Monday, October 20, 2008

Why the Checkpoints are There

We forget sometimes, in the routine of driving through them or being annoyed by any delay that they may cause, that there is a reason for these checkpoints. If you are feel yourself forgetting, remember the incident cited below. Three years ago, a taxi approached a surprise checkpoint near the Palestinian city of Tulkarem.

The commander of the platoon at the checkpoint was named Uri Binamo. Something must have made him suspicious because he ordered his men to take cover, approached the taxi, and ordered the passengers to get out of the car. The three Palestinian men inside complied with the order, but after exiting the taxi, one of them lifted his shirt to reveal a 10-kilogram suicide belt. Before anyone could react, the Palestinian detonated the belt, killing himself, the Palestinian taxi driver, a second passenger in the taxi and Uri.

Uri's bravery, in ordering his soldiers back, saved their lives, though several were hurt. Recently, friends and family remembered and honored Uri's memory. For those who never knew Uri, all we can do is remember that the checkpoints are there for a reason. An investigation into the incident revealed that the bomber planned to target an event hall used by children during the upcoming Chanukah holiday, and that a second Arab killed in the blast had planned a bombing as well. His friends remember Uri, and so should we.

Friends Remember Soldier who Stopped Attack

Friends and family held a large rally in memory of a fallen soldier recently. They gathered to honor and remember Lt. Uri Binimo, almost three years after his death in 2005. Binimo was killed at a checkpoint near Tulkarem by a suicide bomber. Banimo spotted a suspicious vehicle approaching the checkpoint and told his fellow soldiers to take cover while he investigated. In the terror attack, three other soldiers were wounded, two seriously and one lightly. Binimo was killed instantly.

Binino's sacrifice saved many lives, investigators concluded. Comrades spoke of him as the most loved platoon commander in the battalion, who brought a sewing machine to his base in order to repair his soldiers' torn uniforms.

Following the funeral, Binamo's family remembered him as a child who loved flowers and hikes around Israel with his family. They said that he enjoyed every minute of his military service. "He knew that the area of Tulkarm was the most dangerous sector, but he was determined to reach a goal," Binamo's father said. "This was a boy who would use his leaves - instead of going home - to travel around the country to his soldiers' houses to check and see that everything was alright. His soldiers simply loved him in a remarkable manner."

"We, as parents, as people to whom the country is often more important to them than their own private house is, understood that this could happen, but we would never have wanted this," said the parents, explaining that in their house, helping the community was a basic value.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

the checkpoints are there to make life miserable for the persecuted palestinians. if there was no occupation and persecution of the indigenous population, there would be no terror and no checkpoints. long past time that israel gave up its imperial ambitions and greed for other people's land.

Anonymous said...

As soon as Israel pulled 100% of its citizens, settlements and troops out of Gaza it became a launchpad for terrorists to launch rockets and oher attacks. The idea that the "occupation" creates terror has been thoroughly disproved. Checkpoints are there to stop women and children from being indiscriminately being blown up.

michele said...

If the situation in Israel were such that the "unpersecuted" Jewish population was allowed to actually enter "Palestinian" territory without the very probable and realistic threat of being killed then an attempt by the Israeli government to stop these "persecuted" Palestinans from entering Israel and murdering Jews might be deemed in fact to be persecution.
However, since this is not in fact the case but the reverse is, a Jew must be VERY worried for his life even if he acccidently wanders into "Palestinian" territory and a "Palestinian" does not have this threat upon entering a Jewish populace.
I think that seeing the checkpoints as a persecution tactic might be a little unrealistic.

Marissa said...

The idea that palestinians are the indigenous population to Israel is a myth and not a fact- Jews have been a consistent presence in the land for the past 2000 years. In addition, the word "occupation" is also incorrect, since "Palestine" was never an official country and therefore Israel is not occupying any other soveriegn nation. In addition, any Jews who were born in "Palestine" before the Arab occupation of such land have become Israeli citizens. I have yet to meet a Palestinian citizen. Rather, they are misnomered "refugees" who should be naturalized into the countries in which they reside (Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, etc.). Lastly, there are 6 million Jews living in Israel- you for the end of israel's "imperial amibitions and greed." What do you propose to do with these 6 million citizens. Ethnic cleansing? Transfer? Murder? All of these options would be considered genocide. Without this land, Jews would have no where to go. Just let us be.

Marissa said...

Anonymous- are you justifying murder? Regardless of the circumstances surrounding checkpoints, etc. there is not justification for someone to take someone else's life. Supporting such evil makes you a party to the murder as well.

George said...

Anonymous,

If the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria were to stop trying to murder the Jews of Israel, there would be no checkpoints. It's as simple as that. As for there being an occupation and these Arabs being the "indigenous population", I suggest that you go and learn international law and history.

Murray said...

Murray said ...
Long before the first intifada,in fact before the Six Day War, while driving in Israel, an Arab infiltrator fired at my car, putting a bullet through the windshield. There was no war then. Israel was within its borders. There was no justification for this, except the urge by some Arabs to kill Jews. It is to keep killers and suicide bombers out of Israel that the check points were first put up. I, for one, feel a lot safer.
If Arabs feel inconvenienced, all they have to do is cease trying to kill Jews. They would be amazed how much better their (and our) lives would then become.

bat aliyah said...

Dear Anonymous,

On the one hand, I believe your comment comes from a genuine desire for justice and human rights. On the other hand, you are woefully misinformed about who the bad guys are in this scenario. The whole history of the modern State of Israel is one of failed attempts to compromise for the sake of peace with our Arab neighbors. The Arabs are not, as you suggest, indigenous to Israel. Even still, they have had many opportunities to build their own state side-by-side with Israel but have failed to do so at every opportunity. I strongly suggest you read up on your history of the region. It might open your eyes.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is partially correct. The checkpoints make life miserable, for Palestinians and for Israelis (of all relgions) and who have to wait at the crossings. They are manned by thousands of reservists, called up for militay duty and who thus miss work and their families. Their maintenance drains an already strained national budget.

So clearly roadblocks are not there just to annoy Palestinians. Why are they in place? Well, there were very few of them before the Palestinian leadership encouraged organised violence against Israeli citizens during the Intifada.

A Soldier's Mother said...

Elie's comment to the first comment is: "9/11...and if we didn't do something, we'd have the same thing here every single day, a couple of times a day."

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