The report from the Jerusalem Post exhibited a certain banality born of the fact that this sort of thing happens all the time:
IDF and Border Police forces thwarted a potential terror attack in Jerusalem on Wednesday afternoon, when they discovered six pipe bombs in a 20-year-old Palestinian man’s bag… The man, who resides in the West Bank, was arrested and transferred for interrogation. During a preliminary interrogation at the scene, he admitted to planning to carry out an attack inside Jerusalem.
The story exhibited no anger, no shock, no surprise. Just the facts ma’am. Book him Dano. Of course editorializing would have been inappropriate in a news story, but the fact that this story didn’t even merit a prominent position amongst all the other stories, is somewhat telling. This morning’s headlines were dominated by Gaza and Hamas, the Iranians and Syria. Potential future existential threats are apparently more compelling than already neutralized threats.
But as I was reading this story, I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened had this young man made it across the Kalandiya check point with his bombs and managed to make it into Jerusalem. Who would have been murdered, which of my friends/neighbors/acquaintances would have been killed?
Would they have murdered me thus sparing you any further maudlin or expletive filled posts? Would they have murdered my old neighbor Hawlah who used to drive me crazy with her cats? Would they have murdered Lisa, who is here on vacation, while she was watching the Hanukah candles being lit at Kikar Tzion? Would they have murdered Benji as he was walking down the street contemplating his next comedy monologue? Would they have murdered Matthew shopping for sushi supplies? Would they have murdered Andrea making her way to Al Quds University in the Old City for her Arabic class? Would they have murdered Fun Joel on his way to his tour guide class? Would they have murdered Evan while he was signing up people for free tours of Jerusalem? Would they have murdered Rinat while she was rapping? Would they have murdered Menucha while she was buying pasta? Would they have finally nailed Simone after failing to kill her at Cafe Hillel? Would they have finally nailed Gila after they failed to kill her at the shuk? Would they have nailed Sarah or Dvorah who even the Nazis couldn’t kill? Would they have murdered Uzi the juice guy? Or Menchem the pita guy? Would they have murdered Abdallah who helped me move my fridge and who always greets me with a smile and a handshake? Would they have murdered Mike on one of his less and less frequent trips into Jerusalem? Would they have murdered Sarah or Leia or Talya or Jordy or Rafael or Yoni or Margot or Tamar or Miriam or Adi or Ben or Ilana or Greg or Sara or Ari or Akiva or Danielle or Daniela or any number of friends or acquaintances that are in any measure a part of my life. A part of me.
I don’t want to lose the ability to be shocked. I don’t want to take the people I care for and love for granted. I don’t want to take the city I live in for granted. I don’t want to take the young men and women who sacrifice their youth and risk their lives to protect me and mine for granted. Thank you Mishmar Ha Gvul. Thank you Tsahal. Thank you for saving me from grief and mourning, yet again.