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I moved to Erbil. Step by step, antisemites made a plan to murder me.

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Note: This post is the second in a series about how I found myself targeted for my Jewishness by a cell of antisemites, and the collective indifference that allowed a small handful of people to cast a large shadow of danger across the entire Kurdistan Region.

I am on the train right now — in motion, on the move — at an onboard table overlooking the majestic coast of California. It is wintertime, and the sunsets are early.

Between my fingers are the buttons of a keyboard.

This is a beautiful moment. And I am in this beautiful moment. But I am not completely here. Inside of me, it feels like someone has scooped out my intestines. I feel like I am dying, yet nobody has hurt me quite yet. Instead, it is just the terror that is always lurking alongside me and waiting to pounce. This time it hits me as I ride the train, but it can happen as I walk to coffee, sit with friends, fumble with my keys, or any other possible moment. It is a feeling that clings to me closer than any friend. And sometimes it overwhelms me. It is the up and down of trauma. You see, last year I nearly died.

I not only nearly died— it was a murder attempt involving people who I already knew were planning to kill me. But I never expected it to be enabled by those who I trusted and respected.

I am insignificant. But day by day, month by month, and year by year, from the moment I moved to Erbil, my life was on a countdown to the moment my existence would become a political question or opportunity. Sensing my existence and its implications, people made designs to hurt me, like spiders slowly encasing a moth that got trapped in a web of antisemitism.

Last year, I received a call from the FBI: it was a “duty to warn” call that there was an attempt on my life.

I had to leave immediately.

In a fortunate twist of events, I was already outside of my apartment. In fact, I was far away from the attempt as it unfolded. Due to unexpected circumstances, I was on the other side of the world, in a sunny bedroom in Eagle Rock on a weekday morning. Advertisement

I wanted the call with the FBI to last forever. I felt safe on the phone.

Initially, I was receiving so little information. Yet I felt like every single enunciation, every rhythm of cadence, every detail of word choice might convey something to help me understand more about what was happening and allow me to make the problem vanish.

I did not know it then, but it is clear to me now........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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