Bernie: Let Me Tell You a Thing or Two about “Respect and Dignity” – It Starts with Common Decency!

Democratic presidential candidate hopeful Bernie Sanders declared “we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity.” (in a CNN debate, April 14, 2016)

Let me tell you something about the right to ‘respect and dignity’, Bernie.

Human dignity and respect for others begins with the basic human right to life… Every Israeli has the right to board a bus without fearing it will blow up or an 11 or 14 year-old fellow passenger on the way home from school will try to plant a knife or a screwdriver in their chest. Every Israeli has the right to wait for a public tram or a bus or a hitch without fearing every passing car might swerve suddenly to purposefully ram the vehicle into them.

Everyone, including Israelis, should have the right to freshen up the paint on the doorposts of the entrance to their home, without a Palestinian slitting their throat. Do Israelis have the right to say their morning prayers without being hacked to death before they’re done; do they have the right to drive down the highway without the windshield being shattered by a rock, triggering a fatal accident – without being hit by a petrol bomb leaving an 11 year-old occupant with third-degree burns over most of her body? Do 12 or 13 year-old kids have the right to go to the corner grocery or ride their bicycle around the block without fear a Palestinian will accost them and try to kill them with a kitchen knife? Do parents have the right to go to sleep safe in the knowledge that won’t be stabbed to death in their sleep, along with their four year-old and three month-old infant?

Not if you ask Palestinians, Bernie. In December 2015 – a month marked by 20 knifing attacks and nine ramming attacks which followed 44 knifings and four ramming attacks in October 2015 – 66 percent of the Palestinian public supported knifing and mowing down Jews with vehicles. Think about it, Bernie: That’s two out of every three Palestinians.

Dignity and respect begins with common decency…that when you’re a foreign national allowed to seek life-saving medical treatment in an Israeli hospital, you don’t strap a suicide belt around your waist with plans to blow up the very doctors trying to save your life. Common decency means a pregnant Palestinian woman in labor won’t lie on top of a suicide belt inside a Red Crescent ambulance to get through a roadblock in order to blow up other mothers and children (and then accuse Israelis of heartlessness when they insist on checking ambulances).

It means as a self-respecting Palestinian you won’t use your Israeli employer’s car as ‘camouflage’ to plow into a crowd of Israelis, then go after them with an axe, or transform your employer’s worksite in the heart of Jerusalem into a staging area for turning your massive front-loader tractor into a blunt lethal weapon to crush other vehicles to kill the occupants. Or take advantage of the Israeli identity card you’re entitled to as an east Jerusalemite to go anywhere in Israel in order to stalk and stab an unsuspecting teenager on the street. You don’t give your own school kids pipe bombs to hide in their schoolbags to get through checkpoints, either…then turn around and claim you’re humiliated daily in long lines at checkpoints where purses, school bags, lunch pails and vehicles and their passengers are searched for knives, axes and explosive devices.

Dignity and respect begins with sincerity and trustworthiness. You don’t ask for a well-paying job in Israel, then murder your employer or your fellow employees. You don’t cut the snappling ropes during your lunch break that hold up a Jewish worker cleaning windows outside the 11th floor of the same building where you are working, or pull a screwdriver out of your toolbox to take a work break stabbing passing pedestrians on the street – one of the four victims a 60 year-old woman (then brand Israelis ‘racists’ for hesitating to employ Palestinians). And the epitome of respect and dignity…you don’t knife to death an elderly housewife who had the decency to open the door when you knocked asking for a glass of cold water (i.e. someone who ‘treated you with respect and dignity’, instead of sending three strangers at the door to a spigot in the yard).

Those who demand respect and dignity don’t take advantage of unrestricted roads to kidnap teenagers seeking a ride home from school and shoot them at point blank range (then have the colossal chutzpa to claim restrictions on freedom of movement are signs Israel is an ‘apartheid state’). If you have any self-respect, you’d have the decency – not to mention conscience, not to shoot rockets at the neighbors from inside your own residential neighborhoods, schools and hospital compounds…yet in August 2014, 89 percent of Palestinians supported firing rockets at Israeli cities and towns … If you have an ounce of humanity, you don’t turn vicious killers into heroes and name your schools and soccer teams in their honor – lionizing the likes of Mahmud Amru as ‘a hero and a legend’ – the Palestinian sniper who deliberately targeted a ten-month-old Israeli infant, just one particularly despicable act…which the Palestinian Authority chose to ‘dignify’ by charging the child’s mother had murdered her own baby to slander the Palestinians…

Bernie, how is it Palestinians can go to work, go to school, go shopping, walk down the street or sit in a sidewalk café or wait for a bus or board a tram without fear a Jew will appear and knife them in the back or run them over on purpose? Human dignity, Bernie Sanders, begins at home, with common decency. The lack of ‘reciprocity’ here begs the question:  In whose name are you demanding ‘respect and dignity’?!

NOTE TO THE READER:  All the above scenarios actually took place, and faithfully reflect countless similar terrorist incidents that have occurred in Israel.

About the Author
Daniella Ashkenazy is a bilingual Israeli journalist and the founder and CEO of Chelm-on-the-Med Online, a news outlet in English of zany news from Israel culled from the Hebrew press, designed to transform preconceptions about Israel – one chuckle at a time
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