Assault in Israel

by Loolwa Khazzoom • December 23, 2010 • Jewish Multicultural Corner

I just read a news report about two women who were stabbed by Arab men, one woman fatally wounded, while walking a dog in the outskirts of Jerusalem.

In 2002, when I lived in Be’er Sheva, in Southern Israel, a man I was dating, Amir, took me to the remote outskirts of the city, to show me a cool view from the hills. As we came back down the hill, a car started honking – as it stalled right near where we were parked. I sped up and called out to the passengers, to see what they needed, thinking maybe they wanted directions or maybe our car was blocking theirs.

Suddenly two young men came flying out of the car and charging uphill at Amir and me, each man blocking one of us, both violently screaming at us in Arabic. As I confronted the assailant in my face, I heard Amir, further up the hill from me, calmly speaking to his own personal assailant in Arabic. Amir, you see, was also an Arab.

I’m far from fluent in Arabic. I do, however, know enough Arabic to understand that the assailant up the hill shouted this out to the guy still in my face: “It’s OK, it’s OK, he’s an Arab. He’s an Arab.” With that, the assault was called off. As in, oops, my bad, sorry bro. As Amir and I neared our car and were close enough to that of our assailants, I discovered that there was a young German woman driving the getaway vehicle.

What. The fuck. I could not stop shaking all night long.

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Loolwa KhazzoomLoolwa Khazzoom has worked with leading media outlets, including The New York Times, CNN, Rolling Stone, and ABC News. In addition, she has published two books and has lectured at prestigious venues including Barnard Center for Research on Women, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Harvard University. Loolwa is passionate about health, music, dance, multiculturalism, and Judaism.

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