At the top of my facebook feed is a sign going around that says “I am Israeli and cannot keep calm.”
Well, I may not be Israeli (yet) but I cannot keep calm either.
Today there was an attack on a man whose only crime was that he was Jewish and happen to be waiting for a ride from a friend at the Tapuach Junction. (The media calls him a settler–justifying the attack– but of course there is no way the Arab who attacked him knew that). This man, ‘Evyatar Borowsky’ was remembered as “a joker, a hardy settler, and a devoted husband and father” by his family and friends at his funeral.
Also on my facebook feed are Israel Defense Forces (The IDF’s official facebook page) and Captain Barak Raz of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. Here is what they had to say about the Terror Attack at the Tapuach Junction today.
Israel Defense Forces: “This morning, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed and killed a 31-year-old Israeli man near Ariel. The victim was a husband and a father of five children. Security forces on the ground neutralized the attacker. For terrorists, everyone is a target. Get the facts out to your friends.”
Captain Barak Raz of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit: “Earlier today, a Palestinian male stabbed and fatally wounded an Israeli at Tapuach Junction. Quick to respond, security forces opened fire and neutralized the threat. IDF medical team administered emergency first aid, stabilizing the Palestinian attacker and evacuation him to a hospital in Israel, however they sadly could not save the murdered Israeli. This incident only proves that the relative security stability should not be taken for granted and that this stability rests on IDF quality routine security operations and effective IDF counterterrorism.”
While the Israel Defense Forces statement is more neutral, both the IDF page and Capt. Barak Raz give the IDF too much credit. There is one truth in their statements. The IDF neutralized the threat.
The first person on the scene to help Evyatar Borowsky was a civilian . From there MDA medics took over.
I was coming from the direction of my house, and I saw an Arab man break away from a group of Arab men standing south of the junction. He came toward the hitchhiking post and jumped on one of the people there, pressed against him, and was pushed back.
At that point I didn’t see what exactly was going on. I stopped my car. A few seconds later the Arab man started to go back to the point he came from, while shooting at an IDF position nearby. Soldiers shot back at him. I got out of my car and the woman who was getting a ride with me crouched down beside the car, because we couldn’t tell if he was shooting at us or at the IDF post. I started to give first aid to the injured man. I turned him on his back, lifted his shirt, which was drenched in blood. I saw stab wounds and I tried to stop the blood until paramedics got there.
When the paramedics got there I left the wounded man. Police arrived, too, and I pointed them in the direction the terrorist had gone. Apparently the terrorist had been hit by the shots fired at him, he had fallen in the middle of the road with his gun about a meter away. He was still moving. I went back to the wounded [Israeli] man and the paramedic told me he had died. I said the ‘Shema Yisrael’ and closed his eyes, and then the soldiers started arriving.
Lie by omission by the IDF: the forces were attacked before they opened fire.
Omission of Context Worth Noting: a checkpoint around the area had been removed and the attacks increased fivefold since.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of the IDF lying.
And now I’m hearing it, personally, again.
And I cannot remain quiet.
The IDF is not perfect, but they certainly should not act as though they are.
They should not claim credit where credit is not due. They should not cover up information that can save lives.
And we must not remain silent when they do.