Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Not All Arabs Are Terrorists

My father taught me that not all Germans were Nazis. In turn I tried to teach my children that not all Arabs are terrorists. It was easier for my father. I never personally experienced the horror of the Nazis. Sadly my children have been exposed to Arab terror over and over again.

Just yesterday my husband and I sat in a restaurant in Ariel, a town twelve kilometers from Shilo, treating our nine-year-old grandson and his friend to lunch. 

“How much you spoil me!” our grandson declared happily.

As I basked in his appreciation my husband’s cell phone rang. I heard his side of the conversation.

“We’re fine”… “Where?”…”At the Ariel junction by the gas station”…”Let’s hear good news.”

“A terror attack?” I whispered in English hoping the boys would not hear or understand.

“A stabbing. Young man. He’s in critical condition.” 

The level of joy in our outing went down quite a few notches. We arrived home to the bitter news that Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal, beloved member of Har Bracha, husband, father of four had died of his wounds.
courtesy of the Times of Israel
May HaShem avenge his murder. I entered the post terror-attack downs. I wasn’t really depressed but I was more than sad.

I hadn’t told my grandson about the attack. He would find out soon enough as would his brothers and cousins. All of the older ones would have to struggle with their faith as I do every time our lives are shattered by evil.

If I believe that everything HaShem does is good, and I do believe, then I know there was a reason for Itamar Ben-Gal’s death even if I cannot understand the purpose. Still I know that he could have died peacefully instead of at the hands of the murderer, Abed al-Karim Adel Assi.

It’s very nice for those far away from this evil to preach understanding and forgiveness but I do not understand or forgive. By writing this I am not advocating hatred. Rather, I’m encouraging repentance and change of ways. At the same time I don’t want my grandchildren to be na├»ve. I will try to teach them, just like I tried to teach their parents, that most people are good. Sorrowfully, some aren’t and the wicked ones do not come with labels on their foreheads. Therefore, they need to be wary, especially of Arabs.

Someday I know the situation will change. When the PA stops paying money to terrorists. When Hamas ends their praise of terror attacks. When the Arabic-speaking television channels doesn’t incite hatred. When no more streets are named in honor of murderers of children. When more and more of the peace-loving Arabs will be brave enough to speak out against the violence. Then the time will come when our children can really believe not all Arabs are terrorists.  

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