Haaretz, Jun 19, 2017

 

IIt was a battered yellow Fiat 500 traveling to the nearby village. The passengers were a father, mother and two small children, all of them terrified. They had good reason to be scared.

[...] And then, as the family was standing aside, trembling with fear, waiting for us to take their car apart, my attention was caught by the little girl. She was probably 5, the same age my youngest son is now. She was pulling her father’s pants leg and trying to tell him something, but he wasn’t listening. He was clearly terrified.

[...] It turned out she needed to pee. She wanted her father to take her to pee, but he was too scared to move or even say anything.

This was the exact moment when reality bit me hard. For the first time in my adult life as a proud Zionist, reserve officer, one who voted for the left and supported a Palestinian state, I realized that in that place, in that second, the fate of an entire family that was only trying to get home safely was in my hands; that I could show them mercy or the whip. Me.

And I was frightened. Suddenly, I realized the unlimited power I had. There were no checks, no balances, no controls. I could do as I pleased. And even if I couldn’t, that’s certainly what the poor people we’d stopped thought.