Skip to comments.Israel Terror Victim: Where is the Humanity?
Posted on 02/16/2004 5:07:12 PM PST by SJackson
Jerusalem-----February 5 Exactly one week ago this morning, Erik Schechter was looking forward to a good work out at the gym. It was a cold, blue sky day in Jerusalem as he stood waiting for local bus number 19 to arrive. Erik, who works as a reporter for one of Israel's daily newspapers, had to be thinking about his current news assignment. Erik is always thinking. Always processing all that he sees and hears. He consistently devours world and local news. He digs deep and allows his readers an enlightening glimpse of the treasures he uncovers. We worked together at that paper and shared media contacts, coffee and many smiles. Schechter is one of the most intelligent and amazing people that I have ever encountered. Always immersed in the tactics of Hamas, the motivating factors of a Hezbollah operation and dives into the fine details as to which substance Islamic Jihad uses for a bomb or what a senior IDF commanding officer had to say about female combatants.
Bus number 19 arrived and Erik paid the five shekels (one dollar fare) to the driver. As he started to move inside the bus, a fiery, powerful blast knocked him off his feet and threw him into the front of the bus. A Palestinian suicide bomber had been sitting in the rear of the bus, waiting till the bus filled to capacity and detonated his hellish charge as the green and white bus passed the Prime Minister's residence.
Erik's eyebrows had been singed by the heat. His shoulder cracked from the impact of the blast. His lungs and spleen became almost one organ and crude, sharp shrapnel consisting of ball bearings and nails ripped through his legs. As he lay bleeding in the smoked filled bus Erik could only think of one thing - to call the story in. Erik is a journalist's journalist. He moved his hand slowly with great pain searching for his mobile telephone when suddenly he realized that his mind was not as strong as his shattered body. He lay in a pool of blood thinking: "where is humanity, how could someone be so detached from human life to have done this?" Within minutes Erik was rescued and was carried off to a nearby hospital.
I first learned of Erik's wounds from a friend at CNN. We chat on the Net often exchanging news alerts and jokes. But this was no joke. All I was able to respond with was a disbelieving "no".
On my way into Jerusalem to visit Erik I heard a young German woman lecturing a soldier who was sitting next to her. She was complaining about the "Israeli occupation" and the "brutality" of IDF soldiers. She was all over him, as he tried with his thick Israeli accent to fight back her anti-Israel sound bytes.
I rushed in, as if in combat, to support his right flank and allow him to relax as I took her on.
"Israel wants peace," I said. "It is the Palestinians who have refused a two state solution since the creation of Israel who prolong this conflict." She started to respond but I kept my finger on the trigger.
"It was Arafat who walked away from Camp David, not Israel. The Palestinians would have had their own state today if Arafat did not fear assassination from his rivals in Hamas and Islamic Jihad," I said. Again she tried to respond and this time I let her place both of her feet in her mouth. "You have to understand how desperate these people are - you have to understand why they blow up buses," she said. The soldier and others in the bus were staring at me for my response. This was not CNN, SKY or the BBC but if I could just bounce out one of these ignorant, brain washed pro-Islamic Jihad types, it would make my day. "New York is not occupied terroritory," I said. "Bin-Laden is not desperate, he is one of the wealthiest men alive. This war is not about land, Israel gave the Sinai back for peace and moved all of her soldiers out of Lebanon."
The German tourist or most likely a member of the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement was not prepared for this frontal assault. She now sat with an empty look on her face. "This war is about Islamic extremists who see democracy as evil, these people see us all as infidels. They and Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda and Hezbollah want us dead, they seek no peace nor any compromise. "But you have to understand their reasons ", she replied. I cut her off in mid-sentence. "No I don't have to understand why the World Trade is not there, I don't have to understand why an Israeli bus or restaurant is blown up, what I must immediately do is defend myself and my family," I said. "As you sit and tell me to understand these terrorists, as you ask me to stop the occupation this very minute, you are actually saying - yes let Hamas continue blowing up our children on buses, let them enjoy breakfast in Tel Aviv tomorrow morning."
Perhaps there was no better locale for a debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than on a bus which was winding through the rocky hills leading to Jerusalem. "Have you ever seen a map of Palestine on Hamas's or Islamic Jihad's Websites?," I asked. "Their map of Palestine does not merely consist of Rahmallah, Jenin and Nablus - it includes Tel Aviv, Haifa, Hadera, Eilat and Ashdod. They want it all. We are the one's willing to compromise. It is our Israeli Prime Minister who has even stated that he believes in a two state solution. We want peace, we have always wanted to live in peace," I said.
She was speechless. The soldier smiled. The bus passed historic red rusted Israeli convoy trucks from 1948 sitting off to the left and right of the road. The war had never really ended. I was ready for more but she began to close her eyes as if to say "enough." I couldn't resist opening her eyes with a final comment. "The problem is Yassar Arafat. The problem is that the Palestinian people do not have effective leadership to combat terrorism. There would be no occupation if there was no terrorism," I said. "Arafat stole 3 billion dollars from the EU and his people live in squalor but yet all you do is blame Israel."
The debate was over. But the war was still very much alive. And so was Erik and my thoughts immediately turned to him. As I walked into Erik's room I smiled and said: "you would do anything to get a vacation." He smiled back. It was an uneasy smile. Erik was writhing in pain. He said that he was taking the maximum amount of morphine but still there was a low, constant pain embracing his body. Through his hospital apron you could see that that he was ripped apart and stitched back together with black threads. That he was able to hold a conversation through the gripping pins and needles radiating throughout his fragile body spoke volumes for this very brave friend.
Erik spoke softly, as if it was a great effort to pass air through his throat. I reached for his hand and moved closer. "Where is the humanity?," he asked. He repeated the question once more. I had no answer, only tears began to swell in my eyes. What could I say. What can anyone say.
Not in any Pali bloodline, thats for sure.
God bless Israel!!!!!! in Jesus' name.
That's because the so-called palis just aren't normal. No other society worships death nor glorifies in its children dying violent deaths as they slaughter others.
I've long said that in just about every other society in modern times -- from us to the former Soviet Union to the most primitive parts of Africa to commie China to Australia -- parents' worst fear is that they will outlive their children. But not the so-called palis! They wallow (or is it revel?) in their children not only savagely murdering innocent people, but in them dying brutal deaths themselves.