Thursday, June 2, 2011

Nakba Day

Sunday, May 15th was not an easy day for me. The splinter that had lodged under my fingernail on Thursday caused an infection, so the doctor sent me to a health care center in Jerusalem to have it removed. Everyone knows that fingernails are especially sensitive areas and I was obviously in pain and nervous. Once the shot of Novocain was in my finger, though, I calmed down and did not feel anything the doctor did. After my finger was bandaged he sent me to the third floor to have it X-rayed. 
“Oh, my gosh,” one of the clerks exclaimed as I stood in line. “Look at the car!”
There was a gasp from her co-worker and they both stared hard at their computer screens.
“What happened?” I asked.
“Terror attack in Tel Aviv,” one answered shortly.

“Terror attack?” I exclaimed.
“They don’t know if it was an attack or accident,” the other clerk countered.
“How many?” I was afraid to hear the answer, but the clerks were too busy to pay attention to my question, anyway.
With shaking hands I took out my mobile phone. There was no way for me to check the internet but I could make calls. I began dialing the numbers of my children who lived or worked in Tel Aviv. Thankfully they were okay, but there were others who were not.
The X-ray technician finally called me in. He had the radio on.
“Was it a terror attack?” I asked.
“They haven’t decided,” he said, “but it doesn’t make sense that the truck driver lost control of his truck. If you lose control your truck stops after the first impact. He kept going on and on for like two kilometers, hitting more cars and even a bus.”
“Was anyone killed?”
He nodded his head sadly. “One.”
Later I learned that the one was twenty-nine year old Aviv Morag. I did not know him but I am sure that his murder left a gaping hole in the lives of his mother, father, sister, fiancé, and friends.
The twenty-two year old Arab truck driver was immediately taken into custody until it could be determined whether his rampage was indeed a traffic accident or a terror attack. As the day continued, though, there was little about him on the news. The journalists had their hands full reporting on the rioting Arabs at Israel’s borders in honor of Nakba Day.
 Nakba is an Arab word meaning catastrophe and that is what they call the fifteenth of May, the date in 1948 that Israel was declared an independent country. Just like everyone knows that fingernails are especially sensitive areas, everyone should realize that the Arab-Israeli conflict is not about 1967 borders or settlements. Rather it is about May 15th, 1948, Nakba Day to the Arabs. As far as they are concerned the only solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict is the total destruction of Israel. This is not an acceptable resolution.

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