kgandbyThe 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.

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.


  • excellent question. In August of 2001, the answer was 15 innocent people, including 7 children. One was Malki Roth…there were two terrorists involved. They crossed through a checkpoint – perhaps Kalania, perhaps another – the location is known, I just don’t remember or think it matters anymore. The male terrorist and his companion carried a guitar loaded with explosives…

    They strolled, a handsome young couple, through the checkpoint, through into the center of Jerusalem. He blew himself up, forever killing 15-year old Malki and all the dreams she might have had for her future, forever devastating her family.

    Who would have been killed this time? An excellent question we should all ask ourselves the next time anyone dares to question the security fence, the need for checkpoints, and more.

    Thanks for being the one to ask this time! I hope I remember not to be immune next time and ask myself too!

  • You whiner! The Palestinians have no F-15s so these are their weapons! They are resisting an illegal occupation as is their right according to international law. If you would stop with your illegal settlements as per the Geneva Convention, then you wouldn’t have to worry so much about your precious friends or your own hide. Reap what you sow, you evil, water-grubbing, land-stealing, militaristic, descendant of the Khazars, non-Jew pig! Enjoy your Protocols of the Elders of Zion as they make you into the Nazis of today. No wonder the Palestinians are trying to kill your friends.


    I gave you 5 stars anyway.

  • The basic (seemigly obtuse) assumption that everything will be OK is necessary to prevent collective basketcaseness. Thinking like this all the time would make us a society of jumpy nutballs. And yet – an occasional reminder like this one for gratitude, for our wellbeing and to those who made it so -is a really really good thing. So thanks. This line between being eternally thankful and being eternally anxious is already thin in the human condition, but never thinner than in Jeru.

  • Why is the nice bearded man in the video wearing a dress and a Gandalf-like cloak? I wish they came out with this story on DVD. 🙁

    CK, great post, as usual.

  • Wow. What a great post. Thanks. Reading your post has redeemed the way I started my day off here in NYC… namely watching a great acceptance speech by President Obama in Oslo, Norway, but being irritated that the cameraperson kept showing a bearded, kipah wearing young man in the audience when Obama talked about the need to a just peace with human rights.

  • I for one am glad they didn’t murder me. Or any of you other people that I know, or don’t know.

    And yeah, I too was shocked at how matter of factly the story was reported.

    Thanks, CK!

  • This has weighed on me since I was a teenager taking the bus to school in Neve Yaakov every day.

    Yes, I am screwed up, why do you ask?

  • It was kinda shocking to see myself listed as a potential victim. Scary. Gruesome. Worrying too.

    I think that had you listed me this way 6 months ago I woulda’ shrugged it off but all that has changed now that I’m a father.

    As an ex-infantry officer I’ve seen my share of death and grieving. 28 military funerals I’ve attended to date.

    It’s a dumb thing to say, but they always SUCK.

    They suck your understanding of the world from you. You remain stupefied by how unfair and stupid and pointless everything is.
    They suck the joy from the sunlit day (somehow they’re always on beautiful sunlit days).
    They suck a little life out of everyone attending and lay it to rest together with the pitiful remains (remains are always pitiful – they suck too…)
    Now that I’m a father I realize that they suck a vital portion out of the fabric that is a family. All that’s left is an ugly gaping hole with torn edges that can never be completely sewn together.

    You’re a good friend CK but you kinda suck too.
    It just got a little colder in my room…


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