Thursday, January 19, 2006

Does it make it any better?

As I was skimmin the morning headlines, I found this:

Uri Binamo prevented two suicide bombings, not one

Uri was a 21 year old soldier who was killed on December 29th while at a checkpoint specifically set up to apprehend a suicide bomber the army had received intelligence on. As Uri approached a taxi cab and requested ID, the bomber dentonated himself, killing Uri and the other three people inside the cab. The papers had reported that the others in the cab were unaware that their fellow passenger had an explosives belt strapped to him, and I remember feeling a moment of sadness for people who had innocently gotten into a cab to get to work, family, whatever.

Ahhhh, the naivety of youth....

There is a term in Judaism called Dan Lekaf Zechut, which means giving others the benefit of the doubt. I have tried (and often failed) to remember that not all Palestinians want to destroy Israel or support suicide bombings. My faith is then shaken when I read polls that say 75% of Palestinians support suicide bombings, and after a course in statistics last year (yech) I realize the number is, in most probability, much higher. However, I try to think of those who just want to get through the day, make some money and have a normal life. Perhaps one day, they'll be the majority. I applied those thoughts when I read of the taxi passengers who were killed.

We learn mercy for others in so many ways in Judaism, especially from the Passover seder. At various parts of the seder, we spill some wine out of our glasses, lessening our joy, to remember the Egyptians who were killed in the 10 plagues and the Red Sea. This is a lesson to remind us that we are all God's creations, even our enemies, and values like this are but one of the reasons why I love my religion.

But woe to ye who breaks my trust. Granted, there are those of you who are probably snorting at this point, thinking "Hasn't she learned anything?!" I know, I know, but I still felt my stomach twist when I read that the other passengers in the car were suicide bombers and the driver was the one to take them to their mission. How am I supposed to stay open minded, give the benefit of the doubt, try to remember the "good guys" when this sort of thing confronts me? Am I really to believe that there is a "partner for peace" or that there ever was?

And my last question - as someone with a brother in the army for the last three years, and my younger brother going in for the next three years - Do Uri's family and friends feel any sort of change in their perception and emotions surrounding his death because they discovered that stopped not one but two suicide bombings? Confronted with the knowledge that there might have been two separate suicide bombings in the same period, my heartfelt thanks goes out to Uri, along with a prayer for him and his family, and my hope for some sort of agreement with the Palestinians dies a little bit more.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all

The above, written by Emily Dickinson, has always been a favorite of mine. But as time passes, the headlines and news are slowly defeathering my hope, until it will no longer be able to fly, but sink to the ground, and my attempt at trust and hope in my neighbors crippled as well.


Post a Comment

<< Home