Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is —
Greetings, sisters and brothers,
I want to share a very special testimony.
I am deeply thankful that The Lord did not let me think I was okay so that my self-esteem wouldn’t be damaged. I remember when the book, I’M OK, YOU’RE OK, was published years ago which basically stated that we are who we are and it’s okay.
OF COURSE to an extent, this is true. He made us all with wonderful variations, just as He made the heavens and the earth His way, so creatively. But I’ve also read and reread and reread again His Book and met Him who said “You, follow Me.” He has been faithful to tell me that I was NOT okay but that I was riddled with sin and desperately needed A Savior Whose Blood ALONE could atone for all that was NOT okay in me. And that I needed to confess and forsake those sins. He EVEN is willing to gently lead me along the path that brings me over and over again to His True mirror where I can see myself in His Light and again say, “Oh no! This stinks. Help!” He is faithful.
One of the areas that I have stumbled at again and again is unforgiveness. I’m so thankful He hasn’t given up on me and I long to walk in constant forgiveness of others. I have learned that unforgiveness (for me anyway) often clothes itself in nice “poor-me pity party” terms like rejection, victim, hurt, wounded, wronged, etc. My flesh loves those terms and poor me becomes the focus instead of Almighty God.
The testimony of the woman below is that of an Israeli…NOT YET A BELIEVER…but I believe, a hero. When “I’m ok and you’re ok” there ARE no more heroes. We don’t need them. They might make one of us feel badly and not so ok. I am inspired by heroes to walk before Him Who is Holy. Perhaps you will be too. May the testimony of Smadar Haran encourage us all in this very upside down world.
Smadar Haran tells her story, brings journalists to tears.
Survior of the 1979 Nahariya terrorist attack tells her story to foreign war correspondents, who walk away in tears, shock at her lack of hate, and in awe of her refusal for revenge.
When Smadar Haran spoke, not a single pair of eyes around the table at the Rimon Hotel in Tzfat was without tears.
The foreign guests and journalists who sat around her – all of them veteran war correspondents – thought they had already written and seen everything. But this meeting with Haran, who lost who her husband Danny and her daughters Einat and Yael during the terror attack on Nahariya in 1979, somehow managed to shake them up. While with one hand they were writing down every word, with the other, they were wiping away tears.
This was the first time that the Foreign Ministry had ever flown in a delegation of European war correspondents. The purpose of the trip was to expose the journalists to the terror that Israelis have to deal with, and find correlations between the Israeli and European fight against terror.
The delegation was taught about the security arrangements at Ben Gurion International airport, received a tour of the Israeli border with Syria, and visited injured Syrians who were undergoing treatment at Ziv medical center in Tzfat. However, the headline of the trip was with Haran.
Smadar Haran meets with international journalists in Tzfat (Photo: Israeli Foreign Ministry)
“My story isn’t just my own personal story. It’s the story of the Jewish nation and of the State of Israel. It represents the spirit of the state of Israel,” Haran began.
She continued, “This is a national story, and although I’m a terror victim, I decided not to live like a victim and to re-build my life – just as my mother survived the Holocaust and re-built her life in Israel, just like how the Jews creatively re-built themselves any time there are losses or casualties.”
In 1979, terrorist Samir Kuntar infiltrated Israel on a rubber boat from Lebanon along with three other terrorists from the “Palestine Liberation Front.” The four came ashore in Nahariya, shot dead police officer Eliyahu Shahar and broke into the apartment of the Haran family. There, they took Danny Haran and his four-year-old daughter Einat hostage while Smadar hid in a crawl space with two-year-old daughter Yael.
The scene of the Nahariya terror attack (Photo: Tzvi Roger)
Smadar accidentally smothered her daughter Yael to death while she was trying to stop the toddler from crying and revealing their hiding place.
Danny and meanwhile Einat were taken to the beach where a firefight ensued between the terrorists and police officers who arrived at the scene. Kuntar shot Danny Haran then smashed Einat’s skull with the butt of his rifle, killing her as well.
“After the attack in Nahariya,” Haran went on, “I thought about my values – what type of person I want to be – and I decided that I want to be a person full of giving, not hate. I didn’t seek revenge, and I decided that wherever my life is stopped or interrupted, I would continue anew.”
“I never left Nahariya, and I live there today – close to where everything happened. A lot of the people who came to mourn my loss were Arabs, and they live together with us. My children knew their children. The lives of the Arabs and the Jews are intertwined like a collage.”
Terrorist Samir Kuntar, who killed Smadar’s family, being warmly greeted by Syrian President Bashar Assad (Photo: AP)
When asked what she thought regarding the fact that Samir Kuntar, the man who killed her family, was freed by Israeli authorities, Haran said, “When others asked what I thought about Kuntar’s release, I wrote a letter to the prime minister saying that Kuntar isn’t my personal prisoner, and I’m not his personal jailer. I said the decision needs to be made for the greater good and be done with the best interests of the State of Israel in mind. I knew he would return to terror, it wasn’t something that surprised me.”
When she was asked what her feelings were when Kuntar was assassinated, she said, “To my surprise, I didn’t feel anything, but I was happy to know that he wouldn’t be carrying out any more terror attacks in the future.”
The foreign journalists left the meeting with the emotion showing on their faces.
“Smadar is a model to be emulated, a true hero. The thing that really amazed us was her lack of hate and need for revenge after everything she had been through.”
Your sister J