Soldiers all Over and More

 This article was first posted on my blog, Shiloh Musings,  Soldiers all Over and More,
The other night when I was waiting for a ride home from Ofra one of the soldiers stationed at the trempiada, aka hitchhiking post just outside of Ofra heard me speak and spoke to me in English asking where I'm from. It ends up that he's from Monsey and has grandparents someplace on Long Island. He knows the street name but not the town. We didn't get to talk too much, because a neighbor pulled up and took me home.
Yes, there are soldiers stationed everywhere. Last week when I was waiting at the T Junction to Beit El aka Givat Asaf, there were a whole bunch there, too. I could hardly see them and then, after looking up, I realized that the lightbulb in the streetlight over the spot had gone out. It was awful. You couldn't see who was in the cars pulling up to offer rides. And you couldn't see what license plates that were on the cars. That's not safe at all. I'm an old hand at tremping aka hitchhiking, and I like to see who's coming. So I asked the soldiers to please report the lack of proper lighting to their superiors or whomever, which they did. But a few nights lighter when passing by I could see that it hadn't yet been repaired. (If you're from Beit El or work there, please have it fixed if it hasn't been.)
I've also seen a lot more fully equipped soldiers at Sha'ar Binyamin. Some are standing around guarding and others shopping for noshes.
Rami Levy, Sha'ar Binyamin, Photo by me, Batya MedadRami Levy, Sha'ar Binyamin, Photo by me, Batya Medad
Rami Levy, Sha'ar Binyamin, Photo by me, Batya Medad
No doubt they find it a lot more pleasant and convenient being stationed by Rami Levy than wandering the roads by Arab villages. The presence of all the soldiers is more a deterrence than anything. Most terrorists, like muggers, look for "easy marks" to attack.
Nowadays, many more Israelis who have licensed guns are taking their guns with them everyplace. That's what neighbors tell me. Last night at work a young family came into the shoe store, and while they had the young children trying on shoes, one of the kids began to cry:
"What happened?" asked the mother.
"Abba's (daddy's) gun scraped me." said the little girl.
Apparently when the father picked her up, his easy to draw gun or the metal I saw sticking out of his waistband got in the way. That's today's reality here. Many of the Arab terrorists of late have been immediately executed on the spot by prepared civilians like that young father. Most people are not letting the fear of Arab terrorism keep them home, but there's no Pollyanna-like ignoring of dangers.
I'm not the only one who hasn't changed routines at all. But one thing is that don't travel with earphones listening to lectures the way I once did. We have to stay alert. It's also not good to be busy reading/watching the screen when outside. And remember not to panic and stay home. The very vast majority of Israelis, towns, cities and neighborhoods will never be targeted by Arab terrorists. And about the Yafiz and Rami Levy compound in Sha'ar Binyamin, besides the soldiers there have always been extra security and a gate. Even though there are Arab employees, I think it's safer than the rest of Sha'ar Binyamin or any Israeli street and most stores.