12 October '15..
The news of another horrific terror attack flickers from the television screen, and out of the darkness emerge stories of people, regular everyday people, who came face to face with a knife or bomb and took action. They fought back. They prevented a larger terrorist attack from happening. They chased, and they caught. Not that it was their job to do so, but they felt a duty. And they were resourceful. And sometimes, in those marvelous moments, all you want to see is the news anchor's stone face crack just a bit, for her to say with just a bit of pride: Look at us! Look how amazing we are! Just a good word, or two, nothing more.
Does that sound cliched? Be warned then, I'm just getting started. I still haven't said, "The people are a united front." Way before my time, Haim Hefer and Dubi Zeltzer waxed, "Long live this nation; thank heaven it is made of such people." But what does it matter, you and I will keep saying it, over and over, lest it be forgotten. And we will provide reminders that no other people living in an enlightened, developed democracy are forced to contend with these repeated waves of murder and terror, which have persisted for over a hundred years, and that the more these people are hurt the stronger they become. There is nothing else like them.
These stories need to be told. We need to hear about Liat Ohana from Kiryat Gat, who fought like a lion, with her bare hands, against an armed terrorist who broke into her apartment while fleeing from the scene of his crime; and about Daniel, who after being stabbed in the head and back turned around and shot the terrorist who was trying to kill him; and about the resourcefulness of the female soldier who was stabbed near the Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv, but still managed to slow down the attacker and prevented him from stealing her weapon by sitting on him; and about the officer who just happened to be walking nearby, who in an instant realized what was going on and shot the terrorist, preventing others from being hurt; and about Sgt. First Class Moshe Chen, a policeman, who was wounded when a female terrorist he had ordered to stop near Maaleh Adumim, on the road to Jerusalem, detonated an explosive device, but who still managed called for help and directed emergency crews to the scene. And we can only estimate the potential magnitude of the attack that was prevented after a gas canister and another bomb were found in the terrorist's car.
And we should know about Kenda Kesahu and his friends, who chased after the attacker in Petach Tikva, catching and holding him until security forces could arrive. After all, they could have returned home in peace, or taken cover, or fled for their lives. But they understood it was their duty to stop the attacker. Kesahu said, "I really don't know why they're calling me a hero. All I wanted was to help save my people."
It is important to talk about all these things, because at some point, relative quiet and normality will be restored. We will once again be inundated with stories like those about the woman on the plane who yelled at the flight attendant to "give me the chocolate" and about the man who screamed at the hotel security guard to "open the door already!" And the electronic media will once again overflow with self-flagellations lamenting that "this is what we look like" and "this is how we act."
And it is important to remember that after everything is said and done, this nation, which is often so splintered, always rises when it senses danger and knows how to take care of itself. And how, ultimately, the people of Israel are bound to one another.