Meir Rubin brought his two young children for an overnight hiking trip
in a forest near Jerusalem – and Arabs almost burned them alive.
“They’ve tried to kill me a few times in the past, but they never tried to burn me alive together with my children,” Meir Rubin, a father-of-two and the Executive Director of the Kohelet Forum, said.
“We’re all fine, but nothing else here is fine.”
Recalling Friday’s events at the Aminadav Forest, Rubin continued: “I left on Friday night to go hiking with my 3-year-old and 6-year-old sons, including sleeping in a tent. We started off with a picnic with friends, during which I noticed an arson in the forest about 200 meters away from us. I called in the police and firefighters.
“I ran towards the site of the arson to try to catch the arsonists. They had already left, so I ran back towards the main exit from the reserve, and I photographed the vehicle with the two youths, which was racing wildly towards the exit. They saw that I had photographed them, braked next to me, and were about to exit the vehicle when they noticed that I was armed, and after a few screams they continued driving at top speed.”
Rubin continued: “The firefighters arrived, extinguished the flames, and continued on. The police also contacted us, received the photographs of the suspects and the vehicle they were in, including the license number. My wife returned home with our youngest, the friends left, and the kids and I remained in the forest. I put the children to sleep in the tent but I didn’t feel comfortable, and I remained awake outside the tent.”
“Around 11:00p.m., I heard noise a few meters from us, and suddenly the entire forest around me started to burn. I threw the kids, half asleep, at the nearest clearing, I called the police and through them the firefighters, and then I took the kids to the car to get away from the fire. I strapped them both into their safety seats, and suddenly two vehicles appeared: A long Savana and another vehicle, and they blocked me.
“For a moment I thought that maybe the Savana is a police vehicle, but when three thugs got out of the vehicles and began cursing me in Arabic, I understood that this was an attempted murder of a kind that we’ve become used to recently: Lynching Jews because they are Jews, maybe because I attempted to start a Torah seed group in the forest.
“Between us, if I was alone I would have run into the forest and waited for the police. Why risk losing my weapons license, being injured, interrogations, a criminal case, and maybe all of those together, if I can anyways run a lot faster than them? A new car will cost less than a good lawyer.
“But my kids were strapped into the car and the terrorists were blocking my path very very well. I went back today to a place where I interrogated myself: My car is parked here, exactly next to the wall and the tree, the Savana is opposite it and behind it is the smaller vehicle. I couldn’t get out, no matter what.
“So I put my hand on the gun and I yelled at them to stop. The three of them continued advancing towards me. I pulled out my gun a bit and I yelled again; they ran towards me even faster and were just a few meters away from me. I pulled out my gun and aimed it at the ground, I put my hand on the cocking handle, and I yelled at them, ‘Get out of here right now, the police are on their way.’
“My magazine was fitted with two regular bullets, and a dumdum in order to ensure stoppage. I already figured a bullet to the center of the body to my right, to the legs of the second, a dumdum to the third that was already on me, and then another one to the right if necessary, but it seemed they understood that I was able to shoot, they returned to their vehicles, and they attempted to block my exit out.”
“Luckily, I understood that that was their intention, and I was already in the vehicle a second after them. My car is a 4×4, despite the fact that it looks like a regular family vehicle, so I drove on the margins a lot faster than they could have expected, and I passed them a second before they blocked the road.”
“I raced around the bends, the kids in the backseat were asking what happened, and the two vehicles were doing everything possible to get me off the road. Whoever knows the steep drive towards Jerusalem will understand how easy it is to conduct a maneuver like this.”
“I managed to remain ahead of them, and at the main entrance to Aminadav, the police car I had called ten minutes prior, near the tent, let me pass and managed to block them from following me. The police officers took my gun and the keys to my vehicle, interrogated me very well over and over regarding what exactly had happened, and ensured that the gun had in fact not be used and was not missing a bullet.”
“And after one of the terrorists ran towards me cursing, they gave me back the gun and the keys and told me to run home immediately before they let them go as well.”
“Yes, you read right. They apparently let them go at the scene. I am not sure, because I did what the police suggested, and I brought my kids home.”
Rubin concluded: “So I had luck, training, and appropriate equipment, and I wasn’t even in a place considered dangerous. And still, a small change in what happened, and the entire incident could have ended in a horrific disaster.”
“As a society, we must not make peace with terror. Terrorists want to terrorize, to prevent routine. All terror that causes people to change their behavior is essentially victorious, and we must not let terror win, ever, in any place, at any time. So what do we do?”
“We define all intentional arson as attempted murder, and we use all of our abilities to catch the arsonists. We change the open fire rules so that intention is enough. And thank you to former Public Security Minister Amir Ohana (Likud), who recently ended the despicable protocol of confiscating weapons and calling for an interrogation at the police station ANYONE who draws a weapon, for any reason.”
“We will fight for our lives and our routines, in the forests and on the roads, in the mixed cities and in the fields. If the Jewish state is not safe for Jews, no place in the world will be.”