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zion's vengeance
by kelechi ajoku
09/16/06
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Ehud knelt down and bowed his head in prayer. All the preparation, all the wait, all the hunger and zeal, thirst and desire would culminate in one final moment, a grand finale that would bring the global axis of evil to her knees. The battle would begin, the final battle for Zion’s redemption and deliverance from her enemies.
He was God’s instrument, God’s weapon of mass destruction and redemption, a deadly two edged sword. Jehovah would give him strength for the battle ahead. His own life seemed a small price to pay for the freedom of Zion.
He muttered his words of prayers clutching his torah close to his chest as the tears streamed down his cheeks.
It wouldn’t be his revenge, it would be the Lord’s vengeance for the years Zion has known terror.
He prayed with more fervour as the passion swelled within:
“Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth,”
Let Israel now say—
“Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth;
Yet they have not prevailed against me.
The plowers plowed on my back;
They made their furrows long.”
The LORD is righteous;
He has cut in pieces the cords of the wicked.
Let all those who hate Zion
Be put to shame and turned back.
Let them be as the grass on the housetops,
Which withers before it grows up,
With which the reaper does not fill his hand,
Nor he who binds sheaves, his arms.
Neither let those who pass by them say,
“The blessing of the LORD be upon you;
We bless you in the name of the LORD!”


Ehud could do little to hold back his emotions and tears:
“….now the hour of destiny has come
I will fulfill my calling, my mission, and passion
Give me strength to war
Give strength to my bow
Give fire to my sword
It will not know rest until the Lord’s enemies are avenged
And the freedom of Zion comes.”




He continued to cry as the visions began to flood his head and the memories came rushing back. The horrid memories of that faithful day in Tel Aviv… ‘Sarah, I shouldn’t have left your side. Please ask Rebecca and Jeremiah to forgive me’
The memories were becoming stronger, ascending in its resilient intensity. He was back on the streets of Tel Aviv… “Dad, dad I want an ice cream and a lemonade” “Don’t cross the road, stay with your mum and sister I’ll get it for you.” He crossed the road to the lemonade stand, “how much…” his question was interrupted by a loud and deafening bang, which sent him sprawling across the pavement. Darling, the kids .he sprung to his feet as quickly as his strength could carry him. All his training and instincts were activated. Sarah!
He ran across the road, a crowd was gathering, the emergency services were arriving at the scene. But he was late, they were all late. The suicide bomber had claimed his victims. Twenty innocent bystanders including Sarah, Rebecca, and Jeremiah had lost their lives. What was left of their charred bodies lay across the road.
“Sarah…please tell the children, I didn’t mean to leave them, I never wanted to leave their side…tell them I will always love them. No one will forget their name soon I will be with you and we will be together again.”

Ehud got to his feet, the hour was nigh.



**********
TEL AVIV
The prime minister sat at his desk, repeatedly sighing in frustration. In his office he had the rare but unpleasant privilege of having the head of the mossad in a secret meeting with his vice premier and the chief of staff.
No one else needed to know what was going on in this room. If word got out there would be a global scale chaos.
“Tell me Chaim, how did we lose our best agent? How does Israel’s number one assassin vanish into thin air?”
“Sir, that’s what he was trained to do. That’s what we train them to do and he’s the best we’ve got.”
“Do they have him? Don’t lie to me”
“Who’s they? Hamas? Hezbollah? Islamic jihad? Al Qaeda? The Syrians or the Iranians? They don’t and they can’t. He’s trained to disappear into any country in the world. He speaks over half a dozen languages fluently, he can change his identity at anytime, get into any country, do what he wants and get out unharmed and vanish into oblivion.”
“What do you think he intends to do?” it was the first time the vice premier spoke.
We have reason to believe he’s going to strike in the million man march. But we don’t know which of them he’s chosen as his target, Washington or London.”
“Have we informed our allies?” the Mossad director could sense the tension in the prime minister’s office.
“No sir, not yet. We found out about Ehud’s intentions a few hours ago. He sent us a mail. Crazy son of a gun. We’ve dispatched our agents to London and Washington. The march is tomorrow at 9am Washington time. They’re both scheduled to go on at the same time. Time is not a luxury we have.”
“if we fail, the Americans and British will never forgive us”
“I know sir. With your permission I’ll get in touch with them right away”
“Whatever you do, keep it discreet”
“yes sir, that’s our job description”

*********
Chaim Isaac stood in his office gazing intensely at both screens in front of him, as he briefed both men on the situation.
On his right was the director of homeland security and on his left was the head of the M15.
Nothing prepared them for what he told them. Nothing prepared him to share this information with these men who were allies in his nation’s ever present war against terror; comrades in a dark and deadly war.
But now the rules of engagement were about to change. The terrorist was one of their own, not just a Jew, he was the best the Mossad had ever trained.
It was three years ago when it happened, the bomb that took the life of his wife and kids. He had never being the same after that day. When Ehud finally snapped, it’s hard to say. He went AWOL two weeks ago, then the bread crumbs began to turn up. He wanted them to know what he was going to do. He was taunting them because he knew it was almost impossible to stop him. He had carried out over six assassinations in enemy territory including Syria, Iran, and Lebanon.
Now his target is the highly publicized million man march organized by the Muslim communities in Washington and London. They are scheduled to go on in less than 24hrs. God help them, they knew he was going to hit, but where?
Peter davenport director of the m15 took a deep breath. He had met Chaim in person on a few occasions in the past. For a man in his line of work, he was an honest man, someone the west could trust, someone he ha to trust.
“How did he do it chaim? How did he slip away without your knowledge?”
“That’s what he does for a living”
“Why tomorrow, why London and America?” Peter knew he was asking the wrong questions but the shock of the threat ahead was difficult to come to terms with.
“He believes that Islam shouldn’t be allowed to thrive in the western cities, because Christianity and Judaism are not allowed to thrive in the Arab world. Tomorrow is also symbolic for him; its three years after his wife and kids were murdered by a suicide bomber”
The American was restless, brasher in his manners. This was chaim’s first encounter with the newly appointed head of homeland security. The man cured and smoked too much for his own good.
“I’m giving my men orders to shoot at sight. We can’t let this happen” James Smith looked like a cowboy and sounded like one.
“Ehud is a good man, he just wants us to do more to protect our civilizations and way of life from the medusa we call terror. For years we’ve fought together to protect our way of life and freedom from terror. It doesn’t matter who we are, man or woman; Jew, Christian or Muslim; black or white or grey; Arab, Israeli, British or American. If terror wins we all lose. Do what you have to do gentlemen. We have no choice. God help us all and guide us”
“Goodbye Chaim” peter muttered
“I hope you’re not keeping anything from us” James Smith muttered
“If any thing new turns up you’ll be the first to know. SHALOM, my friends.”



**********

Gabriel admired the close to finished work before his eyes .with a little over 100% concentration and dedication he went about his ritual. Slowly, tenderly almost romantically he cleaned his berretta. This was one of his rituals before a mission.
His orders couldn’t have being clearer, and in his line of work all he did was follow orders. His assignment: find Ehud, neutralize, or terminate Ehud. It’s a strange funny world, Gabriel thought to himself. Only a few days ago or perhaps three weeks ago hye had seen Ehud. In many ways he was still the pupil and Ehud the master. Now he was the hunter and Ehud his prey. Ehud had taken him under his wings and shown him the ropes. Ehud was number one and he was number two; but now the dice has being cast, he was to find Ehud, and neutralize the threat that Ehud had become.
“It’s just another mission”
He had told himself that lie over and over again.
Ehud wasn’t just a target, he was like a big brother to Gabriel, and almost a father in the dark world they called work. The man he knew was a man with a good heart. He was a man who loved his land and his people. He was a man who once loved a woman until she was cruelly taken from him; a man who loves his God. Now Gabriel must face this man and duty might demand that he pull the trigger.
This was Ehud’s favourite gun, now it has become his favourite gun. This is the gun whose bullet might bring an end to the life of Israel’s number 1 assassin, the man simply known as Ehud.

************


WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON DC
“This has got to be good…I thought I clearly instructed that I did not wish to be disturbed tonight.”
Mr. President walked into the briefing room, fuming under his breath. It had being a long week, and he was scheduled to give a speech in the march.
“It’s a matter of national security, Mr. President”
He could feel the palpable sarcasm and urgency in the voice of his director of homeland security. He never used that tone of voice in the past.
In the room was the director of the CIA, the CIA leader of he counter terrorist unit in the Middle East, his national security adviser and the vice president.
“What’s going on?”
“I received a call about 45minutes ago from the director of the mossad…one of theirs has gone AWOL, and his target seems to be Washington or London in less than 24hours.”
“Good lord! He’s going to hit during the march, in Washington or London. That’s going to be considered a declaration of war by Israel on the entire Muslim world. We’re expecting representatives from Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Syria, Saudi Arabia and morocco in both Washington and London simultaneously. Is the Israeli government in on this?”
“No sir! Not to our knowledge…”
“Chaim wouldn’t lie to you…sorry to intrude Mr. President”
“Dick Richard, I believe we’ve met before. You’re still working in the middle east”
“Yes sir! I believe we can count on the Israelis. Chaim is a pretty straight forward guy. I’ve also worked with EHUD; believe it when they tell you he’s the best they’ve got. We’re here today because he wanted us to know, he wants us to understand why he’s chosen this path.”
Mr. President sank to his seat. The repercussions of their failure to stop this man could result in a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. It would redefine the status quo in the Middle East and put to the test the bond that had tied Israel to the United States for decades. Of all the nightmare scenarios, a Jewish terrorist on the loose, worse still he was the Mossad’s best agent. Mr. President was schedule to give a fifteen minutes speech during the match. He had hoped it would be an opportunity to bridge the divide 9/11 had creates between western civilization and the Islamic world.
“What do we do?” he asked.
His national security adviser spoke for the first time, “Your speech is cancelled, and the press secretary will release a statement first thing in the morning. We can’t afford chaos; the march goes on as planned.”
“Why don’t we cancel the march? What if we fail to stop him?”
“On the other hand what if it’s a hoax? If we give in to the pressure, can we risk the ACLU, human rights groups and the Muslim community screaming bloody murder and religious prejudice? For you, it’s a matter of national security, Mr. President. That takes precedence.”
Frustration seemed to fill the atmosphere.
“Israel has dispatched 7 of her top agents to assist us. Our top agents on the field are working round the clock. If he’s out there we will find him”
The director of homeland security sounded sure of himself.
The president wasn’t. If this man is as good as they say he is, and then God help us.

**********

Memories began to flood Ehud’s mind once again; the memories of a beautiful wife, a lovely daughter, and son. Memories of a reality snatched away from him. Soon, my dear, it will be all over. Yahweh will give us strength to overcome our enemies. Soon peace will fill my heart, and God willing I shall know your sweet embrace once again.
He bowed his head as he continued to offer tear stained prayers.





**********

Aisha looked at the man walking down the stairs.
He had moved in a few days ago. Her mum had always said ‘never talk to strangers’. His eyes told a story of hurts and secrets. It reminded her of her daddy’s eyes, just before he… at 11 she knew too much, maybe because she had seen too much.
Unknown to Aisha she was staring at the stranger; this was until her mum gave her a little nudge to bring her back to reality.
“Oh I’m sorry; I didn’t realize I was in your way.”
The man said nothing, his dark eyes revealed no indication that her apology was accepted.
“Hi! My name is Aisha; will you have dinner with us?”
“AISHA!” Her mum yelled in shock. “Please forgive her; she gets these ideas now and then…all right off to your room you go”
Grumpily Aisha walked up the stairs. The stranger still said nothing his dark eyes still frightening Aisha’s mum, Fatima. He looked like he’d being crying.
“She misses her father. Tomorrow would be exactly one year after he died or rather was murdered.”
“I lost my wife and kids, tomorrow would make it exactly three years.”
It was the first time the stranger spoke to her. Maybe they were making a connection. Perhaps their fate in some twisted, but divine way was destined to collide.
“My husband was a missionary in Iraq. He was Iraqi American. He saw the change as an open door to reach his people with the love of the gospel. He was murdered by Al Qaeda agents for preaching the ‘infidels message’. All he wanted to do was teach people about the love of Jesus, for that he lost his life and Aisha lost a father; I lost a husband and a good man. Since then Aisha has seemed a bit lost”
She had never shared her life story with a complete stranger. Could God have something in store for the both of them?
“My wife and kids were…” his voice broke of at that point.
“Murdered?”
His silence and tears told the story.
“Whatever you do stranger, forgive! If you hold on to hate, they win and you lose! Love is the way of God the father, the weapon he uses against evil. On the cross, He fought evil with love. When we choose to love those who hate and hurt us, we give ourselves the freedom of the eagle, the freedom to fly high above into God’s horizon.”
She seemed to have an idea of his deepest inner conflicts. But even if she was right, how could I love when they had taken everything away from me.
All my life I lived for them, I fought for them. They were my life. The last three years, I’ve being nothing, felt like nothing, how could I love?
Fatima looked at the weeping stranger, she was lost, what had she said? She didn’t know what to do, if she should hold him or hug him or just keep on staring at him. She was still contemplating her next course of action when the man walked away.

**********

WHITE HOUSE, WAHINGTON D.C
The morning ha finally arrived, the day that would re-define history. Hundreds of thousands marched the streets of London and Washington chanting “Allah is great.” It was a historic day in many ways. The president of the United States held his breadth as he spoke to the prime minister of England. Tomorrow could destroy all they had worked to build over the years.
As they spoke the streets of their capital city were filled with top agents working together with Israeli agents, seeking the man called Ehud.
Now all they could do is wait, hope and pray.

**********

Ehud watched the images on the TV screen. They would be searching everywhere for him. He smiled…were they in for a surprise.
Sheik Hassan al Zhawiri a radical cleric was scheduled to speak within the hour. One of the organizers was interviewed by CBS news and he commented on the heightened security which he viewed as another evidence of America’s judgmental, biased, and degrading attitude towards the Muslim community.
The time has come
He bowed his head for what could be his final prayer.

***********

Gabriel had no clue what to expect from today. Security services in Washington were on high alert. News from London suggested that the British had also taken the threat seriously, although neither government had officially raised the terror threat level. Thank goodness, mass panic was no ally at a time like this.
He was working closely with Clark Washington, the top agent in the district for homeland security.
Some Muslim clerics were pretty upset about the unexpected stepping up of security. They saw it as a conspiracy to brand Muslims as common criminals. If only they knew close to half the truth…
Dozens of agents were on the ground, and choppers circled the area. If Ehud was out there what were the chances of finding him and stopping him? The man he knew never failed a mission, and he always took out his target…
Gabriel’s thoughts were interrupted by a report coming in from the agents on the field about an aircraft approaching dangerously close and had breached the temporary no fly zone.
Clark looked at him” Oh my God! He’s doing it Al Qaeda style!”

***********

A wry smile lit up Ehud’s face. There was no turning back and no stopping him.





***********


Gabriel and Clark monitored the events going on closely. They were in close communication with the agents on the field.
A chopper and two F16 fighter jets approached the aircraft as it came in within 10 miles close to the march site.
“This is a no fly zone. Identify yourself and turn back”
The aircraft stayed on course in a few seconds it would be directly over the march.
Clark’s eyes met with Gabriel’s dark eyes. He knew what they meant. The Israeli knew what he was going to do and was going to back him all the way
Clark had no choice; he had to give the order “shoot it down now.” The F16s had their orders, now it was time to engage.
“Open fire…”
“Boss hold on, he’s just writing a message” what in God’s name is going on
The agent from the chopper read out the message laughing. “GOD IS LOVE”
“Is this a game” Clark fumed “I want that plane grounded and the pilot taken in for questioning. Security remains on high alert. People move it, this ain’t a freaking circus, and national security is at stake here.”

**********

Clark Washington was left with no option. They had spent the last six hours interrogating the pilot and they came up with nothing.
He stuck to his story. He was a gulf war veteran pilot with a drinking problem. A man called Ehud hired him and dared him to write the message, he said it was a surprise for his wife. His colleagues in the military knew him as a maverick a man willing to take risks. He received 10,000 dollars for accepting the job and another 10grand on completion of the mission. What a nutcase?
The march had gone on without incidence, but security remained on high alert.
The presidency wanted them to keep a tight lid on things but the story had leaked out to other security agencies.
He had to send his report tonight to his boss; the president would want a report in the oval office first thing in the morning.
Clark picked up the phone “let him go…”

**********

No one knew about this meeting, the stakes were high. The world would be better off if they had no knowledge of the meeting between these two men.





“So they sent you after me? The mossad always sends their best” Gabriel turned to look into the eyes of the man who had frightened two major western powers.
“Did you expect someone else?”
“No, only the best gets the job done”
Gabriel could sense the emotion in Ehud’s voice; he had never seen Ehud like this.
He hugged him “my brother”
Ehud replied with his voice stuttering a bit “are we still brothers?”
They had come close to a face off. If Gabriel had to pull the trigger, nothing would have stopped him, his brother –in-law would have completed the mission. “Come back home, my brother, the war is not over. Are you quitting on me?”
“No, I still fight the same fight. But this time I use a different weapon: love. Now I understand hat Sarah wanted me to know before she died. Your sister wanted us to know that love is the higher path. Tyhoses strange six months before she died, I couldn’t understand her. Now three years later I understand. Her death made me angry at God for mot stopping it, and angry at me for not being by their side when she died. But now the love she spoke about has redeemed me.”
This wasn’t the Ehud he had known for the past three years, something had changed in the man, someone had set him free.
Clearly he was dancing to a new rhythm. “In a few minutes I return to Tel Aviv, we will always be brothers, no matter what”

“Tell Chaim the civilized world has nothing to fear from me. Shalom my brother, go with God.”
The two assassins hugged and wept. Tonight they would take different paths, but they both prayed that this will not be the last time they embraced each other.

********

The president of the United States paced up and down the width of the oval office. The day’s event had left him pondering over a few things. Thank goodness, tonight he was guaranteed a good night’s sleep.
He had just gotten of the phone with his British counterpart. Earlier on he had also spoken with the director of homeland security.
Who is this man called Ehud?
He had brought the world to the brink of total crisis and unimaginable anarchy. But in a single moment, he reminded them of what they had all forgotten: LOVE.
God is love! Is that the answer to the world’s constant conflicts? He wondered…
This might be the last of the man called Ehud…he hoped. They hope he’s now Israel’s problem. He still pondered on the day’s events.
Mr. President, when was the last time you prayed?



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