When 26-year-old Nir Shamir decided he wanted to propose to his girlfriend Sara Tushinski, he brainstormed how he might surprise her. You see, she recently hinted to him that if he had any surprises up his sleeve, she'd figure them out. Perceptive as she might be, Sara didn't know what was heading her way.
With the help of some friends who work as security guards in the Jewish settlement of Oranit, Nir engineered an arrest, an interrogation and the accusation of a hit-and-run accident which would have freaked out even the most cool-headed partner.
The elaborate proposal was first published in the Israel paper Yediot Aharonot which dubbed it “Operation Proposal.” TheBlaze tracked down both Nir and 23-year-old Sara who shared their story over the phone and in photos and a video they sent us.
Nir explained how he set up the elaborate ruse:
I wanted to propose to my girlfriend. Two weeks before, I thought I’d propose to her at a checkpoint near Oranit [a Jewish settlement in Samaria/the West Bank].
That day I said we need to go to my neice’s fourth birthday party. Sara suspected that I was going to propose to her at the party, so she [playfully] kept saying she wouldn’t go.
I took her and her girlfriend, and we drove toward Ariel [another Jewish town] where I study to pick up my study materials. On our way to Rehovot, we had to pass the checkpoint.
When we got to the checkpoint, [a security guard] Tal stopped us. I spoke to him the week before and told him I want to propose there. He said he had to check first make sure it was OK. They were excited by the idea.
Israeli adults are required to carry a photo ID with them at all times. A few days before, Nir sneakily took her ID card before she left his house. Nir explains:
When we got to the checkpoint, he asked for our ID cards.
We asked, “What’s going on?” She didn’t have her ID card on her so she got stressed.
He said, “Stand to the side.”
Nir’s plan was even more complex than recruiting the security guards and swiping her ID. He’d previously told Sara that on Saturday night his car was stoned by Arab children in a nearby village, Hawara. As TheBlaze has reported, Palestinians frequently throw stones at Israeli drivers passing through West Bank villages. Since about 1,000 such incidents are reported to authorities every month, Nir’s story was plausible.
Nir, who is wheelchair bound due to an accident eight years ago, also had to get advance permission from Israel’s Defense Ministry to recruit the security guards for his plan. To make it even more realistic, earlier he staged a photo of his car in the village.
That detail helped set up the Phase 2 of the plan. Nir explains:
The guard said to get out of the car. I asked, “What happened. What did we do?”
We got out of the car. The guard said, “You know why I’m asking you to get out of the car.” Sara got more nervous.
The guard asked me to go with him, and the girls went with another security guard.
In an open area near the security guard shack, Nir assembled a red carpet scattered with petals, cushions, candles, lots of flowers, a romantic scene if there ever was one and then waited.
Meanwhile, the other security guard moved Sara to an interrogation room and asked her: “How do you know Nir? Where were you on Saturday night?” Nir says:
He showed her photos of the car in [the Arab village] Hawara. The guard said, “Nir is suspected of running over a child.” […]
She said, “He said they threw stones but didn’t tell me that.” The guard said Nir is arrested and that she’s a suspect and has to be interrogated.
The guard then opened the gate and led her outdoors where she saw a fire sign that said “Will you marry me?” and her boyfriend sitting in the decorated island nearby. Lighting rags in the shape of letters is a popular pastime in Israel, particularly among youth scout groups.
Sara tells TheBlaze that her boyfriend succeeded in fooling her:
I understood…that I was going to be arrested and him too. I was in shock, I didn’t know what was going on. I was afraid at that point. They [the guards] talked to us for around 10 minutes. But it felt longer. Thank God it didn’t take longer
When I saw the fire sign, I understood that he tricked me. I thought it was nice that he succeeded in tricking me. I knew he was planning to propose and I kept saying I’d figure out how. I really didn’t suspect a thing.
Of course, Sara said, “yes,” and Nir gave her a diamond ring. They plan to be married in four months.
Watch this video of the moment when Sara leaves the guard shack and heads toward the field where Nir was waiting (courtesy of the now engaged couple):
Nir says his choice of proposing at a checkpoint wasn’t only for the surprise effect, but also had a deeper meaning for him: “I wanted to break the boundaries, since we will be together from now on. We are breaking down the barriers between us.”
Nir is currently studying law and property appraisal at university, but having demonstrated his talent at deception, he may want to consider a career in the Mossad.