From the heart of Jerusalem: Good gone terribly awry


Prince Charming doesn’t always find Cinderella, and stories do not always have ‘happy’ endings, as most of us learn the hard way. I remember once, after a harried chase, catching a masked Arab who had been heaving rocks and cinderblocks at an IDF position in Hebron.

Directed by a ‘spotter’ up on a rooftop I was running down a narrow alleyway to try and catch him, with my gun cocked and a bullet already in the chamber. Recall that in the Intifada of the late 1980s, these masked terrorists were the assassination squads and suicide bombers, and chances were good that if you didn’t take them off the streets, they would most probably kill again.

Coming around a corner in an alley and almost face to face with one of these masked gunmen, it was definitely an act of willpower to keep my finger off the trigger in order to at least try and apprehend him, rather than just open fire.

When I finally caught up with him and pulled his mask off, I was shocked to discover that he was actually a boy of no more than seven or eight. I can still recall the emotions raging inside of me as we took him back to base in our jeep. On the one hand, how can you really be angry with an eight-year-old kid, even if he is throwing cinderblocks? Obviously he was educated to hate, right?

On the other hand, every human being, even children, know the difference between right and wrong, because we are born with that ability to distinguish: so how can one not be enraged at the sight of a child of whatever age who is willing to murder? Do we dare not view such a child as our mortal enemy?

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