Reflection on the Recent Attacks
My week began with a Palestinian woman recounting to me how two innocent five year old girls were mown down by settlers, killing one of them. I had not heard about this because it was absent from Israeli news. I then looked at Maan News Agency and there it was, replete with a picture of the beautiful little girl. Whether it was purposeful or not, the driver had just left the girls in cold blood, angering many Palestinians. Israel labeled it a “hit and run” and is investigating.
Then, a few days later, a baby was killed and several others were seriously wounded when a Palestinian mowed into a crowd disembarking from the Jerusalem light rail at a stop that I personally use frequently. And thus the vicious cycle continues.
The Palestinians are terrified of settlers and continue to express their anger over the first incident. Why didn’t it receive the sort of coverage that the incident killing a Jewish baby did or get labeled a terror incident?
Israelis fear what they perceive as the sort of savagery and anti-Semitism that would enable someone to just drive over innocent people disembarking from the train, even seeming to purposefully target a baby and her mother. Why do “they” hate us so much? The Jews are always hated without cause, many are quick to say.
So goes the war of words and the battle to gain loyalties by playing on fear, by using anger.
And what if you sympathize with both, are saddened by the innocent who continue to get caught in the middle? Then you are given many reasons to have sympathy for one side over the other. It’s different, one was a “terror” attack and the other maybe not or the second was just revenge for the first.
In the end, though, we are weighing whose life is more valuable, the beautiful five year old Palestinian girl or the baby Israeli girl whose life had hardly begun? In the end, they both had their lives snuffed out too early and their families are both mourning a senseless loss. All the rationales hardly matter in this light. Because life is precious, whether Israeli or Palestinian, and its loss should be felt by us all.
Two families on two sides of the conflict are experiencing a hole in their lives, a hole that can never be filled.
The pain is still raw and deep on both sides from the Gaza war and it continues. The innocents are caught in the middle of a battle being continued by people higher up, people who play games with people’s lives and use words to fuel the cycle of revenge.
And so there must be people who do not take part in this but instead offer hope or act towards goodness in the midst of such darkness. Because without this, we will both be destroyed by the innumerable injustices on both sides.