BJF Board Member Experiences Anti-Israel Media Bias First-Hand
Recently, Birmingham Jewish Federation board member Jahan Berns, who is Christian, went to Israel. Participants included Christian members of different congregations in Alabama. Jahan went as a representative of her church — Canvas Church. The group toured Christian sites and some Jewish sites. Here is what Jahan had to say about her experience in Israel.
I had a fantastic trip, almost didn’t want to come back! On Shabbat, my friends and I were making our way to the Western Wall to tour and pray.
We stopped at the famous Alabama store located in Jerusalem for people to take pictures. Suddenly all these police officers in uniform and some in plain clothes came running past us. They were running so hard and fast that one of them nearly knocked one of my friends over. A few minutes later, we were told by some people that a police officer had been stabbed and that the terrorist who stabbed the police officer was killed. The police shut the place down — we didn’t make it to the Western Wall until the next day.
I was so proud of the policemen and Israel Defense Forces for keeping the peace — we didn’t feel threatened or afraid. In fact, no one in our group of 44 showed any visible signs of fear. I was struck by how everyone just quickly returned back to life as normal and we all moved on to bargaining and buying and selling.
I was also very surprised to read that Jordan blamed Israel for the death of the terrorist. The attack happened a few minutes from where we were. While I didn’t personally witness it, everyone coming from that direction acknowledged that the attacker without provocation stabbed the policeman/guard. It really sank in for me in this moment — people don’t really know what life in Israel is like. That’s why it’s easy for them to criticize Israel’s defensive measures.
That terrorist could have stabbed any one of us, he could have stabbed an innocent, defenseless child; he could have actually killed someone who wasn’t as agile or well trained as the policeman he attacked.
It is just so natural that anyone attacked in such a brutal fashion would instinctively defend themselves. It is ridiculous for a hypocrite seated on their comfortable high horse to point a crooked accusing finger and deny the aggression that justified the self defense. Gosh, just writing about it makes me heated — I can say for the first time, I really understand what Israelis feel when the media twists stories.