If you know Marc Prowisor, you know that he was chief of security for the Shiloh region for ten years, and that he is the One Israel Fund's director of security projects. What you probably don't know is that he has a university degree in art, he's a talented painter, and he left a promising career in New York as an artist in order to return to Israel to protect his people in his land.
"My art education and my painting has helped my security career," he says. "I think out of the box. I don't think along the lines of most."
Whatever the reasons, Marc Prowisor has proven to be very good at what he does. He has assisted in stopping countless terror attacks, saving the lives of more Jews than anyone knows.
His most life-changing intervention was in 2002, when a terrorist killed 10 people and injured dozens more in an incident just south of Shiloh. Marc, who had received a donation of a telescopic rifle sight just days before the event, got to the scene as soon as he got the call. "I was listening to the bullets whizzing by, which is an interesting experience, " he understates.
"The people there were terrified. By using the sight that I got, I was able to locate the terrorist. I looked into the sight and was able to return fire." Becoming reflective, Marc adds, "It was after that part that I realized that if I had the privilege, the mitzvah of saving lives that day, it wasn't just me alone. If this American donor had not sent me the telescopic sight and done his part, there would have been a lot more dead people and orphans that day."
Today, Marc works with the One Israel Fund to match people with potential donor projects set up to keep the Jews of Judea and Samaria safe. He explains the program in an unconventional way: "You know what? They are a human rights organization," he says. "They are an organization which worries about the rights of the Jewish population of Judea and Samaria. They are an organization which enables Jews living outside of Israel to connect in a tangible way to projects inside of Israel. They create a bridge to connect people to our heartland, which is our history. A fundraising organization? No. They may raise funds, but they are definitely not a fundraising organization. They are trying to keep Jews safe and sound. Basic rights, just like anywhere."
When asked about his view on prospects for peace in the region, Marc again speaks of human rights. "We as Westerners do not respect the Arab world enough," he states. "To respect them we must understand that they are different. They have a different mindset and they think differently than us. When we realize that, then we might help bring peace here. We need to listen and learn from what they say and stop being manipulated." Changing tone, Marc adds, "But the first step is for Jews to realize that this is our land. To start acting like it and behaving like it. No more Jewish victims. When we do not accept terrorism or violence against us, then we'll be fine."
Judy Simon, the host of Life Lessons, explores the lives of fascinating people from all walks of life and follows their stories of lessons learned along the way. The Life Lessons podcast airs every Thursday from 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Israel time on Israel National Radio. For mp3 archives click here.