Mori Sokal

Run for your lives

I don’t like the cold, but tomorrow night, whatever the weather is in Gush Etzion in November, I will be out in it, running for my life. No, no one will be chasing me (I hope). But in these times, I feel it is important to stand-or run- for what I believe in. We in the Gush, together with the parents of the murdered boys Gilad, Naftali and Eyal, z”l, will be taking back the roads here. The run was planned for this past summer, closer to the terrible event, but had to be postponed for obvious reasons–the whole country was at war, and needed to be near safe rooms.

Unfortunately, although the war is supposedly over, as headlines show, we are not any safer now. Just today we lost another neshama to terrorism, and another battle with PR. I am sick of all these headline fails–reporting so skewed it can’t possibly be labled as unbiased, but they want us to believe it was all a misunderstanding. See:  and, if you want to laugh about it while you cry, read my fellow blogger Benji Lovitt:
For as long as they can get away with it, “news” outlets like the AP and the BBC report almost every event in Israel as being an outrage committed against the Arabs, or some kind of accident, instead of coloring it as the terrorist event that it is. Even when it should be obvious what happened, they persist in supporting the other side and acting as though they can do no wrong. They used millions (probably billions) of donated dollars to fund terror tunnels and weapons instead of working on infrastructure and improving the lives of their citizens? Surely Israel is to blame. Here, poor you, have more money to repeat the process.
Last week I read an article on the BBC which was meant to impart basic information about Israel. It seemed innocuous at first, especially for those who don’t know how to read between the lines.  The article pointed out that we stated our Independence in 1948, and that there were wars in ’48, 67 and ’73, not to mention Lebanon in ’82 and ’06. As I read I started to get the tone. It said that the UN voted for partition of Palestine, and we -Israel- declared Independence, as if it was our own idea and not supported by the majority of the UN. Not that shockingly, considering the source, it seemed to be saying that there just happened to be a war in ’48; it did *not* say that the tiny bit of land that the UN decided was allowed to be a Jewish state was mercilessly attacked by no fewer than 6 Arab states right as we were becoming a state. And it did not include that the ’67 war, where we started to “occupy” Palestinian lands, was started by the Arabs-again.
The reason no one can negotiate any peace treaty seems to me that the Arab leaders don’t want peace, just this piece–any piece of land that Jews are living on. Would I give up my own house if I thought Jews could stop being killed just waiting for the train, or hitching a ride at night? I would. But as we saw–we had not “occupied” Gaza for years, and we had to pay for that with continuous rocket fire on our southern towns, followed by plans to invade. And yet we came out of this war STILL looking like the bad guys! I am on a slow boil, and I want to take action.
Who is behind all these terrorist acts? It certainly isn’t the friendly Arabs in our supermarket here in the Gush, who joke with me and swap English /Arabic lessons. It isn’t the sweet lady at the doctor’s office in Jerusalem, who complimented my outfit as we made small talk. It is certainly not the people who go to the mall and share the food court with us as our children play together. So where is the answer? Someone, somewhere is taking advantage of these people, instead of taking care of them. And I would be angry too, if I were them. But instead, the press manages to make the Jews look bad, every time. What happened to the Arab boy who supported us on Facebook this summer? He had to go into hiding from his own government, I’m sure. I certainly haven’t heard any more about him.
At the same time, I am angry for us. Where is the world looking when they talk about Israel being an apartheid state? They are not looking at our malls, streets or supermarkets, not to mention hospitals where we took care of their wounded, including the attackers themselves. Is the world even listening to Abbas, who publicly stated that Jews would not be allowed in any Palestinian state? Are they looking at signs we have to pass daily, advising us not to drive down certain streets for fear of death? mori 003


So I am angry at the heads of their crazy groups, and I am angry at the way it filters down to the masses. I drive home from Jerusalem and hope I won’t break down on the highway, because I don’t know what would happen to me, and I drive past their little girls walking along nonchalantly. I wouldn’t want my husband out there alone! How is this fair, and how are we always the bad guys? Why is the world so blind? I don’t know, but I am tired of being quiet. I am taking action. Tomorrow night, in the Gush, we will be taking back the streets. We will not stand for people plowing us down and murdering babies, kidnapping and murdering our teens, and we will not quietly back down when rockets are showering our towns.
Run for your lives, and show that they can not make us leave.
As I was about to post this, I heard that not only was there another vehicular terrorist attack in Jerusalem today, but tonight three of our soldiers in the Gush were run down by a truck  while on duty near an Arab town. I don’t know if this will change anything tomorrow,but if the run is on, I will be there. I did not mean the title to be a sick joke either, but after seeing the video of the train station today where some actually had to run for their lives, I am more determined to show that we will not back down.
About the Author
Mori Sokal is a SIXTEEN year veteran of Aliyah, mother of three wonderful children (with her wonderful husband) and is an English teacher in both elementary and high school in the Gush Etzion-Jerusalem area. She has a Masters’ degree in teaching, is a copy editor, and has published articles in Building Blocks, the Jewish Press magazine.
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