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Terror in Israel doesn’t get SA expats down




Nevertheless, former South Africans living in Israel believe that the assaults will not bring the country to its knees and that, as in the past, Israel will overcome them.

Allan Herlitz, a businessman who emigrated to Israel 18 years ago, said there is a lot of uncertainty – the new terrorists are often children themselves.

“A worrying part of the situation is that now the attacks are not limited to Jerusalem and the West Bank. There have been attacks in Tel Aviv, Petah Tikvah, Ra’anana and elsewhere,” he said.

“My fear is for my daughter who travels 40 kilometres to and from work as a teacher. I also fear for my son-in-law who travels 60 kilometres each way to Jerusalem daily to work. I would like to believe that it is life ‘as usual’, but that is not the case.

But he is still optimistic. “We are a resilient nation and will overcome this,” he added.

Michael Jankelowitz, originally from Port Elizabeth and retired spokesman for international media at the Jewish Agency where he worked for 35 years, said the purpose of terrorism was to put fear in the hearts of a civilian population.

“In Jerusalem today all Jews are on high alert and are continuously looking over their shoulder because the Palestinian Arab terrorists almost always stab their victims in the back.

“Business during the day is slow with people preferring to stay at home,” Jankelowitz said.

But it was not all bad news, he added, referring to the 25 000 Israelis who came to cheer Israel in its Euro2016 soccer qualifier against Cyprus in Jerusalem and two conferences in Jerusalem that attracted several thousand delegates.

“Just as Israel prevailed then, this current spate of terror stabbings will not bring Israel to her knees,” Jankelowitz said.

Another former South African, Judith Yacov, said the outbreak of violence was frightening – it was sudden and random. Israel was also misrepresented abroad.  

“People are cautious and take means of protection but they seem to go about their daily lives without too much apparent change.  

“It has a vigilante touch about it, like the shop owner in Ra’anana, who stopped a terrorist, who was knifing someone, by stabbing him with an umbrella because that was the only ‘weapon’ at hand or the religious woman travelling in the bus with her rolling pin sticking out of her bag,” she said.

Unfortunately, vigilante action had also led to some sad mistakes and loss of innocent life.

“When we succeed in pre-empting an attack, we are accused of over-reacting. What are we supposed to do when someone runs at us with a knife?  

“As usual, some people blame the government for not having reached a settlement with the Palestinians. I wonder how one makes a peace agreement with people who don’t recognise your right to be here. How do we make the kind of contact that breaks down the stereotypes that drive hatred?” she asked.

Former Johannesburger Shoshana Bloom said: “I wish like a mother protecting her children that I could protect the citizens of Israel. I feel each attack personally and mourn each fatality with deep pain.

“We all want to live here in peace, to grow this wonderful brave country in peace and harmony, but this is denied us by hatred and discrimination – and by the nations of the world again turning against us.”

Israelis have to be strong, she said. “We have been under fire from time immemorial. But I believe Hashem has his plan and it is for the eventual good of Jews everywhere and for the Land of Israel,” she said.

Martin Furman and his wife Linky live on Moshav Timorim, 30 kilometres from Gaza, where 10 missiles have since 2012, destroyed four houses.

“Thank G-d, apart from fear, fright and worry, no one was physically harmed,” he said.

His three married children and 11 grandchildren live within an eight kilometre radius of their house.

He said today’s situation was the most worrying in the 40 years he and his family have been in the country.

“It proves that the Palestinian Authority is not a partner to true peace as they are praising these young knife-wielding terrorists, making martyrs of them and their imams are posting videos on Facebook and YouTube teaching how and where to stab a Jew to kill him.”



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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. CherylAmerica

    Oct 28, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    ‘I stand with Israel… Safe…’

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