Special Report: Terror in Jerusalem, Visit in the Spring?
Vol: 82 Issue: 23 Wednesday, July 23, 2008
In Jerusalem, a second construction worker in as many weeks turned the heavy construction equipment he was operating into a weapon. The following is an eyewitness account of the attack by Shmuel Sackett:
We started walking when, about ten feet in front of us, we saw a large bulldozer drop his huge shovel in an attempt to crush a woman crossing the street. Baruch Hashem, she managed to miss it by a few inches.
The bulldozer then raced into the middle of King David Street in an attempt to smash into a passing Egged bus. The driver quickly swerved out of the way yet the bulldozer managed to smash into the back rear part of the bus on the “passenger” side.
The bus smashed into some guard rails but quickly turned down a side street (by the Dan Panorama Hotel) to avoid any further attacks by the bulldozer. (That bus driver was an amazingly quick thinker and saved many lives.)
The Jerusalem Arab — with an Israeli identity card — continued driving the bulldozer down King David Street in the direction of the Inbal Hotel.
I immediately started running after him at full speed — praying to Hashem that he would not injure any more Jews and that I would have the merit to personally kill him. . . .When I was about 20 feet away, a civilian came from the left. He started shooting into the cabin of the bulldozer. Then, from the right hand side, a Border Policeman shot about 7 bullets from his M-16.
The bulldozer came to a stop and the terror was over.”
There have been reports from a number of open-source intelligence sites about a series of coordinated attacks inside Israel are being planed by three Palestinian terrorist networks.
One source, the Debkafile, says that both the construction attacks were part of that overall offensive:
“They decide whether the lone killers use firearms, explosives, knives or mechanical weapons, like the diggers which smashed through Jerusalem s main streets twice this month. With much of Jerusalem under intense development and Arabs employed at many building sites, police fear a future attack could be carried out by toppling a crane on a densely populated district.”
I received an email from Ines Weber today informing me that a few of you have already registered for the trip and sent in your deposit. So, some of the rest of you must be thinking, “What does this mean to our Israel tour? Is it safe?”
I know that it has crossed my mind. How can touring a place under the constant threat of terrorist attack be ‘safe’? Let’s explore that just a bit.
It sounds a bit counterintuitive, but when you think about it, there is probably no place on the planet safer than Israel when it is under high terror alert.
During such times, the IDF has small anti-terror units deployed throughout the country. One of the sights we’ll see most often will be small groups of three or four soldiers, all carrying Uzi submachine guns.
Most Israelis are either current or former IDF soldiers. And most of them are armed. That’s one of the other sights that will take some getting used to. Civilians armed with handguns on their hips, out with their families, pushing baby strollers, but constantly on the alert for danger and ready to respond.
Consider the eyewitness account of the bulldozer attack. The eyewitness was among a crowd of Israeli civilians already racing toward the bulldozer — and before Shmuel Sackett could get a clear shot, another civilian had already shot him. The previous attack ended similarly.
When it comes to the threat of terror, logic dictates one is better protected on a street in Israel than on a street in any major American city, where the only civilians carrying guns are criminals.
What about the possibility of war? I’d say war is more than a possibility — it is a probability. But it isn’t likely to have any effect on our trip. If it is an active war zone, the tour will be canceled and our deposits refunded.
If the State Department issues a traveler’s advisory, our trip will be canceled and our deposits refunded.
The likelihood of war breaking out without warning is remote; the likelihood of it breaking out during the specific ten days we’re there is even more remote. We will, of course, be watching the political situation very, very closely — the probability that we’ll be blind-sided is extremely remote.
Then, of course, there is the God Factor.
The purpose of our trip is to see the places where Jesus walked, to stand by the Temple at the point where this earth comes the closest to God’s Throne, to view with our own eyes the places and landmarks of the Bible, and to widen our perspective so we can draw closer to our Lord.
We are in God’s Hands every waking moment of our existence anyway. If God knows when a sparrow falls, and if God is so intimately concerned with your well-being that the very hairs upon your head are numbered, whether we are trusting God for our safety in Boise, Idaho or Jerusalem, Israel is irrelevant.
He is the same God in Jerusalem that He is in Boise, and He is just as faithful.
War could break out while we are there. Or war could break out here (wherever ‘here’ is to you) before we even leave. Or you could get hit by a bus.
Or we could be Raptured before then. (Wouldn’t it be cool to be Raptured FROM Jerusalem?)
But if we don’t go, we’ll never know what the Lord might have had waiting for us there, had we trusted Him enough to go and claim it. For me, that is the riskiest option of them all.
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
If I can’t trust Him in Israel — then where?