On December 14th 2015, like many other Jews around the world, I was surrounded by those dear to me, celebrating the last night of Chanukah. This year, as with every other year, we prayed for peace and the spread for a more positive light around the world. It hasn’t been an easy year for anyone, with the increase in anti-semitism and militant Islam, causing much pain and suffering. Yet with this past holiday season, values of love and unity were timely reiterated.
On December 14th 2015, thousands of kilometres away, Abed el-Muhsen Hassuna got into his car on a cool Jerusalem day, fully aware of the catastrophic events about to unfold.
Herzl Boulevard was the location Hassuna decided to commit his act of terror. Adjacent to the Bridge of Strings, he picks up speed as he sees in the distance a group of Israelis huddled idly, awaiting for the arrival of their bus. The engine revs, and before anyone has time to digest the sight of a flying car, Hassuna runs over a total of 11 innocent people.
They were all just trying to get somewhere.
They were people’s sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers, a friend to a friend and loved by someone.
In that moment, and in such moments for the past 2 months, my people have all of a sudden become living entities of a 67 year war. As if decisions taken in a war room in 1948 have been passed on, parent to child.
Does this now mean that anyone breathing on the street is the enemy. And what if Muslims, Christians, Druz, or Palestinian were among those standing by? What if the terrorist killed one of his own that day, as has happened in the past. Would he have stopped? Sadly not. With probability on their side, 75% of their victims would be Jewish. And when innocent Arabs and Palestinians are amongst those injured, for them it would have been a chance worth taking.
Am I angry? I’m enraged.
I’m furious at the lack of appropriate media coverage, I’m disappointed at the deafening silence of the international community, both governmental and independent. And I am saddened to come to a feeling of hopelessness.
People simply do not care.
Among the victims hit and run over, was a baby. A tiny thing of 18 months. The boy’s foot got trapped under the car tire, and when evacuated to the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, they had to amputate his leg from the knee. I now know what it means for one’s blood to boil. I have never felt this saddened and heated. The pain emanating from my chest rises up and chokes my throat. This needs to stop.
Baruch Hashem he survived, but is now permanently scarred.
A child born innocent and pure, yet will forever carry with him the weight of a baseless hatred of his people. Toddlers his age should not know the true face of evil. They should not have to experience the world’s oldest hatred. It is just not fair.
And what came from this terror attack? What has Hassuna achieved?
Nothing for Palestinian sovereignty, for peace, for progress.
Abed el-Muhsen Hassuna made one achievement: pushing the ever-growing chasm between Israelis and Arabs further. Distrust for each other is not something we need right now. The ever-small, but present, roots for peace that have been making small ventures are now being hacked and mangled and torn apart.
Whatever progress that has been made up till now is slowly receding one terror attack at a time.
These cowards, if anything, have abused and made a joke of the Palestinian cause. They are not martyrs, but lunatics who have lengthened the uphill road to peace.