Tuesday, 22 March 2011

They Kill, We Build

Th reaction of most Jews and Israelis' to the terror attack in Itamar probably will have been a deep, sickened feeling of grief and horror followed by defiance and determination to carry on.
Some reacted differently though - condemning settlers through their crocodile tears. Yitzchak Laor writes in Haaretz that the brother of Udi Fogel, murdered in the terror attack in Itamar “sought to remove the murder from any context other than the pain over his brother's death... [but] No one allowed for the murder to be rescued from the sole context in which the right wing placed it.
But the right have placed the death and the world’s reaction exactly in context – because the brother wouldn’t feel the pain of Udi Fogel’s death if it weren’t for the incitement to murder Jews that takes place in Palestinian society – and the rest of the world that ignores – if not encourages - antisemitism. It’s not about revenge and anger, but to move forward from these things it helps a little to try and understand them. To the surviving family it might feel like the end of the world, but viewed in context it is part of the Jews’ long timeline of persecution and suffering – and our reaction to this is “Am Yisrael Chai”. They have tried again and again to stamp us out but with G-d’s help we still survive. 12 year old Tamar Fogel, who saw the bodies of her parents and three siblings, has shown amazing strength and understanding of this:
But Laor just views this as the right as ‘exploiting’ “its 15 minutes of media exposure to impose its version of ‘history’." On the decision to publish photos of the bodies – the decision which was actively encouraged by the surviving family – Laor calls it “so explicit it is practically pornographic” – yet it is only when Israelis are the victims that the media are so hesitant to give details, in case people might actually feel sympathy.
Laor accused the right of displaying “joy in pouring salt on our wounds, all in the name of Israel's hasbara. But this isn't hasbara; it's a desperate need to impose ‘our’ version of events, under cover of the horror.
What he just said is Hasbara. Giving the real version of events because the world constantly ignores our side of the story. In the days following the attack, the media has made it very clear what they view as the “obstacle to peace” – and it is not the murder of sleeping Jewish babies. “Israel approves more settlements”, the headlines read – adding, as an afterthought “oh and by the way this might have something to do with the mysterious deaths of hardline extremist Jewish settlers who asked for it”.
As I have already demonstrated here, the settlements are irrelevant. Someone who murders babies, and those who celebrate this act, are not looking for peace or negotiations. There are no excuses. Daniel Greenfield wrote a great piece on this for Arutz Sheva.
Meanwhile in Itamar in the week of the Shiva, a Palestinian woman went into labour. IDF soldiers together with settler paramedics delivered the baby, taking care of her and the mother. You would never read this sort of thing in the Western media, because there the IDF and settlers are constantly dehumanised. But IDF decency to Palestinians is not at all an unusual occurence in Israel.

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