After a wave of attacks that swept Israel on Tuesday, this sentence in one of Israel’s news sites disturbed me: “The other three wounded (evacuated to one of the city’s hospitals) were the Jewish victims.”
Really? Because actually, one of those victims is not Jewish.
I waited all week for this fact to come out, but it has not.
As a Christian living in Jerusalem, and as a former journalist, I find this inaccuracy and misreporting lazy, unprofessional and offensive. Simply because the perpetrators were Muslims, the victims were automatically classified as being Jewish.
However, a Dutch woman, a resident of Israel for decades now, was one of the first people stabbed on bus no. 78. And she happens to be Christian.
We as Christians live beside you. Christians live in Jerusalem and we live all over Israel. We live in the West Bank. We live in Gaza. We shop at the same stores, ride the same buses, send our kids to the same schools as you.
Whichever side of the “fence” you live on, we are right there next to you.
And we are victims too.
We may not be the targets in this particular conflict, but we have been caught in the crossfire. Kristine Luken, an American Christian, was murdered by Palestinians on December 18, 2010, and her friend Kay Wilson (who is Jewish) was left for dead. Another woman, Mary Jean Gardner, 59, a Scottish Christian, was the only victim of the March 23, 2011 bombing at a bus stop in Jerusalem. And precious Abigail Litle, 14, was one of 17 fatalities after a bombing on a Haifa bus in 2003. She too was Christian.
When news is fast breaking, facts take awhile to emerge from the pall. I understand that. But in the midst of the initial chaos, we would be remiss in making sweeping assumptions about ethnicity and religious backgrounds.
(The Christian woman attacked on bus 78 is still being treated for her wounds and is in stable condition.)