Former NYC detective, counter-terror liaison has worked to protect the innocent
'I was going to be who I was'
Following are excerpts from Mordechai Dzikansky’s book “Terrorist Cop.”
“This was my night. I was the guy who had made the armed robbery arrest. At one point, one of my buddies picked up the ‘Night Owl’ edition of the New York Daily News, and there on the front page was a caption of me wrestling the perp down to the ground. I looked at the caption, entitled ‘Sidewalk drama,’ and could not believe that the collar had become a New York police story so swiftly…. The best part of my surprise collar and the newspaper coverage was showing the photo to my dad, enabling me to let him know I had done something positive. However, recalling how often he had told me, as a rabbi’s son, I was not supposed to expose myself to possible danger, I was careful to play down whatever possible dangers might have existed during my collar. To my father, Jews were supposed to be scholars, not fighters.”
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“My time spent in Bed Stuy proved to be a true career-maker. Here I was, serving in one of the highest crime areas in the city of New York, a rookie cop who was quite the oddity with his yarmulke atop his head. Believe me, my life would have been a lot easier had I not worn the yarmulke that ‘invited’ people to stare at me and wonder just what kind of cop I was. But I had been wearing a yarmulke since the age of 3, and though I knew that there would be those odd stares, I wanted to keep it on my head while on the beat. The NYPD respected this religious practice and did not turn it into an issue. Wearing the yarmulke gave me self-confidence. Wearing it showed that I was proud of my religion and proud to be known as a Jew. I could have chosen to fit in, to dissolve into the melting pot and hide my Jewishness, but I was going to be who I was – and take the consequences.”
“I found the attitude of terrorist leaders particularly galling and hypocritical. These leaders boasted of sending young martyrs to their death but never did they send their own children into the fray as suicide bombers…. I could only imagine that when it came to their children, these leaders valued life over death, whereas in the case of any other Palestinian Arab’s children, death trumped life.”