Terror attack in Tel Aviv – This is Israel
BREAKING NEWS — Deadly Terrorist Attack in central Tel Aviv, Israel, at least 2 murdered, and at least 14 severely wounded.
I am writing this while sheltering in place in Tel Aviv, Israel. The sounds of sirens and helicopters fills the air. Other than that, the city is oddly quiet.
A terrorist opened fire, killing at least two people and severely wounded at least eight people in the Dizengoff area of Tel Aviv.
This happened a block away from me.
I was out with a couple friends for a fabulous culinary meal at one of Tel Aviv’s great restaurants.
The scene at the restaurant began as the buzzing nightlife one would expect for a Thursday night in Tel Aviv. The beats of the music in unison with the laughter and loud conversations of people eating, drinking, and chatting with their families and friends, the ding of silverware on plates, chairs being moved, the attentive servers, and visits from the chef and managers at the table.
The sommelier smiled through her dark curly locks of hair, rejoicing in our orders and geeking out about our mutual tastes in wine and spirits. The chef, dressed in his finest kitchen attire beamed and smirked about his culinary creations as we delightfully discussed his refined flavors and presentation.
Next to us were full tables, families with their kids, people on dates, friends together.
And, as my friends and I were talking about the food and drinks with the chef and sommelier, something suddenly changed. Everyone noticed and reacted similarly.
The cacophony of delight was muffled. The sounds outside the restaurant obscured the vibrant life inside. As realization set in, my ears seemed tuned to something else.
The sound of gunfire, screams of people running, then an eerie and empty silence.
This quickly was followed by more people screaming outside…that is when phones began to buzz and ding. The restaurant stirred, people gasped, and immediately started sharing news reports.
My mother called. She always seems to get the news first.
Outside, the blaring sound of sirens wailing, ambulances and military vehicles zooming down the road, and helicopters overhead. Emergency lights reflected throughout the streets and into the restaurant.
Police and military forces seemed to appear everywhere on the streets, and most in a ready-to-fire position.
Inside, people darted from their tables and hid in the back of the restaurant, in the bathrooms, and even in the kitchen.
The news was clear. A terrorist attack happened a block away from us. At least two people were murdered and at least 14 people were wounded.
The terrorist fled and a manhunt currently remains underway.
I paid the bill at the restaurant, took a big gulp of the Cabernet in my glass, quickly exited the restaurant looking in each direction, and hopped on the back of one of my friends’ motorcycles, and we all darted to safety. Motorcycles remain the best way to travel in Tel Aviv.
What do you do in a situation like this? What is life like after this? What do you do in these moments? “You just do.” That is an Israeli expression.
This is life in Israel. Maybe this is why Israelis are known for their joie de vivre, especially in their nightlife. The narrative of our people is one of suffering victimization, marginalization, and persecution. That is why we make the most of life whenever we can. Life is all too precious and too short, especially when Islamist terrorists specifically aim to murder, kill, horrify, and oppress civilians.
Israel is the only democratic nation in the region. And, in its extremely small size, it also is the only Jewish nation on the planet, existing in the ancestral homeland where Jews have existed for thousands of years. Its political parliament and society have a place for all faiths, and democratically focuses on human rights and political representation.
Yet, there are enemies, who in the name of Islam, firmly desire to slaughter and kill anyone who does not agree with them, or even who merely is not like them. This is antisemitism. This is the hatred of Jews. This is the hatred of all Jews are and have, including the State of Israel.
This is life in Tel Aviv, and life in Israel.
I join the nation in mourning the deaths of innocent victims and wish for a speedy and full recovery for those injured. I join all those who fight for democracy and people’s rights, and who fight against terrorists.
And, disgustingly, as we mourn, celebrations in Palestinian territories include handing out candies and sweets, laughing and cheering, firing guns in the air, because innocent Israeli civilians were killed. Terror was achieved.
But, we must and will continue the fight against hatred and terror.
Am Israel Chai.
Some of the videos filmed during the night: