Shlicha's/Shaliach's View

Terror demands appropriate, careful response

Oshrat Barel
Oshrat Barel

Terror in Israel, again
Since the recent escalation of terror in Israel, I have been asked about one of the latest incidents in which a young Israeli Arab from Kafr Kana ran toward an Israeli police car and stabbed at the car. Several policemen stepped out of the car and shot him to death. I was asked why the policemen had to shoot and kill him if by the time they stepped out of the car he’d started to run and didn’t threaten their lives anymore? My answer was very simple, every incident in Israel needs to be discussed and explored within the general context. When I watched the video of this young Israeli Arab, I said to myself that as a stranger I would say that the policemen’s hand was too quick on the trigger. But, knowing the reality in Israel these days when a week before, a 1-year-old baby was killed by a terrorist who rammed his car into a crowd of people and a 25-year-old young woman and a soldier were killed on the same day in different terror attacks, I believe that every policeman who is confronted with a terrorist knows that the threat is beyond here and now, that there is always a possibility that five seconds, five minutes or five days later another innocent person will be a victim of terror. But I also believe that in order not to escalate the situation even more, the police need to hold to the highest standards and make sure to arrest the terrorist without killing him — unless their lives truly are in danger.

Israeli culture
Yehuda Amichai is considered by many, both in Israel and internationally, as Israel’s greatest modern poet. Amichai was awarded the 1957 Shlonsky Prize, 1969 Brenner Prize, 1976 Bialik Prize and 1982 Israel Prize. He also won international poetry prizes, including the Malraux Prize at the International Book Fair in France in 1994 and Macedonia’s Golden Wreath Award at the International Poetry Festival in 1995.
A few years ago I received one of Amichai’s beautiful poetry books, “Love Poems,” as a birthday present. This week I read some of the poems and found this lovely poem.

Advice for good love | Yehuda Amichai
Advice for good love: Don’t love
those from far away. Take yourself one
from nearby.
The way a sensible house will take
local stones for its building,
stones which have suffered in the same cold
and were scorched by the same sun.
Take the one with the golden wreath
around her dark eye’s pupil, she
who has a certain knowledge
about your death. Love also inside
a ruin, like taking honey out of
the lion’s carcass that Samson killed.
And advice for bad love: With
the love left over
from the previous one
make a new woman for yourself,
then with what is left of that woman
make again a new love,
and go on like that
until nothing remains.

For many years the Jewish community of Tucson has strengthened the connection between Tucson and Israel through our Partnership2Gether platform, supporting programs in two localities, Kiryat Malachi and Hof Ashkelon. For the past year, the Weintraub Israel Center has been expanding this partnership by creating new people-to-people connections between Tucson and our partnership region. Last week we hosted Adi Shacham from Israel, who is the people-to-people coordinator for our partnership. During Adi’s visit we were able to launch and celebrate seven new connections between schools, linking pre-k and kindergarten classes here with their counterparts in Kiryat Malachi and Hof Ashkelon villages.

To learn more about the Weintraub Israel Center and ways to connect, email .

Oshrat Barel is Tucson’s community shlicha (Israeli emissary) and director of the Weintraub Israel Center.