Four are dead.
15 are injured.
The numbers will grow.
And how many politicians do you think will show up? For how many cameras?
How many headlines will spare the truth for a sexier bleeding title?
How many children will remain on lockdown at school?
How many mothers and fathers will collapse when they hear the news that their children, dressed in uniform on a cultural day to the city’s capital, became targets in another terrorist attack?
How many times will my name appear in the articles as a resident from the occupied East Jerusalem settlement neighborhood, Armon Hanatziv, so that our lives matter a little less?
How many times will my voice be edited down, skipping the facts, to appease the opinions and the hate?
And when I check in on my Arab friend from the village next door, and we both know that the terrorist in the truck, that ran over the soldiers is from his village too…what number will he give me?
I tell him, don’t let them make him a hero. And he says: “He is not a hero. He is a zero.”
The terrorist is dead. I saw his body on the floor, so that’s how I know.
I saw the truck. It drove onto the beautiful grass, overlooking the spectacular views on the old city.
I saw bodies trapped under the truck.
He ran them over. And from reports of eye-witnesses, he went in reverse. Murdering in cold blood.
I remembered how blue the sky was this morning when I walked there, on that same promenade. And joked with a friend on the phone, “I walked by someone suspicious, but I saw he doesn’t have a knife.” She is American so she wouldn’t laugh back. But I laughed, to hide my tears. This is how I live. Because a few months ago, elderly women on a walk on this promenade were attacked. And a year ago, I heard gunshots where terrorists shot and stabbed innocent people on a bus, just minutes away from my children’s school.
I walked on this path today. And I will walk there tomorrow. So here’s another number. Infinity. That’s the number of times I will continue to live my life.
So, yes, my friend is right. He is a zero. He choose death over life. And I have infinity. I choose life over death.
That terrorist isn’t fighting for freedom. He has it. That’s why he drove there. There is no barrier. No fence. Nothing stopping him from living.
He was driving a construction truck. So he was working. Making a salary. To feed, perhaps a family.
My friend in the village, where the terrorist came from, will hear the celebrations tonight. And so will I. But we won’t join in with them. We unite against them.
How many will join us?
See here for a gruesome video of the attack.