Today international media is focusing on “settler violence” and the horrific arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler and injured three family members.
To the horror and shame of the Israeli nation, Israeli Jews committed this atrocity.
The international media is washing all Israelis, particularly those that live in Judea and Samaria with the stain of violence, murder. There is no reflection of the true Israelis sentiment on this and any similar event. There is no context and certainly no proportions. Jewish children attacked, fire-bombed, stoned, knifed and orphaned do not receive the same compassion or illicit the same outrage.
Terror is terror. Murder is murder. It does not matter who is on which end of the equation. The horror is the same.
The difference is very clear. When people in our midst commit terrible acts the majority of Israelis feel horror and shame. We are not like that. These actions don’t represent us. Our hearts break at the suffering caused. On the other hand acts of violence, abuse and murder of Jews is celebrate by the majority of the Palestinian people. It is upheld as the model behavior in their society – some agree with their silence, others vocally support terrorism and murder with celebrations in the street and statements of parents saying they’d be proud if their children died as shahids, martyrs who were killed while killing Jews.
I leave you with the words of the amazing Chloé Simone Valdary. She managed to explain my sentiment and that of the majority of Israelis much better than I ever could.
Today I mourn you and seek to find a way.
I mourn because you will never witness the sun in all its glory.
I mourn because you will never experience the exhilaration of swings in the park or the dance of the merry-go-round or the coolness of popsicles or ice-cream trucks in the summer
I mourn because you will never go to the school dance, you will never experience that adolescent period where we are naive and filled with wonder
I mourn for your youth and for your life, for in your youth you spoke and could only speak the language of angels.
I mourn for the loss of your smile which not only your parents have to endure, but the whole world.
I mourn since I cannot recall what will never be.
And yet still…
I cannot help but grapple with that sickening feeling inside my stomach which indicates a truth I must confront:
That if you were Jewish, hardly anyone would mourn.
That if you were Jewish, your murderers would find comfort in justification printed by foreigners on newspapers whose headquarters are in Times Square and on distant European lands.
That if you were Jewish, they would herald your murder as just another form of resistance.
That if you were Jewish, they would claim that they could understand where the perpetrators had been coming from.
That if you were Jewish, they might simply ignore it.
That if you were Jewish, the Palestinian Arab society which now mourns you would celebrate your death, and give out candies in honor of your death.
That if you were Jewish, many would find a way as they always do to equivocate; they would issue “yes, but’s” and find a way.
“Yes but he lived on the wrong side of the green line.”
“Yes, but he was *that* kind of a Jew with a funny cap and strings coming out of his shirt and funny looking hair coming out the side of his ears so he must’ve been crazy”
“Yes, but he was asking for it.”
“Yes, but the Arabs have claims to the Temple Mount too.”
“Yes but its the middle east and there’s violence over there.”
And I would hear the echoes of “Yes but” reverberating around the world, and cringe, and be angry.
Today, I do not hear “Yes, buts,” nor should I.
Yet I know that I do not hear, “Yes, buts” in part because you are not a Jew.
In your life, all see value, as they should.
In your life, all see value, in part, because you are not a Jew.
And yet still …
I know this is not about that, or shouldn’t be about that, or ‘Chloe, why are you bringing that up in a time when we are and should be condemning this heinous attack?”
Because I know this feeling is the truth.
And reader, you know this feeling is the truth.
And reader, you must confront this truth.
And reader, you must express this truth.
And reader, you must not suppress this truth.
And reader, you must engage and force the world to engage with this truth.
And reader, you must grapple.
And I must grapple.
In grappling, I mourn you, Ali.
Today I mourn you and seek to find a way.