A Study in Contrasts
When I saw the news that a young Jewish family had been brutally slaughtered in Samaria (the West Bank), including three young children butchered in their beds, my blood began to boil. Since that day, the news coverage has done nothing to alleviate my emotional turmoil, and in several cases, it has heightened it. With so many calamitous events in the news -- earthquakes, tsunamis, radiation leaks, Libyan rebels, and so on -- most news outlets have consigned the brutal murder of the Fogel family to second-class status. Pity the family was not murdered during a slow news cycle, when perhaps the world would have taken greater notice.
One seemingly unrelated article I read a few days later caught my attention. It was the story of IDF soldiers and Israeli paramedics saving the life of a young, pregnant Palestinian woman and her baby, when the baby’s umbilical cord had become wrapped around its throat. In the same town where what remains of the the Fogel family sat shiva, mourning the massacre that had taken place just days before, a Palestinian cab driver raced with the pregnant woman towards the Israeli forces, who he knew would help her. The baby and mother were saved by the Israelis, and according to the article:
Palestinians from the nearby village of Nabi Salah gathered around the paramedics along with the new grandmother and could not hide their joy. "They thanked us and told us they named the girl Jude,” Corporal Levin said.
Reading this article, I could not help but note the stark contrast between this story and the news of the massacre, between the actions of Israelis and the behavior of Palestinians. The Palestinian taxi driver raced towards the Jewish forces because he knew they would help the Palestinian woman and her unborn child … and that is exactly what the Israelis did. Yet not far away, Palestinians had smashed a window of a Jewish family’s home, entered, stabbed the husband, mother, and three children, and slit all of their throats, decapitating their infant child. As news of the murders spread, the Palestinians celebrated with fireworks and dancing in the streets. They handed out candy and other treats in a display of jubilation.
Surely not all Palestinians are murderers, just as not all Israelis are saviors, but again and again the contrasts keep echoing in my mind. The Palestinian taxi driver knew the Israelis would help them. The IDF and Israeli paramedics saved a Palestinian mother and child. The Palestinian townsfolk celebrated in the streets the brutal murder of Jewish children.
I posted a link to the article on my Facebook page, along with some of my thoughts about the contrasts between the actions of the Israelis and the Palestinians, and the following day, I found the following comment had been left by a woman whom I had recently added as a "friend" following a request she had sent me:
May be you should ask yourself this -- What this population had gone through, the losses and sufferings that they have become so heartless that they see no way out of this unjust occupation other than eradicating these Jews who forced them to become animals. Ok fine, I believe in a 2-state solution as I'm a reasonable and realistic person. But what about the Jews who celebrated in their thousands and congratulated the Israeli soldiers after they raided the flotilla and killed many activists?
This woman’s comment is wrong on so many levels that it is hard to know where to begin refuting it.
First, she abrogates any responsibility by Palestinians for their own atrocities by assigning blame to Jews who have "forced them to become animals." Yet somehow the Jews managed to avoid becoming animals, despite 6 million of them being butchered by the Nazis. Somehow the Armenians did not become animals after the brutality they suffered at the hands of the Turks. Somehow the Kurds of northern Iraq did not become animals after Saddam murdered them by the tens of thousands. And on and on.
Given her own brand of logic, would not the Jews be justified in anything they do to Arabs, because Arabs have been attacking (and even enslaving) them for many hundreds of years? If loss and suffering is adequate justification for barbaric reprisals, how could this woman find fault with any Israeli response to the thousands of rockets that have been fired into her towns, the suicide bombers in her markets, movie theaters, and pizza parlors, or the Jewish men, women, and children who have been victimized and brutalized by Palestinian Arabs since long before the state of Israel was ever formed?
In the same breath, she justifies committing genocide against the Jewish people by her use of the word "eradicating"… because in her eyes, eradicating Jews is a reasonable response to political discontent; however, "occupation" in her mind is a greater evil than genocidal eradication. We’ll leave aside for the moment the historical inaccuracy of referring to Jews as occupiers in Judea and Samaria, their ancestral homeland for millennia.
She then goes on to say she believes in a two state solution -- while lauding her own qualities of reason and realism -- yet she overlooks the fact that there is but one Jewish state, Israel, while Palestinians already have two, Gaza and Jordan. She overlooks the fact that at Camp David, the Palestinians were handed 95% of what they demanded on a silver platter, yet Arafat walked away and launched the second Intifada rather than recognize Israel’s right to exist. She ignores the reality that the Palestinians could have their own state at any time, but they refuse anything less than all of Israel, “from the river to the sea.”
But she believes in a two state solution -- because she is "reasonable and realistic."
She then crowns her commentary with brilliant moral equivalence: In her mind, there is no difference between slaughtering a Jewish infant, asleep in its crib, and defending against a ship full of armed terrorists and activists, intent on running a naval blockade. In this, she echoes the Palestinian mentality perfectly and tacitly condones the targeting of civilians, even infants, by acts of unspeakable terrorism. In her mind, there is no difference between a sleeping baby and a terrorist attacking you with a dagger.
How can reason possibly triumph over such a mentality? We must find a way, because this cancerous mentality has metastasized, and may ultimately prevail.