“Tell them who my children were” UPDATE


In the New York Times, our own Dina Kraft writes about the unspeakable horror suffered by Dr. Izzedin Abuelish, the Palestinian physician who sought common ground with his Israeli colleagues — and who lost three daughters and a niece to an Israeli shell. (Rachel Pomerance profiled the doctor for JTA in 2002.)

Israelis saw this happening in real time. Now it lives on in You Tube. (The Al-Jazeera report adds some details, including how an Israeli TV anchor pulled string to get ambulances through to the doctor’s home.)

He deserves answers.

UPDATE: I posted this on Facebook, and almost immediately, a friend pointed out this ugly little scene, via Time Magazine:

Adding to Abu al-Aish’s grief, however, he was jeered by several angry Israelis on Saturday while talking to reporters at the Chaim Sheba medical center in Tel Hashomer after making an emotional plea to Israelis "to live together" with Palestinians. The confrontation occurred hours before Israeli PM Ehud Olmert announced a unilateral Israeli ceasefire in Gaza, possibly bringing an end to the conflict.

Israel’s Y-Net news site identified one of the jeering Israelis as the mother of three IDF soldiers serving in Gaza, and quoted her yelling, "Why is he engaging in propaganda? He’s talking against Israel at the Sheba hospital. You should all be ashamed. All my children are serving in Gaza. Who knows what he had at his home? What’s wrong with you, have you all gone crazy? My son is in the paratroopers, who knows what you had inside your home, nobody is talking about that. Nobody is talking. Who knows what kind of weapons were in your house. So what if he’s a doctor? The soldiers knew exactly. They had weapons inside the home, you should be ashamed. I have three soldiers, why are they firing at them? All of you should be ashamed."

Soon after that, another friend who lives in Israel provided some follow-up:

This man is truly a hero, even now he is still talking about peace and how he is prepared to sacrifice his daughters for peace — he just wants answers from the army as to HOW it happened, when "everyone" supposedly knew exactly where his house was.

NB yesterday he had a "staged for tv", but nevertheless fairly genuine meeting with the mother who had screamed at him at Tel Hashomer who was just a scared mother of a paratrooper whose unit had been routinely shot at by snipers in Gaza… I have no idea how I would react in that situation – maybe her sentiments WERE valid if not the way she conveyed them…

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