‘I’d only had one lesson in Krav Maga. All I had in my mind were, like, things from movies’
Seth, from Utah, was lightly wounded in an attack last month in Jerusalem after fighting off his attacker — who, he says, should ‘get his life together’
Seth wanted to be a good soldier, so while everyone else he was with illegally jay-walked across the street outside the Jerusalem Central Bus Station on December 27, he alone opted to use the crosswalk.
Once he had crossed — weighed down with two big bags of clothes and gear for his return trip to base — Seth felt someone jump on his back.
“I thought maybe it was a friend of mine. I have a couple of friends that say ‘hi’ like that,” he said, thinking it was an army pal messing with him first thing in the morning. “But when I turned, I didn’t recognize the face.”
Seth had been stabbed. It was just after 6 a.m. on a Sunday.
American-born Seth (the IDF requested his last name be withheld for security reasons) is not an Israeli citizen, but a permanent resident. He is originally from Ogden, Utah, but came here with his family when he was two-years old. His family has some Jewish roots, but not enough to qualify for citizenship through the Law of Return.
Seth has attended Israeli schools his entire life, and though his Hebrew is slightly accented, he feels entirely Israeli, with no desire to go back to the States. Not even after his brush with terror. The 21-year-old soldier had joined the IDF’s Artillery Corps this past November, and was just days shy of finishing his basic training when he was attacked.
Seth was officially sworn into the Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday and at his swearing-in ceremony received an award of distinction from his battalion commander for the bravery he had displayed during the stabbing incident just 10 days earlier.
In a phone interview, Seth described the attack calmly and modestly, giving an unembellished account: “He did this with his right arm, I did that with my left arm, I noticed this, he said that.”
The terrorist’s knife went through the strap of Seth’s bag and punctured him in the back, below his right shoulder. But with adrenaline pumping and because of the sharpness of the blade, he said he didn’t actually feel it at all.
Read the Remainder at Times of Israel