Marc Estrin : Light Unto the Nations

Israeli “Agronomic (sic) flashlight grip (T-GRIP).” (Get ’em while they’re hot. Image from IsraelMilitary.com

Light unto the nations

By Marc Estrin / The Rag Blog / April 11, 2011

What is it? It doesn’t seem to be a bird. Definitely not a plane. It’s… an Israeli Defense Forces flashlight. For only 72 bucks plus shipping and handling, you can own this Agronomic [sic] Flashlight Grip (T-GRIP) Tactile Vertical Foregrip Weapon Lights Holder.

It “comes with a 1 inch flight Adaptor with special activity trigger, and also a place to store additional batteries, AND

  • Three in one: special handgrip and a flashlight mount with a built in trigger that
  • transform tactical light into a Vertical Fore grip Weapon Light
  • This unique ergonomic fore grip will fit perfectly to your hand while holding in up to 1.
  • diameter tactical light with Tail cap switch and allow trigger activation of the light
  • Ergonomic designed grip, comfortable and natural to use “fighting stance.”
  • Designed to hold any 1″ diameter flashlight and allow quick and easy operation
  • Easy to fit and secured by 2 bolts
  • Fits hand guards equipped with a Weaver or Picatinny rail system
  • No gunsmithing is required
  • Molded from reinforced polymer composite
  • Super lightweight, Eliminate the need for a ymer compositer”

Now, I don’t normally use my blog entries to sell Israeli military accessories, but this piece of equipment serves up much food for thought. As does the website on which you’ll find it (search “flashlight”), the Israel Military Products Israeli Army Surplus Store.

I advise you to explore this site, watch the short slide show on the home page, and sift through the various gifts for sale. You don’t have to be Jewish. Two of my favorite items are a sweatshirt reading ” America Don’t Worry. Israel Is Behind You.” and a hoodie, reading “UZI DOES IT.” With a nice Uzi graphic.

I was brought inadvertently to this page by my novelist’s wondering about the details involved in a terse dispatch this week from the Palestinian Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements:

The Israeli army and police occupation forces stormed the village of Bil’in at 1:30 am on Monday 4th April, raiding the houses of Ali Ibrahim Bornat, and Khames Abo Rahma. They searched their houses and tampered with the contents under the pretext of search for solidarity foreigners.

Bil’in is a village of 1,800 people in the central West Bank, near Ramallah. It is famous for its six-plus years of weekly, nonviolent protests against the illegal (International Court of Justice) wall separating it from 60% of its farmland, and its peaceful protests have been met with increasing Israeli violence, now including live ammunition, and my favorite, Israeli trucks spraying human sewage collected from Modi’in Illit, an illegal Israeli settlement of 50,000, towering on the hill above.

Now, imagine this closely. You’re asleep in your bed. It’s still very dark. Into your tiny town roar not one, but two heavily armed convoys — one from the military, one from the police. Doors, as normal, are banged on, kicked in with shouts and threats, children cry in fear. Flashlights — likely those lovely “agronomic” ones, used in “fighting stance” — search the rooms, peer into faces, blind the eyes.

What are they looking for? Weapons? Terrorists? No. Nonviolent activists, organizers of the weekly protests, and worst of all “solidarity foreigners” — those peaceniks from abroad who come to witness, document, take part in peaceful demonstrations against the wall or home demolitions, occasionally help with harvests.

I suppose it could be worse. Rachel Corrie experienced being on the wrong end of a Military Bulldozer, and others have been blinded, brain-damaged, and killed by “non-lethal” weapons shot directly at their heads for their nonviolent protest.

Nevertheless — harboring peace activists, are you? Take that, and that, and we’re really sorry about the door and that laptop. See you soon.

I, the LORD, have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thy hand, and will keep thee, and will make you a covenant of the people, as a light unto the nations. (Isaiah 42:6)

There are extra batteries in the T-GRIP storage compartment.

[Marc Estrin is a writer, activist, and cellist, living in Burlington, Vermont. His novels, Insect Dreams, The Half Life of Gregor Samsa, The Education of Arnold Hitler, Golem Song, and The Lamentations of Julius Marantz have won critical acclaim. His memoir, Rehearsing With Gods: Photographs and Essays on the Bread & Puppet Theater (with Ron Simon, photographer) won a 2004 theater book of the year award. He is currently working on a novel about the dead Tchaikovsky.]

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One Response to Marc Estrin : Light Unto the Nations

  1. Brother Jonah says:

    First, second, third, and sixth commandments all rolled into one.

    Making an idol to worship it, having another God before Him, (the gun) taking His name in Vain and killing. Of course they’ll use the taking His Name part to justify killing.
    I believe they do all the other Nine on Saturday to make it a perfect Ten.

    They’re not wanting people to bow and worship God, exactly. They want the worship for themselves. Maybe they should be honest and admit that.

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