’t stop this guy from attacking his fellow Israelis – and shouting AllahuAkbar while doing so.

    Even words like “fifth column” and “treason” ring hollow in this context, because they presuppose a shared history and previous national allegiance that has never had time to take hold among most Israeli Arabs.

    So treating an Israeli Arab who has already carried out an attack as an enemy combatant rather than a citizen is not much of a stretch.

  • xistnotx –

    1) You are being a bit circular here – citing the article itself to confirm its assertions. You have not proved that demolitions were ineffective simply by repeating the original article.

    2) In fact, the suspension of demolitions – like the decision to stop using Arab “shields” during house-to-house searches – was by no means an obvious, consensus opinion as presented in the article. At the time is was hotly contested and decried by many experts in the Army. It was one of several policy/tactical shifts that were seen as hamstringing the army’s ability to combat terror.

    We can more directly see the negative fallout of some of these policies – for example, we know that more Israeli soldiers were lost during house-to-house activity without the Arab shields.

    It’s more difficult to judge the effect of demolitions. But it’s clear that the Oslo years – in which the Army’s hands were increasingly tied by politicians – have emboldened our enemies.

  • Ben-David: I know it was hotly contested. I was citing the army’s 2005 recommendation, what does it matter what article it comes from? Either they said stop doing it or continue. They said stop.

    I found a Ha’aretz piece from 2005 when the recommendation was made. Note it cites a 2003 study as well:

    On the other hand, an internal army study published at the end of 2003 summing up the first 1,000 days of the conflict, said that “as of today, there is no proof of the deterrent influence of the house demolitions.” The number of attacks, said the report, even rose after the army began demolishing houses.

    Maj. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Eitan, who was in charge of the Central Command for the first two years of the intifada, said a few months ago that the house demolitions had the opposite effect than what Israel expected. He said the policy turned into an incentive for attacks motivated by vengeance.

    Anyhow, I see the army has opted to seal his family’s section of the building they live in. Looks less drastic to the media, but they’re still without a home now.

    Incidentally, Ben-David, did they ever bulldoze Baruch Goldstein’s family’s home? Should they have bulldozed Eden Natan-Zada’s family’s house?

  • Israel is a civilized country. Plz no more killing, no destruction. For every Isreali killed, they should annex 10 sq. miles of arab territory. Same with Israelis MIA – 1 sq. mile for every day in captivity. I guess, this is clear enough even for the dumbest Pal.

  • So, just because he was a Palestinian he’s a terrorist? Some Korean kid shot up some college students and a professor in the USA a couple of months ago–is he a terrorist? Or how about the other Sikh kid in Montreal, Canada?

    Bad people do bad things, but why not save the “terrorist” label for the REAL terrorists? Or is it just more convenient to paint with a broad brush?