20 June '16..
A week and a half has passed since the terrible shooting terrorist attack at Tel Aviv's Sarona Market, and on Sunday, Haggai Klein, the hero of that evening, if you will, was released from hospital. Klein was enjoying a meal when two terrorists began to spray Jews with bullets. Instead of running for his life, Klein decided to grab the nearest chair and smash it onto one of the terrorist's heads. He knew that doing so could have cost him his life, and yet he chose to do what he could to save others. Klein was critically wounded that evening and rushed to the hospital for lifesaving treatment.
"I knew I could have paid a heavy price," Klein said on Sunday, "[but] I knew that the situation needed to be put to an end and I charged ahead." He said it as though his actions should be taken for granted. He spoke like a reserve soldier who has learned the importance of charging the enemy, but this time he was not armed with an M-16 for self-defense, and yet he still decided to confront the terrorist. I'll admit that when I saw images from that night, I was shocked. We have seen civilians take on terrorists armed with knives, but attacking terrorists armed with live ammunition? It's unbelievable.
We have been dealing with terrorists setting out to murder Jews for more than six months now, and along with the excellent work of police officers and soldiers, brave civilians have also attempted to stop those terrorists. We saw Herzl Biton, driver of Dan Bus No. 40, who fought off a terrorist with his bare hands; we saw civilians use everything from a guitar to umbrellas and selfie sticks in attempts to neutralize terrorists. All of Israel is still responsible for one another.
Two years ago, during a visit to Los Angeles, I walked to my friend's house one night. She looked at me with eyes wide in shock; she didn't understand how I could walk around alone at night. "If something were to happen to you and you screamed at the top of your lungs, no one would come to help you," she said emphatically. "People here are scared to help others, scared that someone might come after them with a knife or a gun and shoot them, so they just ignore [cries for help]."
She told me about a time that she visited Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem and someone stole her wallet. Within seconds everyone gathered around her, asking if she needed money, water, a ride to the police station -- they wanted to help her. "You don't see things like that in the U.S.," she told me at the time.
Israel, with all its problems and ills, is a country of mutual responsibility. It is a country of mothers and fathers who take pots filled with homemade food to the soldiers at the Gaza border; a country of people who open their homes to lone soldiers for Shabbat meals; a country of citizens who raise a million shekels for an injured soldier in a week's time; a country filled with small heroes who don't see saving another's life as an act of heroism but as a necessary duty.
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