Daniel Seidemann, one of the country’s top experts on the politics of Jerusalem and a longtime activist who founded the NGOs Ir Amim and Terrestrial Jerusalem, was struck by a rock thrown through his car window on Saturday. He was wounded in the back of his head, requiring stitches. Danny has many colleagues and friends who, like me, were terribly saddened by the incident. Being who he is, Danny himself had many things to say that are characteristically insightful and sensitive. With his permission, I am re-posting the texts he wrote for status updates on social media.
Saturday, November 23.
This afternoon, I paid a working visit to a friend in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sur Bahir, barely a kilometer from my home. When we took leave of one another, I headed home in my car. I had the misfortune of ending up in a traffic jam in the center of the village, just as school was getting out.
I didn’t see it coming, but should have: I was a sitting duck. The rock was probably thrown at point blank range; it smashed the side window with enough force to leave a deep gash in the back of my head. I was fortunate: I did not lose consciousness, nor my sense of orientation. Thankfully, the traffic jam loosened up a bit. Within a minute or so I was out of danger and on my way to get treatment.
This ended with a few stitches and no serious damage (confirmed by a CT).
I come away from this day with a few insights. In the wake of the incident, I encountered about a dozen people who had to hear my story, from the first-aid clinic, to the police, to the emergency room and neurology department at Hadassah Hospital. All were pleasant and empathetic. All but two of them asked the same question: “what the hell were you doing in Sur Bahir?” So much for the undivided capital of Israel, where a Jewish Israeli visiting a Palestinian friend less than a mile away is a source of astonishment.
The two primary physicians who took care of me didn’t ask that question, not because they’re physicians, but because they’re Palestinian. The guy who stitched me up is an East Jerusalemite who studied medicine in Cairo. The neurologist is a Palestinian citizen of Israel. They knew exactly what brought me...