I called Elie tonight to see how he was doing. As I somewhat expected, he was at the checkpoint. All was quiet. It's Ramadan and according to Islam, the Arabs fast during the day. As evening arrives and full night sets in, it's very quiet at the checkpoint. The Arabs are breaking their fast, eating and drinking after a long, hot, dry day.
Elie sounded relaxed when I asked how things were. He told me that the previous day, he'd caught a Palestinian driving illegally. He called the Israeli police, who told him they couldn't send a car because they were busy.
"What happened yesterday?" Elie asked me and I explained that a Palestinian terrorist had entered a Jewish settlement and stabbed a nine year old boy five times.
"Is he ok?" Elie asked and I told him that the boy was very lucky, had even tried to fight the Arab off and yes, he would be alright. I also told him that close to him, Arabs had thrown stones on the highway, injuring three Israelis. Elie hadn't heard about that. And another kassem rocket was fired at Sderot. Luckily, this time, no injuries.
I heard noise in the background; the other soldiers were relaxed and enjoying themselves. They were making jokes and teasing Elie, "tell them if they don't stop, I won't send anymore brownies," I said as a joke.
I was surprised (and pleased) to hear Elie tell them and immediately, heard them laughing and begging in the background, "No, no, no."
"Ok," I told Elie, "I'll keep sending brownies."
"She said, 'ok'," he told his friends and I heard more laughter.
"This time, but it's the last time," I told Elie and again he repeated it to his friends and I heard more laughter.
There were many threats against Israel today. A child was stabbed yesterday; firebombs against buses and rocks against cars and rockets against our cities. Elie stands now, at this very moment, on a dark stretch of road between several Arab villages. It's a sobering thought, even a bit of a scary thought, except that he's armed, he's trained, and most of all, he's with friends.