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A Tale of Two Babies

A friend in Florida became a grandmother of a beautiful baby girl recently.  She has two grandsons and this is her first granddaughter.  The baby was born at home and both mother and baby are doing fine.  The baby has black hair and is a happy baby.  The family and friends are oooh-ing and ahh-ing over her. Many photos of this beautiful kid are being sent over the internet to friends and family.  This arrival of a baby is replicated thousands and millions of times across the world with scenes of joy and happiness.  Everything is normal.

Everything is not normal for babies in Gaza.  With over 15,000 civilians killed, certainly, hundreds of under-1-year-olds have also been killed and thousands displaced from their homes.   One of these babies killed was Sowar Rami Muhammad Fadl Hassouna, age 1,  ID = 445731342.  This Gazan baby may not have many to mourn her since the death list from the Gazan Ministry of Health contained 72 other names with the “Hassouna” surname from age one up to a 71-year-old lady, Nima Ahmed Ahmed Hassouna.

We care about and are happy over our own tribe’s babies and yet, are mainly, indifferent to other tribes’ babies, especially those of enemy tribes.  I am sure that many Israeli Jews and many diaspora Jews when asked, would say they care about the Gazan babies since most of us are decent, moral people.  However, for most, the expressions of sorrow and sadness may only occur when someone (a friend, family member, workmate, or pollster) asks them specifically about the dead Gazan babies.

Of course, babies in West Sudan, Rohingya babies in Myanmar,  and starving babies in many parts of the world do not elicit much empathy from most of us.  These babies do not belong to any enemy tribe or group, to us, they are plain, nondescript, nameless babies.

It would be nice if most people would feel concerned for the more than a billion under-10-year-olds in dire straits globally.  I do not expect it to happen in my lifetime, my kids’ lifetime’, or my grandkids’ lifetime, ………….

I hope my friend’s granddaughter will grow up to be a fine girl, a good teenager, and a happy, fulfilled adult woman.  As for what Sowar Rami Muhammad Fadl Hassoun, might have been, could have lived, would have become, we shall never know.

About the Author
Born in London in 1949. Studied Maths at Warwick University. Came to Israel (WUJS program at Arad) in 1971. I became a citizen and served in the army in 1973. Returned to the UK in 1974. Worked in Information Systems. Married an American Orthodox woman in 1977 and moved to America. For a few years I have led a retiree philosophy class.
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