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I Was at the Tel Aviv Attack And This Is What I Saw Happen

tel aviv attack

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Linda Dayan, an Israeli woman who lives in Tel Aviv, recently went to Facebook to tell her account of events the night of the recent Tel Aviv attack. Like any typical night, she planned a night out with her partner, Jordan. Except this night was different–this night was marked by violence and terror–which Dayan eloquently and poignantly reflects on.

Her piece illustrates the trauma that violence creates–both for the victims and for the entire socio-political climate. Regardless of what side you fall on, her words are true of her own experience, and tell a very human portrayal of how violence affects a community.

Read an excerpt what she has to say below:

“I want to tell you about my night. It’s going to be in the news for a little while, and I want to remember it as it happened, not as the security camera footage shows. This is for me, but it’s also for you. Especially if you live in a place where these things barely make the news.

I was supposed to stay on base all weekend and for the holiday, so I wanted a night out with Jordan. We settled on Benedict at Sarona, a 15-minute walk from our apartment. When we got there, they asked if we wanted a table outside or inside. It was hot, and we decided on inside, even if it meant waiting an extra couple of minutes for a table to clear out. We were seated by the wall, glass from ceiling to floor. It was nice.

We sat, we ate. It was good. We heard this popping noise. At first, I thought it was an electrical problem. Then the screaming started, and the people running past our window. I saw a man. I do not remember the man, but I remember the gun held by the man. It was bright silver, and because I worked on a video about them once, I knew it was a Carlo Gustav rifle. There was fire coming from the barrel, and it was red, and it made the gun even more silver, and I did not notice that he was wearing black and white. He was on the other side of the window, four feet away, separated by glass. Very quickly, everyone at the restaurant either ran or fell to the ground. Jordan ran, I fell to the ground. You don’t coordinate these things.

I lied there, facing away from the window. I really hoped he wouldn’t come into the restaurant or shoot at the glass wall. If he did, I would die. My breathing was steady, and I noticed that the floor was wet, which was unpleasant, but not, you know, the worst part.

After the sounds of the shooting grew softer, someone from the restaurant shouted that we all need to run to the back in case they return, or enter the restaurant. I did. I ran, and I hoped he wasn’t still there outside, the gun and the man holding it. If he was, he could shoot me.

The people in the back of the restaurant–everyone who had been in the restaurant–were staring at me, and I looked down and saw that I was covered in blood. I had fallen on my chin. It was my own.

Jordan found me and cleaned off the blood. We hugged a lot. We told each other “I love you.” We called our families. I left a lot of voice messages.”

Read the rest of Dayan’s post here:

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