The Terror Within: A Survivor’s Tale. Held captive to depravity I knelt, gagged. I remember the fusion of the fragrant pines and the stench of bile trapped under the rag around my mouth. I remember hearing the songs of the birds and the terrified whimper of my friend. I remember a bright light; a machete glinting in the sun. Beauty and the beast, sanctity and savagery were the unfathomable backdrop of those moments, an eternal epoch that has not allowed, like other memories, for normative absorption with the passing of time. I had never contemplated being brutally murdered.
Nick and all related titles. Ep 8: The Terror Within. Legend of Korra S1, Ep 1/2: Welcome to Republic City/A Leaf in the Wind.
At only forty- six years old even death had barely crossed my mind. It was half an hour of madness so debilitating that even the moments necessary for preparing myself for death were strangled by the dread of the manner of my imminent execution.
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I recall looking to Heaven and begging the sun not to set, and seconds later witnessing the unthinkable: A human being hacked to death before my very eyes. I was no longer afraid to die, but I was terrified of giving up. I wanted the police to find my body so that the sons of evil would be caught. I wanted to choose my own grave, I wanted that last autonomy. Somehow, gagged, bound, barefoot and bleeding to death, I managed to get up and walk a mile through the forest.
I sustained thirteen machete wounds in my lungs and diaphragm, six compound fractures in my ribs, thirty additional fractures, a dislocated shoulder, a crushed sternum and a broken shoulder blade. I found no comfortable grave. Instead, surprisingly, I found help.
She was also pillaged of a natural demise surrounded by her loving family. Her death stole from her the dignity of dying in a pain- free manner, that basic mercy awarded to even the worst of convicted killers. It ripped apart her family. His blows smashed my bones, slashed my flesh, decimated my soul and shredded the person that I once was. A year after the attack, as part of a small Israeli delegation I was invited to speak at a European conference that sought to provide a platform for terror victims to tell their stories. I sat next to an Indonesian Muslim who had been . He was just one of thousands of Muslims maimed or killed by the fanatics within their own Islamist- led regimes.
His head was nothing but an unshapely mass that emerged at a peculiar angle from his neck. Tufts of coarse hair sprouted erratically behind his ears. The patches of light- toned skin grafted onto his dark face turned him into a macabre kaleidoscope of humanity. Juxtaposing my physical condition with his, I felt properly grateful. I have no physical disability or outward disfigurement that would serve as a constant source of intrigue to those around me. Nothing about my appearance would ever make people suspect that I was a victim of terrorism.
Individual terror; Insurgency; Kidnapping. Domestic terrorism in the United States consists of incidents.
Officials remove Kristine’s remains from the scene of her murder, December 2. Photo: Nati Shohat / Flash.
As terror victims do, we skipped the small talk. The Indonesian gentleman intuitively recognized that it must be a burden for me to have concealed physical scars that hide all evidence of the psychological terror that I live with day and night. He recognized that I am therefore not always awarded that extra dose of patience or understanding that I sometimes desperately need.
I sensed his hidden pain too, and inquired if anyone ever related to him outside his victimhood. I wondered if his conversations were ever peppered with anything but terrorism. Although our experiences were different and it was futile to compare, we were family, inseparable siblings of random political murder.
Irrespective of our racial and cultural backgrounds, we were both human targets of indiscriminate and senseless acts of terror. Like me, this innocent man had been tossed by waves of horror and ended up shipwrecked on a hostile shore. Like me, he had no possibility of returning to his former life. Whatever we once were had disappeared along with all our former trivial concerns. In its place was a new us, an unfamiliar us, people who bore not only physical scars but the psychological lesions of those old before their time.
The objective of the weekend was to allow a . But despite the good intentions of the conference, my suffering was exacerbated by the applause of well- meaning pity. I wanted to jump, scream, tear my hair out, fry an egg, take my clothes off. I am in chronic physical pain and am haunted by the images of my friend writhing and screaming as a terrorist impaled her to the ground. Life has not been kind or fair to me, but it would be incorrect to assume that my sufferings are either comparable or unique.
Inscribed upon the tablets of history are records of barbarity towards generations and cultures that have gone before me. Entire people groups have been treated with heinous cruelty: the Kurds, the Serbs, the Aborigines, the Native Americans, the Armenians, and the Jews, to name but a few.
And history has also not been kind or fair to Palestinians. The political frustrations of the Palestinians are as legitimate as they are harsh.
True, the Israeli government has often put its head in the sand. But even now, not one Arab state has ever agreed to nationalize the Arab refugees who fled to Arab lands during or after the 1.
War. Even now, many live in squalor because their respective Muslim regimes deny them the privilege of buying land. Even now, the failure of relief agencies is barely addressed. Without exception, the Palestinian leadership has sabotaged every single offer that a mediator has brought to the table. Behind this ostensibly harmless narrative of misfortune is a subtle and underrated form of political terrorism that is fortified with a mendacious propaganda campaign that is so effective that lies are now truth, fact is now fiction, and the Palestinians have lost sight of who they are. By rewriting history, they attempt to invoke not just self- defeating perpetual sympathy, but inflame the fury of those who harbor the world.
They have brilliantly unstitched the historical, Jewish, Jesus of Nazareth. Similarly, the Holocaust, that mass industrial murder of six million Jewish people and the ultimate human atrocity, has been nefariously captured by the talons of the Palestinian Authority. The spurious and lethal certitude that every single Palestinian amounts to nothing but an emaciated, caged refugee in a Zionist imposed ghetto, surrounded by a 2. Kristine’s family and friends pray for her soul at a memorial service at Christ Church in Jerusalem. Photo: Miriam Alster / Flash.
The formation of this . It absconds with the sufferings of Jewish history to gain political clout, and carves victimhood out of a stealthy narrative that mirrors, undermines, and purposefully inflames an unreformed Islamist East and hoodwinks a largely anti- Israel West. Behind the phenomenal . As a person who has suffered greatly, I cannot accept the endorsement of the perpetual psychological victim of any individual as either true, moral, or helpful. I want my horrendous experience to help my Palestinian friends unshackle themselves from the lies that they are being told and telling themselves. I want to guide them out of the dark thicket of resentment and encourage them into the light.
I want them to choose life. I want them to make a better future for their children. I want them to lead healthier and more meaningful lives. Behind this ostensibly harmless narrative of misfortune is a subtle and underrated form of political terrorism that is fortified with a mendacious propaganda campaign that is so effective that lies are now truth, fact is now fiction, and the Palestinians have lost sight of who they are. So I share with them the story of my own death march so that they can marvel at the hidden strength and the irresistible drive that dwells within a human being to live and not to die. I share this in the hope that the challenges that I continue to encounter in my own life will help them somewhat through theirs.
I remind them that agony and gratitude go hand in hand. I tell them that I am in psychological trauma with what I have seen, yet I am smitten with the joy of being alive. I look to the light that forms the shadow in the valley of death and tell them that once I was bound but now I am free. I am free to choose right from wrong, free to strike or embrace; my once- bare feet are free to walk painlessly towards or painlessly away. It is effortless for me to be bound again by a fear- based lie that every single Palestinian is a terrorist.
To avoid shackling myself with these chains of prejudice I have to scrutinize any signs of contempt encroaching upon my soul. To steer clear of that thicket of hostility, I lunge towards freedom by nurturing the relationships with my Palestinian friends, and reject the manacles of vicarious blame that holds accountable the entire Palestinian people.
It is my jihad, my struggle, my individual and persistent mental war that is won by me telling myself that not every Palestinian is responsible for the murder of Kristine. It was just two thugs who were part of a thirteen- man terror cell. It was just the Arab states, banks and Muslim charities who finance terrorism through money laundering. It was just the Palestinian Authority, the recently united Fatah and Hamas, a state- sponsored coalition of terror. These are the people who are responsible for the murder of Kristine Luken. The people who attacked Kristine and me were arrested and tried in September 2. Photo: Uri Lenz / Flash.
There are thousands of Palestinians who have done nothing to deserve the situation that they find themselves in. No one in their moral right mind is happy with the political status quo. It is these innocent Palestinians who are the hope for their future, and by taking on a moral jihad, a non- violent struggle, I hope, with them, that they will defeat the insidious occupation of hate in their society and souls. I wish them freedom: an autonomy of thought that refuses to believe that they will only be liberated by the shedding of blood.