Yesterday, Wednesday afternoon, with my Right-Wing Brethren’s words “Blood Libel” ringing in my ears. I choose to attend the rally organized by the Tag Meir (Light Tag) Forum in Jerusalem’s City Center “Kikar Hatoolot” (Cat Square). We, all of House of Israel, extreme left to extreme right, have been through a highly-charged, extremely painful three weeks. We have lost three of our boys, Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Sha’ar, and Eyal Yiftah. It breaks my heart to have to call them “our boys,” for it’s hidden meaning is that they will never, ever be going home to be “just” their mothers’ and fathers’ sons. “Our boys,” unarmed civilian teenagers, ahead of army service age, were kidnapped, brutally murdered and hastily dumped in a shallow grave in a field near Halhoul. They didn’t have a chance, they had no military training which could have helped them to survive. All indications are that Hamas terrorists murdered our unarmed civilian boys in G-dless cold blood.
As if the heinous murder of “our boys” was NOT enough, yesterday morning the body of another boy, Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir, resident of what is politically defined as Jerusalem’s Shu’fat Palestinian Neighborhood, was found murdered, burnt and dumped in the Jerusalem Forest. Israeli Police reports have only said that he was “forced into a car” (read: kidnapped) in his neighborhood while he was on the way to his Mosque for early morning Ramadan Prayers. Immediately after the news was reported riots broke out in Shu’fat.
Now we have four heinous murders of young boys. Four young lives cut away from the fabric of life, four boys brutally taken away from their parents, families and friends.
The murders of the three Israeli-Jewish boys, without a doubt and with clear evidence indicate that they were carried out by Hamas terrorists. But the murder of the Jerusalemite-Palestinian boy, Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir is STILL an open case. We do not know if he was murdered as a result of: a feud between Palestinian Clans in Shu’fat; or with rumors of the boy’s possible homosexuality fouling the air, as a result of a “Family Honor Killing;” or if, G-d Forbid!, he was kidnapped and murdered in a revenge killing by extremist Jews.
….and yet, it sure does seem to me that the whole world has decided that Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir was murdered for revenge by extremist Jews.
My Right-Wing Brethren are screaming: “Blood Libel! Blood Libel! We are the victims and the world seeks to blame us for the murder of Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir!” I hear them and with the rational side of my heart, I agree with them…this heinous murder has not been solved. How could it be that we (all Israeli-Jews) are being blamed for it?
But then the emotional side of my thinking heart takes over, I remember the long time ago high school Latin phrase: “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.” It was that old high school phrase bound together with: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,” which silenced my doubts, persuaded me to call two friends, and together with them to attend yesterday’s rally.
Word: I was more than a bit disappointed with the rally. I shouldn’t have been, our numbers (about 1000 attendees) were good. The speakers at the event included opposition leader Isaac Herzog, (Labor); MK Nitzan Horowitz, (Meretz); Jerusalem council member, Rachel Azaria; my friend, Rabbi Nava Hefetz, Educational Director of Rabbis for Human Rights, and Rabbi Benny Lau of Jerusalem’s Ramban Synagogue. Each one spoke from the heart, reaching deeply into my heart and the hearts of all those present.
…and yet, my heart protested aloud because the plain truth is, that we, none of us, know who murdered Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir. Therefore, the screams of “Blood Libel” from my Right Wing Brethren have a clear persistent ring which in complete sincerity to myself and my G-d fearing Leftist Socialist views I cannot ignore.
I spent last night, reading news reports from the entire political spectrum of on-line Israeli Media, “Private Messengering” on FB with right-wing friends from Beit El, Efrat and Alon Shvut. I struggled all night long, oft times with tears running down my face, to try to make sense of this whole, and I loathe to use the expression, “game-changing” situation we, all of us, Israeli-Jew and Palestinian-Arab, are faced with.
I am not a wise political leader, I have no answers. As I write this my hands are shaking, more times than I care to mention, I who can type blind in several languages, keep hitting the wrong keys and need to go back to make the necessary corrections. Stuck in my head, looping since yesterday is the phrase: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” I know that there are good men and women, people who I do not agree with, sitting to the Right of me and my leftist views and opinions. I know they are there because I argue with them on a regular basis. Every time we argue, we do so respectfully, each one of us remembering that we have exactly one thing in common – our Achdut (togetherness) point is that each one of us is loyal to and loves our State of Israel.
This morning, along with other comments, I posted the following as my personal Facebook status and my blog’s Facebook page status: “But my brethren you need to remember: “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion” – Why have you NOT condemned every single “price tag” action that has occurred over the years? Why did you allow so many to protest and scream out “Death to Arabs” in the days since the bodies of our boys Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Sha’ar, Eyal Yifrah, were found? Why did you allow so many to open internet pages calling for revenge of the murders of our boys Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Sha’ar, Eyal Yifrah? How are we: you, me, all of us across the political spectrum going to work together to bring goodness and light back into our region? We know that we can work together, Achdut, (togetherness) we call it. Let’s find our way to it.”
The FB status has received enough “likes” to leave me with the clear impression that people are reading it. But with the exception of one friend who lives in Southern Israel, under a constant barrage of Hamas-Gaza fired missiles no one has commented on it. I fear that my leftist friends won’t comment because they do not feel it is directed at them – they feel that they are doing the right and righteous thing. I fear that my right-wing friends won’t comment because it is possible that I have offended them by holding up a mirror they do not wish to look in.
…and so, I have decided to let my G-d fearing Leftist Socialist Heart speak on my blog…I humbly trust in G-d that what I have written will NOT be part of our continuing “dialogue between the deaf” but rather a starting point from whence each one of us can find our own questions to ask and our own path to walk upon until we come together in Achdut and find ourselves “out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing there’s a field, I’ll meet you there.” – Rumi. And if we really “do right” we might even reach the moment when “The field and all that is in it will jubilate, then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy.” – Tehillim (Psalms) 96:12
Yes, I am dreaming, it is what we Israelis do. But don’t you at least agree that walking fearlessly and upright onto that field with our Israeli brethren, our Palestinian foe, our Palestinian friends, would be the best “game-changer” of all?