As one who is generally unimpressed with the Press (and that’s putting it mildly), I was delighted to read a story last week, in which journalists actually covered the Palestinian – Israeli conflict from a human interest point of view! Rather than fanning the flames of animosity, journalists were actually able to get their story, even though it was based on … mentschlechkeit! Imagine that!
It seems that five American Yeshiva students set out in a car for Hevron, in the hopes of praying at Kever HaMachpelah or Cave of the Patriarchs, where Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah are buried. Nothing wrong with that! I’ve been to Hevron a number of times and I highly recommend the experience. Unfortunately, the Yeshiva students made a wrong turn and ended up in the Jabal Johar neighborhood, which is both Judenrein and under complete and total Palestinian control.
The “welcoming committee” began throwing rocks, bricks and stones at the car. After all, Palestinians will be Palestinians, especially when there is a CNN or Fox or Ynet camera crew or reporters from leading American newspapers within sight, to encourage these and other overgrown teenagers to carry on with their sub-human behavior. As the Yeshiva students managed to extricate themselves from the vehicle, the “cousins club” surrounded them and began to shout Jew! Jew!
Here’s where the story takes a turn:
Fayez Abu Hamadia, a resident of Jabal Johar led the Yeshiva students away from the group of good ol’ boys, “just havin’ a little fun” and brought them to the safety of his home. Speaking to them in Hebrew, Fayez Abu Hamadia reassured them that they would be okay, and helped dress the wounds of one of the students who was bleeding from his face and leg. He then had the Yeshiva students call the Israeli army to arrange safe escort back to the military checkpoint.
Is it possible that there would be less throwing of rocks and bricks and stones if the media simply ignored these miscreants? I am fully aware that my thinking is off the charts, but humor me anyway.
Is it possible that there are others like Fayez Abu Hamadia who see Palestinian rock, brick and stone throwing youth for what they are and are either afraid to speak out against them or have become inured to such criminal behavior?
Is it possible that the average Chaim Yankel (John Doe) here in the United States and elsewhere, fails to draw either of the above conclusions (which I admittedly couched in question form, given my sardonicism) and wistfully asks: when will this cycle of violence end? That is, if they bother to ask at all.
Most appalling of all, I cannot help but feel that any number of rabbis will devote at least part of their High Holy Day sermons to the “plight” of the “poor Palestinians”.
If this is the most burning issue when it comes to teshuvah and becoming better Jews, then indulge me one more question, if you will.
Is it possible that that among the many requests we place before HaShem, there will be one where we ask for greater understanding and discernment, so that we realize that on a typical day, what actually takes place between Palestinian and Jew is anything but newsworthy.