Tales From My Life

The Cross of Humiliation

“Ma atah oseh po?” the Israeli soldier demanded of me in Hebrew. “What are you doing here?”

“Nothing,” I replied—and the next instant, he was aiming his rifle at me!

The year was 1987, the year the First Intifada began, and I was twelve years old, playing in the streets of the Via Dolorosa, utterly unaware that a riot was underway in the market. But as I was head- ing home, suddenly soldiers were all around. Some were sitting right at a point I had to pass—and now this one, a man with an ugly reputation, was pointing his gun right at my head!

Click. Click. He pulled the trigger twice.

The magazine was empty. He was just dry-firing, amusing him- self at my expense, but I was terrified.

Since my only way home in the Old City lay directly past him, I kept walking as fast as I could, trembling inside and hoping to get by without any further incident.

No such luck. The soldier got up, approached me, and without warning, smack! slapped me hard across my face! I began to cry in earnest. I was hurt. I was afraid for my life. And I guess the man realized I had done nothing wrong, because after that, he let me go. I ran home, crying hard.

The slap stung all the more because I hadn’t deserved it, and the clicks echoed in my head. My dad, during his years as a policeman, had never slapped me like that, let alone scared me with his gun.

Lest it sound like I’m singling out Israeli soldiers, I assure you that, for a Palestinian Christian, oppression comes from every side. On another occasion, I had finished school at New Gate for the day and gone with my friends to play at Damascus Gate in East Jerusa- lem, the Muslim section of the city. I was standing near a toy shop opposite the gate when one of the local boys approached me—a big, fat, strong-looking kid.

“Are you Christian or Muslim?” he asked.

With a big smile on my face, I replied, “Christian.” Wham! Out of nowhere he hit me in the face. I reeled back in

pain and confusion but otherwise did not react. I was too stunned to do anything except, instinctively, turn the other cheek, not real- izing I was doing exactly what Jesus said I should do when mis- treated (Matt. 5:39). The pain was intense, and I started to cry. Why did he do that? I thought. I did nothing wrong!

The owner of the toy shop, who happened to be a Christian, saw what had happened. He came out, took my hand, comforted me, and then sent me home.

35 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Free Online Courses

Welcome to my online teaching courses: Walking the Holy Land Let me Tel You why I created walking The Holy land Online Courses? I live in Israel and I have been a licensed tour guide for 20 years, gui

Corona-virus Twins Tours Update News

Dear Friends of Twins Tours,  It has been a pleasure to know each one of you and to study the Bible together.  I’ve always strived to provide more than short tours but to establish a lasting relati