Gerald Hetzel was a young German tourist innocently trying to visit ancient archaeology, and unprepared for a visceral hatred about to rock his world. He and a fellow German friend were driving an Israeli rental car into Shechem (Nablus) when young Palestinians zeroed in on them. Thinking they were Jews, the hooligans attacked them and their vehicle. A lynch mob gathered with worrying speed. Several Palestinian policemen on the scene seemed powerless to prevent an impending double murder. The tourists were lucky to escape down side alleys. This is part of Gerald’s testimonial responses to the Israeli news outlet Kan 11:
“We felt very, very afraid. I felt really, really endangered… [I] did not know if I would get out of there alive because they had so much hate against us…
“I was a few times in Judea and Samaria – to Ramallah also, with rented cars; and I never had any issue there.
“So I did not expect this to happen, that we were literally attacked by a mob of young angry people… And we tried to explain in English that we are tourists, that we are from Germany, we are both not* Jewish – so we are not a target for them.
“But they didn’t understand. They didn’t even listen really to us. They just screamed at us, and they started first to bump with their fists against our car, and then they took some traffic signs and rocks that they were throwing against us…
“It definitely changed my mind about the Palestinians because so far I had much better experience with them. And it just showed me that kind of out of nowhere they can attack you. And they were so triggered by this really, really small Israeli flag on the car that they decided to attack us. And I don’t know if they wanted to kill us, but we definitely had this impression.”
One sub-text is that if they had been Jews, maybe some violence would have been expected or even acceptable in Gerald’s mindset.
How painfully poignant that these young tourists got such a bitter, stark taste of being treated as if they were Jews – of feeling for a few harrowing minutes what it would have been like to have been born as descendants of Jacob – still under fire, 79 years after the Holocaust.
This narrowly-averted murderous lynch provides yet more sobering confirmation that the mainstream European and global news media have grossly misrepresented the Palestinian cause.
How many others like Gerald have allowed themselves to be convinced of the following:
- That the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is morally, culturally and religiously symmetrical?
- That ethnic cleansing of Jews from Judea and Samaria is logical?
- That the Palestinian narrative and modes of operation are reasonable!?
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