“Never bring a knife to a gunfight, son,” is a well-established, completely-true proverb that we as humans are all required to pass on to the next generation of whipper-snappers out there, particularly after we’ve just schooled them at something that demonstrates how we as old men can still occasionally appear to be way more badass than young punks half our age. Sure, when our grandpas said it to us they all looked like Clint Eastwood sipping scotch in a smoke-filled wood-paneled living room, while today most guys my age scream that shit out after noscoping noobs from across the map without aimbot hax like a fuckin’ pimp, preferably while gesturing towards their crotch or high-fiving a dude wearing a backwards hat. Regardless of the delivery mechanism, this short, concise maxim is a time-honored expression that probably dates back to the invention of firearms, and it’s one that’s just as true now as it was first time some 15th-century Date Clan harquebusier headshotted a blood-raging samurai swordsman so hard the dude’s katana pinwheeled into the distance like George Clooney in Gravity.
But what happens when a guy brings a knife to a fistfight? And you don’t even realize you’re actually attending a fight of any variety until after a dude is already hanging on your shoulders ramming the knife repeatedly over and over into your fucking spine?
Well, 40-year-old Israeli citizen Yonatan Azarihab found out for himself three days ago, when some random psychopath came running up behind him in the middle of the day and rammed this ten-inch-long animal-butchering kitchen knife hilt-deep into his neck when he wasn’t even looking:
It was around midday on Tuesday, March 8th, 2016, and Yonatan Azarihab casually walked into a liquor store in Petah Tikva, Israel, minding his own business without any indication that he was moments away from performing a first-person reenactment of the climactic battle from Under Siege. The news articles say that Azarihab was out “collecting money for charity,” and while I can’t speak to this guy’s motivations one way or the other, I can tell you that if I was shanked in a liquor store in the middle of the day on a Tuesday I’d probably come up with some story about how I was doing something more noble than just grabbing a six-pack of Miller High Life tallboys so I could drink alone and watch Black Sails in my underwear all day. So, while it’s certainly possible that this guy is a legitimately kind-hearted gentle soul who spends his weekdays collecting donations for worthy causes that aid the well-being of the human race, I really like the idea that some journalist asked what he was doing and Yonatan just started sweating and blurted out a hilariously-obvious lie that somehow managed to get it printed as fact in every newspaper in the world. It doesn’t matter, because either situation is almost equally badass and it’s irrelevant anyways.
What does matter is that seconds after entering the store, an 18-year-old Palestinian named Abd al-Rahman Radad jumped on to Azarihab’s back and started stabbing him repeatedly in the back, shoulders, and neck. Azarihab started screaming, and as he was struggling to shrug off his attacker, the man on his back took that fucking huge scary-ass Michael Meyers knife and planted it into Azarihab’s deltoid.
What Yonatan Azarihab could not have known was that this was just one of several simultaneous, coordinated terrorist attacks that took place across Israel on Tuesday. One hour earlier, a man in Jerusalem opened fire on a crowd with a Carl Gustav sub-machine gun, injuring a couple cops and civilians. Shortly after that, a guy in Jaffa ran through a crowded boardwalk knifing people, wounding another 11 Israelis and killing an American tourist. Elsewhere, a woman pulled a knife and tried to stab a group of police officers before being subdued. This was a Paris attack style coordinated terrorist assault, intent on wounding and stabbing as many Israelis as possible, and Yonatan Azarihab just happened to be rocking a payot in the wrong place at the wrong time around the wrong person, so now he had a huge hunk of razor-sharp steel sticking out of his neck.
Now, I’m going to take a second here and pre-emptive-strike some of the comments I’ll probably get on the Facebook post this week by saying that I have absolutely zero intention of discussing the never-ending hellhole known as the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Sure, I know shit is super fucked up there, and that there are two sides to every story, and there are a hell of a lot of deep-seeded socio-political and religious implications going on that can’t properly be analyzed at this time in this kind of forum, but, honestly, you’re going to have a hard time convincing me to feel sympathy for a dude who decides his only option in life is to run down a crowded street in the middle of the day stabbing civilians in the neck while they’re trying to grab some brew-dogs. And, I’ll tell you this, if some motherfucker jumped on my back and stabbed me in the ass while I was trying to buy a fifth of Fireball… err, I mean… uh… collect money for a charity that gives free cancer screenings to homeless orphans while teaching them to read the collected works of Aristotle in the original Ancient Greek… I don’t think I’d find it in my heart at that moment to try and debate politics with the ass-stabbing psychopath currently ramming a motherfucking prison shank in and around the area where I like to keep my vital organs.
It would appear that Yonatan Azarihab saw this the same way.
Reciting the Israeli proverb “if I am not for myself, who will be for me?”, fucking Yonatan Azarihab went Hulk Mode, channeled his inner Samson, grabbed the angry man on his back, and fucking flung that dude into a giant display of booze bottles. His assailant smashed through the bottles (in a scene that hopefully was not all that dissimilar from the one I fantasize about pretty much every time I see a huge tower of vodka bottles piled at the entrance of a liquor store), crashing to the floor amid a river of broken glass and liquor. As Abd al-Rahman Radad scrambled back to his feet, the liquor store owner ran over in an effort to help, but Yonatan Azarihab was like, “Yeah, I got this buddy.”
In a scene that plays out probably FAR more dramatically than it did in real life, the sliced-up, bloody, hulking Israeli stood tall, reached for the hilt sticking out of his neck, pulled the goddamn knife out of his fucking neck, and launched a furious attack on the man who just ambushed him.
It’s all in the reflexes.
In Dungeons & Dragons terms, what ensued was basically what happens when the Rogue tries to Backstab the Barbarian but he only does just enough damage to really piss his victim off. Because now Yonatan Azarihab was fucking pissed. In a short, brutal, ferocious fight, Azarihab cut down his attacker, old-school knife-fight style, leaving the man unconscious on the floor of the liquor store. Radad would later be taken to the hospital, but would not survive.
Staggered, dazed, and rapidly losing blood, Yonatan Azarihab slumped down to the bloody floor. Paramedics arrived shortly thereafter, bringing him to the Intensive Care unit with dozens of stab wounds. He was admitted in Serious condition, but in the past few days his wounds have healed and it appears that he will get through this without any serious permanent injury. His actions, pulling a knife out of his neck and then killing his attacker with it (!!!), almost certainly saved many of the citizens of Petah Tikvah from serious injury and possibly even death. It’s also super fucking badass.
I guess in the last few days some Israeli activist came out and said that stabbing a dude with his own knife after he shanks you in the throat is shitty because it violates the murderous psychopath’s right to a fair trial, and while I typically tend to agree that police should do their best to exercise non-lethal force I also have to state the obvious fact here that vigilantes are awesome, and if a motherfucker stabs you 40 times in the spine while trying to cop a non-consensual piggyback ride you are well within your rights as a human to suplex that asshole through a tower of Captain Morgan and give him the Arnold Schwarzenegger Commando treatment. So, even though I admit he has a point, fuck that guy.
Oh, and while it’s not particularly relevant to Azarihab’s story, It’s also worth mentioning here that Azarihab wasn’t the only Israeli civilian who channeled his inner SEAL Team Six on Tuesday either – in the city of Jaffa some dude named Yishai Montgomery was just hanging out on a park bench in his Tool shirt practicing the riff from Sober on his guitar when another off-the-chain spree-stabber came running straight up to him screaming like a madman. Montgomery took one look at this blood-drenched knife-wielding murderer and clubbed him in the skull by swinging the guitar like vintage Pete Townshend on a bender, smashing the guitar and knocking the dude senseless. The stunned would-be stabber staggered back and then started running away, and Montgomery chased him down the street screaming for the cops, who eventually caught up with the killer and stopped him. So that’s pretty fucking awesome as well.
Times of Israel
Civilians Spring to Action to Stop Terrorists
Terror Attacks in Israel