Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A breath of hope in a sea of anxiety

Yom shlishi, 4 Adar aleph 5771.

We live in a region beset by justifiable paranoia.  I can only speak from my side of the argument, as I cannot possibly see inside of the other guy's head.

There is no way for a Jewish Israeli to know which of his Arab neighbors: A) likes him as a human being; B) hates him because he is a Jew; or C) is indifferent to him, and just wants to make a living and raise his kids.  So it is easy to paint with a single brush the entire people as The Enemy, and very hard (and historically sometimes dangerous) to give the benefit of the doubt.

Once in a while, a story comes along that reminds me that it's okay to believe that there are individuals within the greater Arab world who don't go along with the more outspoken masses.

Bedouin Sheikh Salam Hozeil, weeping at the vandalism of his protest tent
Such a story was broadcast on the most recent IBA News program.

"A protest tent for abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was defaced [yesterday] in the early morning hours by spray-painted swastikas and the Palestinian flag.

"The tent was built and maintained by Bedouin sheikh Salam Hozeil at Beit Kama [Junction] in the Northern Negev two years ago.  According to Arutz Sheva, Hozeil witnessed what he believes to be young members of his tribe fleeing after committing the vandalism.
Hozeil being comforted

"Local police are investigating the incident, and say that the vandals also defaced photographs of Shalit at the tent.  Hozeil said that despite continued death threats from locals, which he believes are associated with Islamic Jihad, he will continue his advocacy until Gilad Shalit has been released from his Hamas captors."
Let's not forget the beauty of the Israeli newsman comforting the Arab!
When I am permitted to see the human face of the individual, I am reminded that we might actually all be related, and there may be hope for us yet.

The latest edition of the Kehila Carnival is live at Esser Agaroth!  As is The Best of the Jewish Blogosphere, Edition #303 of Haveil Havalim, over at Jack B.'s place.
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