The enemy within

We work with them, they build our houses, they walk on our streets. We cannot walk on their streets, it is danger to our lives.  They drive on our roads, they come to our doors to deliver orders we made. They treat us in hospitals and serve us in pharmacies.

I have passed by them sitting on their lunch break in the nearby park. They eat their pitot, olives and natural yoghurt, sitting on the ground. I wish them “beteavon” and they politely say “toda”. Another time I pass by, I see them watching something together on someone’s mobile phone. I walk behind them and can see they are watching videos from Gaza. Their ‘brothers” are sending burning kites over the border to Israel. They have smiles on their faces.

In their presence we become a bit uneasy, uncertain of how much we can trust them. We are careful not to turn our backs at them, just in case. So really, we don’t trust them. How could we? There are too many examples of friendly Muslims turning on their longtime friends and employers in moments of unawareness. They are part of our lives, wherever we go.

The Islamic leaders are preaching in the mosques what they think about Jews. We are infidels first and second we are enemies. The PA schools shows a map of Israel, but it is not Israel, the entire country is theirs. Palestinian Authority repeatedly attempts through UNESCO to deny Jewish history in Israel. The Arab Knesset members are working day and night against the State they live and flourish in. There is no condemnation from the Muslims in this country or any country for that matter, when they murder Jewish children or adults. We all know they get paid for life for such an action . They reject the Jewish nature of Israel, but Jerusalem is the eye of the Muslim storm. They feel as their identity to struggle against the Jewish nation-state.

This week I was walking on Yafo street in Jerusalem with my grandkids. We stopped at a red light, holding hands, talking casually. We were going to get new soccer balls for all three of them. Suddenly I felt a big push on my back. I flew out on the busy street, somehow turning and hit the back of my head. A car had time in the last minute to see me and stopped, just in time. My grandson looked behind just before it happened and noticed the bike was coming in high speed on the walkway behind us, certainly seeing the crowd of people waiting at the red light.

I do not think it was a mistake. The enemy within cannot be trusted. They always come from behind, too much of cowards to face us from the front.

Arriving at the hospital I was grateful to my Father in heaven for “only” having a splitting headache and a big bump on my head. In a very professional manner the Arab doctor took care of me, telling me he is the emergency surgeon. Half a day later he told me, with a beautiful smile on his face “No internal bleeding, no fractures. May you have a complete recovery from today.”

My day of trauma was Israel in a nutshell when it comes to the Israel-Arab conflict. On the one hand we have the enemy within and on the other hand, not all take the side of the enemies. I was hit by an Arab and treated by an Arab. Challenges and true beauty, all in one day. I am still happy to live in the eye of this storm.

About the Author
Born in Finland, Ruth Brunell lived in Australia for some time. She settled in Israel in 1996 with her husband and four daughters, and now lives in Jerusalem. Ruth has a variety of professions: cook, interior designer, and real estate agent.