Arlene from Israel: Abnormal Normal.

I had a beautiful Shabbat. Rich with the laughter of my grandchildren, and with the incredibly perceptive and sensitive things they said.

It’s difficult, after that, to turn around and focus on events mostly painful. It should not be, that these painful events – the incitement and terror attacks – have become a routine part of life here in Israel. And yet, it seems that they are, at least now, so that what is “normal” for us is really a very abnormal, and ultimately unacceptable situation.

One reason I have decided to write this, then, is because I want to be certain that my readers continue to understand our situation. I will not focus in coming posts on terror attacks, in great detail – I want to look at other matters. But I will not leave off mentioning them, until there is nothing to mention.


An incomplete rundown of recent terror events:


On Wednesday, a woman was stabbed outside a Rami Levy food store at the Gush Etzion Junction, which is a huge shopping area. She was brought to the hospital with the knife still in her, and required complicated surgery to have to removed from her spinal column. The terrorist was arrested.

On Thursday, a soldier was stabbed on the road between Hevron and Kiryat Arba; the terrorist was shot.

On Friday, a woman Border Police officer took out two terrorists as they sought to attack fellow officers at the Tapuach Junction, not far from Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria.

Also yesterday, two men were attacked by a terrorist with a knife at the light rail stop at Ammunition Hill; the terrorist was shot.



Today, in the course of a riot of some 100 Palestinian Arabs in the Hevron area – a riot near an army position accompanied by throwing of Molotov cocktails, burning of tires, throwing rocks and hurling marbles from slingshots – ten rioting Arabs were shot by the IDF. Ruger rounds were fired at their legs.

What caused this riot? Funerals held in the Hevron area for terrorists who had been killed, which thousands attended.

But wait! Such funerals are known to create uprisings and promote violence, and the Israeli government had decided not to return the bodies of terrorists. But yesterday there were five bodies returned to the PA in Hevron – the bodies of those buried today.

“Explaining the government’s actions, Defense Minister Yaalon told Israel Channel 2 that the government returned the bodies on the condition that the PA not hold any large funerals.

“Ya’alon was apparently surprised the PA would break their agreement.”

I wish this were a joke – a parody – but it is not.
And the PA is reporting that an additional nine bodies were returned today.

Please, do not write to me telling me Israel must be more consistently strong. I know it already: I am livid.


I consider this good news, very good news:


The 13 year old boy who was critically injured in a terror attack on October 13 has been released from the hospital – although he clearly has much recuperation still ahead of him. I have no name or picture, because his parents have, wisely, withheld all information

This is big, because he was clinically dead on arrival in the hospital, after having been knifed in the throat by cousins Ahmed and Hassan Manasra.

You may remember Ahmed Manasra, the 13 year old Arab boy who was recovering in the hospital while Abbas was announcing that Israel had executed him for no reason.

Ahmed, who confessed, and then “unconfessed,” has now been indicted – although there will be difficulties in prosecution because of his age.   If his case makes good press, it might serve a purpose whatever a court decides.

And this, too, is good news. The doctor who operated on the badly injured boy, head of General Surgery at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, is Prof. Ahmed Eid.




Soon, please Heaven, a posting that focuses on other events.
As this is Motzei Shabbat, I decided to end this short posting with a video of the late, great Rebbe Shlomo Carlebach, whose music is greatly loved here in Israel.  He refers here to Motzei Shabbat, and I assume he sang this at a Melave Malka, an informal ceremony or gathering to escort out Shabbat, prolonging it just a bit in the process.

“Al tireh avdi Ya’akov,” Do not fear, my servant Ya’akov, begins the song, with words from Jeremiah.  It ends with:
“May your strength not stray…Go forward…for the land shall rise now for you and your seed!”
And then, “Yahad” – together. For this is the only way we will find our strength.  (Find the core of “yahad” at 1:48)
Sorry folks videos won’t embed


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.


If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.


“We Have Legal Grounds” –




Check Also

From Israel: Seeking Answers While the Head Spins!!

I am writing this during the closing hours of Tisha B’Av, the day of mourning …