"My knee bleeding, I limped downhill"

Breaking the wall that silences victims of Arab harassment, Ayelet Lash recalls a bloody humiliation. #andmetoo

Arutz Sheva ,

"לא ידעתי עד כמה התגובות יפתיעו אותי". איילת לאש
"לא ידעתי עד כמה התגובות יפתיעו אותי". איילת לאש
צילום: יח"צ

Women used to be afraid to talk about it – but this is starting to change. We're talking about harassment of Jewish women by Muslim Arabs – a particularly painful and frightening form of harassment that combines sexual and violent elements with Arab nationalism, Islamism and anti-Semitism.

Jewish women are starting to speak up, thanks to the courage of women like Ayelet Lash, 27, of Samaria, who has created a new hashtag in Hebrew, #וגםאני, which means #andmetoo. It is obviously a riff off the currently popular #metoo hashtag.

"I was in my first pregnancy, eighth month, my bulging stomach making it obvious", she wrote.

"I was going home from my law internship, walking down the inclined street that leads from Pisgat Ze'ev to Hizme, in the sweltering heat. From there, I would hitchhike.

"As I waddled forward with a heavy bag and even heavier tummy, a large white car sped toward me and screeched to a stop. The vehicle was full of Arab men, apparently from the nearby village; their laughter was wild and they shouted at me in Arabic. The car sidled up to the sidewalk, about half a meter from me, and one guy started to open the door. It was a matter of seconds. I got a hold of myself and ran like mad, crossing to the other side of the street . I did not bother looking both ways first. I figured it was better for me to get run over than to stand there.

"I ran like mad and the car started to drive in reverse, apparently in my direction. I looked back for a second. Their heads were protruding out of the windows, and they were roaring with laughter.

"It was one o'clock in the afternoon, the road was deserted.

"I don't know what happened. I think another car suddenly arrived and they had to go into drive gear. In any case, after a few seconds that seemed like an eternity, they drove off.

"I meanwhile, stumbled on the-devil-knows-what as I ran away and found myself falling to the sidewalk. With healthy instincts, I threw all of my body weight on my knees, protecting my stomach.

"My pulse was racing. I was totally confused, trying to get a grasp of the situation. What were they trying to do? Get me into the car? Just having a good laugh at my expense? To hell with them. What a humiliation.

"With great effort, I got myself up, my knee bleeding, I limped downhill, now not far from the hitchhiking station. An Egged bus stopped near me. A saint of a driver stepped off the bus, apologized for not having bandages, offered me a bottle of water to wash off my knee.

"I won’t bore you with details. Let me just say that it was a nightmare. I thought it was just a deep abrasion on the knee and that it would heal quickly, no need to make a big deal out of it. I did not tell my parents, no need for them to worry even more than they do.

"After three days with a high fever I realized I needed to see a doctor. To make things short: a third degree burn, injections, antibiotics, and a doctor who very angrily ("You're crazy") asked how I could neglect something like that.

"Not for a moment did we consider reporting the incident to anyone. What would the police do? Punish Arab youths for scaring a Jewish woman?

"But in my eyes, it was a grave incident. Very grave.

"Because I saw, in their eyes, 'I am boss'. The feeling of sovereignty. The feeling that says, we own this place, we drive with our heads out the window and laugh at you, and you are the one running away, so full of fear that you crash to the sidewalk.

"They went away from there with a feeling of victory, and they had humiliated me. And what a humiliation it was.

"It was nationalistic, make no mistake. They had nothing against Ayelet Lash. They had something against this Jewish woman.

"I have a few more stories, about harassment on the Light Rail, an attack in the parking lot of Ammunition Hill, more harassment near Hebrew University. All of them nationalistically motivated.

"Hey, nothing major happened, right? After all, here I am, alive. But in my eyes, these are serious incidents. If the #metoo campaign that was mounted recently received such praise from the women of the extreme left, and made such a stir on the Internet, now it's our turn: It's our turn to raise awareness to an important and painful subject. And maybe, if I tell my story, and you tell yours, and you…. Maybe we can create some awareness in the upper echelons, and prevent the next painful incidents".