The Terror Within: A Survivor’s Tale

The author at a hearing on her case at the Jerusalem District Court, September 18, 2011

Held captive to depravity I knelt, gagged and bound, and waited to be beheaded. I remember the fusion of the fragrant pines and the stench of bile trapped under the rag around my mouth. I remember hearing the songs of the birds and the terrified whimper of my friend.

I remember a bright light; a machete glinting in the sun. Beauty and the beast, sanctity and savagery were the unfathomable backdrop of those moments, an eternal epoch that has not allowed, like other memories, for normative absorption with the passing of time.

I had never contemplated being brutally murdered. Who does? At only forty-six years old even death had barely crossed my mind. It was half an hour of madness so debilitating that even the moments necessary for preparing myself for death were strangled by the dread of the manner of my imminent execution. I recall looking to Heaven and begging the sun not to set, and seconds later witnessing the unthinkable: A human being hacked to death before my very eyes…