Mayor Martin Oliner of Lawrence, New York, spoke to Arutz Sheva on Wednesday during his four-day visit to Israel, in which he met with victims of Arab terror and was astounded by their unshakable faith.
Oliner, who also serves as chairman of the Religious Zionists of America (RZA), said he arrived for the World Zionist Congress, but more importantly, to show solidarity with the Jewish state as it is plagued by Arab terrorism.
He noted that in fact, if the current terror wave had not been taking place, he might have canceled the trip, because he has many pressing matters to take care of in New York, but precisely now, "I wouldn't cancel it."
The mayor recalled how he visited victims from last Tuesday's car attack, in which a terrorist employee of Bezeq first ran over passersby in the central Geula neighborhood of Jerusalem with his company car before getting out to start hacking and slashing with an axe and knife. One victim, Rabbi Yeshiyahu Krishevsky, was murdered in the attack.
"I was extremely impressed by the emunah (faith) and the bitachon (confidence) that these people have," said Oliner. "One was literally axed and he's smiling and saying 'baruch shem kavod malchuto leolam vaed' ('blessed is the name of His glorious kingdom for all eternity')."
"This is the spirit of Israel, the strength of Israel," emphasized the visiting mayor.
He noted that one of the victims in the attack was on his way to pray when he was hit by the terrorist's car, and now his "foot is full of steel."
"These are not injuries, these people have been maimed for life. It's extraordinary to have that kind of outlook," added Oliner, noting on the faith in G-d expressed by the wounded.
Giving advice for visitors to Israel from abroad arriving during the current terror wave, he advised against "just walking about" and recommended being "circumspect" in visiting sites such as the Kotel (Western Wall), but said things are "otherwise normal."
"Israel is strong, it will continue to be strong, and the spirit of the people is fine," concluded the mayor.