In this context it means that they “buy pepper-spray, take self-defense classes as knife attacks surge”. Israel has pretty lousy civilian disarmament rules. This makes no sense in a country where the overwhelming majority of citizens have military training and whose people live under constant threat of attack.
These attacks have increased dramatically in past weeks, morphing into what is being now being called the “3rd Intifada”. Israel has conducted military operations against rocket-launching sites which have resulted in casualties, and security forces have killed several Palestinian knife-attackers. There were 4 more knife attacks Monday alone.
This has meant brisk business for security trainers and retailers. From Times of Israel:
“Thursday was not quiet at all, say co-owners Avi Wachsman and Eyal Daniel.
“We completely sold out of pepper spray, shockers and clubs,” Daniel told The Times of Israel. “We sold three weeks’ worth of inventory in a single day, about 100 items in total.”
Daniel said the customers were from all walks of life: men, women, teenagers, even children and elderly people. “They all said they’re here because of the unpleasant security situation we’re in…”
“You can tell that people are feeling stressed,” said Daniel. “They want a tool to defend themselves if they get attacked.”
On Israel Radio Friday morning, another shopkeeper reported selling out his entire stock of pepper sprayin the past two days. “It’s legal,” he said, “and people feel they need protection.”
Israeli police kill a knife-wielding Palestinian after he attacks several officers.
One immigrant from South Africa, and former IDF Krav Maga instructor Josh Carr made a Facebook post offering free informal krav classes and was blown away by the response:
“Dear friends, (in Israel) due to the current situation, I am offering a free self-defense course. The course will focus mainly on knife defense but will include basic fighting skills and how to react in an emergency situation. This course will not turn you into a superhero, however, it could save your life or the life of someone else.”
Carr has received over 1,000 responses — and counting. “It was overwhelming. I didn’t expect it,” he said.
At first, Carr was planning to teach a few people self-defense techniques in a park. But now that so many people are interested, he hopes to hold events in several cities, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and possibly Beersheba, where he will instruct as many people as he can.
This is far from the first time the people of Israel have needed to band together, and frankly they have faced far greater odds at many points in the tiny nation’s history. This situation is not currently an existential threat, but the Israeli people deserve to live in peace without the threat of being stabbed by racist jihadis who do not recognize the Jews’ right to exist.