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A day in Chuck Norris nation

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The night is dark, but not too dark, so we can make out the silhouette of two men as they fight in the moonlight. They are weary but resolved, and it becomes clear that this is the last and final battle. This is the how the story will end, and invested as we are, we urge victory for the hero. The scene around them is one of devastation. Broken and burned buildings smoulder and punctuate the skyline, reminding us that this battle isn’t for anything material. It’s much, much deeper than that.

As deep as the tunnels in Gaza.

Our camera pans the scene, and then pulls in for a tighter shot. Slowly, we start to recognise the faces of the combatants. First, it’s the large ears that can be attached only to the head of Yahya Sinwar, and then we note that he fights his nemesis, Israel Defense Forces Brigadier General Dan Goldfuss, one of the men in charge of Israel’s war in Gaza.

We know how it will end. In an ironic and somewhat predictable conclusion, Sinwar will lose his footing by tripping over a human shield. And in doing so, he will plummet downward head first into a 70m tunnel shaft, screams that fade as he falls to his undignified death.

Monday, 19 February, in Israel felt like Chuck Norris Day. Breakfast with Eylon Levy, Israeli government spokesperson; a visit to the helicopter air force base where I met the pilot who rescued the South American hostages. And then on to an off-the-record session with Dan Goldfuss. The day concluded with a meeting with Rabbi Doron Perez, the father of hostage Daniel Perez.

If there’s something I’ve learned from a short trip to the country, the first since the war began, it’s that Chuck Norris comes in many forms:

  • The soldiers who leave their families and put their lives at risk, to defend their country;
  • The parents who don’t sleep, and who haven’t slept since 7 October;
  • The hostages and their families, who live each day in untold agony. And who fight their own instincts to wonder and surmise;
  • The civilian infrastructure, which will stop at nothing to assist those who are fighting and those in need;
  • The residents of the south, who in spite of what they have endured, return to walk people through the burned-out shells of their lives, where they are reminded of death, loss, and torture with each step and each description. Because they understand that people need to understand;
  • The Bedouin taxi driver, who on 7 October took the back roads of the Negev to get to the Nova music festival to save 30 lives;
  • The medical staff and first responders;
  • The haredim, who have made the decision to enlist in spite of social pressure not to; and
  • The people, who live each day with positivity and hope in spite of the agony.

Israel is the country of Chuck Norris. Its people are in more pain that I can describe, yet more in love, and more in hope than I would have thought possible.

The battle of Gaza will end. And it will conclude with Sinwar and his ears falling to death into a tunnel of his own making. In the final scene in my mind, the battle might take place between him and the brigadier general, but the reality is that it’s not just him who fights. It’s every person in the country, and every Jew and supporter of Israel around the world that stands proud in the final act. It’s thanks to all the Chuck Norrises of this nation that the music will once again start to play and the terrible scene will finally fade to black.

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  1. Wendy Kaplan Weil

    Feb 22, 2024 at 1:46 pm

    Wow what a brilliant article
    Think you ready for your next book

  2. yitzchak

    Feb 26, 2024 at 11:39 am

    Hamantassen= Big Ears Sinwar tassen.(Yimach shmo).He will be hanged by his own rope that he prepared for us.
    This armageddon between the sons of light shine over the sons of darkness.
    All that is left is that he has tunnel vision.It will be over soon .
    Mababuye! Bring them home!

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