No White Flag

I live in Ra’anana, a suburb not far from Tel Aviv. I am a lecturer in Jerusalem. I travel to work at least three times a week on highway 443. On one side of this road you can see the Jewish town of Givat Ze’ev and, on the other, the entrance to the Palestinian city of Ramallah, the seat of Palestinian Authority leader, Mahmood Abbas (Abu Mazin). It was here, at the large petrol station on this road, that private Ziv Mizrachi was knifed in the heart by a Palestinian terrorist yesterday. Before succumbing to this fatal wound, he struck at the terrorist who had gone after a fellow female officer by shooting him while the blade was lodged in his chest. Consider that. The defense of a fellow soldier is the last thing Ziv thought of, even as he could barely breathe.

12 years ago his uncle, Alon Mizrachi, who was working the security of the famed restaurant Cafe Hillel in Jerusalem, shielded tens of diners with his own body when a terrorist entered wearing a bomb belt on a suicide mission to meet the 40 Virgins in heaven, the reward offered to every Jihadist. Ponder that too. Alon knew that this act of defense would be his last act on this earth.

Ziv Mizrachi’s father, Doron and brother to Alon cried out at the funeral that his is a family of strong defenders of the Jewish people who will never surrender to terrorism. Eight days from now, after the first week of mourning is over, he will be at work as usual. He will take the bus as usual. He will go about his life as usual. Palestinian terror will not defeat his family and those of the myriad citizens who his brother and son paid the ultimate price to save. Just for a moment, Contemplate that pain. Brave heros, all three.

Baruch Dayan Emet, the traditional Hebrew citation when someone passes (meaning ‘God’s judgement is just’), is a difficult one to say these days. During the current wave of terror, we find ourselves saying it all too often. But then it also reflects the spirit of the Mizrachi family – it connotes a kind of determinism underlying the Zionist project, and yet refutes capitulation of any kind.

I’ll be driving that route tomorrow, as usual. Baruch Dayan Emet.

About the Author
Dr. Alison Fisch Katz hails from England. She has lived in Israel for 30 years and is Head of Academic Studies in English at the Azrieli College of Engineering Jerusalem. She is also a linguistic editor for the International Institute for Holocaust Research Yad Vashem and holds a PhD from the University of Leeds, UK.
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