There are six Yair’s in my son’s ninth grade class. A bunch of kids getting used to high school’s work load and social pressures. They seem to be doing just fine, and we are proud of his achievements so far.

Another regular day at school yesterday. Only it wasn’t. Yair’s classmate Yair, who sits next to him in class (doesn’t that confuse the teacher?), had to go home in the middle of the day. No, he wasnt feeling unwell and he didn’t have a family gathering. Well, he did, sort of.

Yair’s father was one of the two men stabbed by the young Arab terrorist at the local supermarket yesterday. Headlines screamed ‘Palestinian youth shot by police’ and the words ‘alleged’ appeared almost as a mantra. What, no one saw him? The New York Times didn’t see the live film footage, of Jews being butchered by Arab hatred at the checkout line? That was Yair’s dad, fighting back.

 

See the NY Times headline, where the reporter got that part right (Thank you, Jodi, kudos) but the editorial staff couldn’t help themselves:

Palestinian Teenager Accused of Stabbing 2 Israelis
By JODI RUDOREN
Two Israeli men were wounded in an attack in a West Bank supermarket, and the suspect was shot and wounded by an off-duty guard who was shopping there.

Is there a rule of journalism that requires only Arab acts of terror to be reported as alleged – even if there is a video of it – but which permits terror to be laid at the feet of Jews whether or not there is any proof? I still believe in the integrity of the news outlets, and I do expect more.

As we sat talking about how it was to leave class and wait with his friend to be picked up and taken to his bludgeoned father’s hospital bedside, I could only wonder what there was to say to my Yair, safe and sound at home. To make it easier. To make it less blunt and cruel. I’m not sure I was successful. Yair had few questions, just a simple ‘We sat with him and did what we could’. That’s it, I guess, we do what we can. To me, these young boys are calm heroes in the face of the swirling realities around them.

And us moms? Are we to stop shopping at the local store? It’s unthinkable to me that Arabs from Hebron or Bethlehem couldn’t join us in the aisles, choosing tomatoes and reaching for a bag of rice. I’m glad to say hi to Tarik behind the cheese counter, cleaver in hand. But can it go on? Do we want complete separation with no hope of living together, ever?

Some of us don’t let our kids stand at a bus-stop anymore. Waiting can be dangerous. In what world is that ok, I ask myself? And then I sigh, pick up the car keys and go out for another round of soccer-mom rides, because I can’t think of letting Yair and his siblings get around any other way – for now.