They just killed him. They just killed my new friend, Ari Fuld, while he was shopping in Kenyon Harim, a mall in the Gush Katif, right outside of Jerusalem. Saturday night, I was listening to his taped radio show in my home in Los Angeles. I didn’t know that, back in Israel, he was being murdered. I just saw him a few weeks ago, and his neighbor took me on a tour of the same mall in an effort to show me what peaceful coexistence between the Israelis and Palestinians can look like. “Look. at all the cars with Palestinian license plates parked next to the cars with Israeli license plates. Take pictures to show your Americans friends that we can all get along.” That spot, in the parking lot, near the entrance to the mall was exactly where Ari was murdered. I don’t like irony anymore.
I say “they” killed him, even though the murderer was a “he,” Halil Jabarin, a 17-year-old boy from the village of Yata, south of Hebron. The boy that killed him was raised with a constant blaring on official Palestinian TV that he will receive the greatest honor if he kills a Jew, –yes, they say “Jew” —not “settler,” not “Israeli.” The Western media insists on mistranslating the cries to kill a “Jew” as the cries to kill an “Israeli,” but Arab speakers know otherwise. The boy-murderer was raised in an educational system that Hillary Clinton said was “profoundly poisoning the minds of their children,” in school rooms with posters that adorned the walls with a map of the Middle East without Israel, and showing a country with imaginary lines that never existed, but with a name that did. It wasn’t just that this will be Palestine, but it is also that this was always Palestine. It would take the genocide or ethnic cleansing of over seven million people, to create this country, because no Jew would be allowed to live there, according to their leader, but that’s a minor detail probably not thought through by a 17-year-old. This is what this boy who killed my friend was raised to believe.
And when his hand stabbed my friend’s back, it was also the hand of all of his state-funded teachers, TV hosts of children shows and hate-preaching Imams in the local mosques. If he is like all the others, he will be honored now across the Palestinian territories. They will be handing out candies in the streets. His family will be celebrated, and his mother will especially be praised. Our U.S. and EU donations, after they get buried in the Palestinian Authority accounting books, will be used to reward the family for raising their son to kill my friend. The family will receive an annual life-time salary, so they have much to celebrate, and much to inspire others to kill not just my friend, but yours too, if he is a Jew (or sometimes, even if he is not) in Israel. But I hope he will not be like all the others because in this case, the boy’s mother went to the Israeli Defense Forces to report her son. It’s not the first time, a mother reported her son to the Israelis, crying out against the murder he had been inspired to do. But in one case, after the mother’s elevated status and money started flowing, she began supporting the same murderous cries. I can’t blame her entirely. The forces of the “they” is too strong.
So “they” killed him, but “we” helped, too. Our well-intended donations given without a demand for transparency, much of it somehow ending up in the overflowing treasure chests of the corrupt leaders. President Abbas, who is now in the 13th year of his four-year term, is the poorest of the Palestinian leaders at a net worth estimated to be over a $100 million, while Khaled Mashaal, Hamas Leader’s estimated worth is at least $2.6 billion. For comparison, President Obama’s net worth is about $12 million. With over $350 million per year allowed in the Palestinian Authorities budget for salaries to Palestinian prisoners, of which about 70 percent go to the prisoners who have blood on their hands. We may stop these payments soon, but, in the meantime, we are accomplices to his murder, and others like him.
“We” are also part of the “they.”
I volunteered and spoke to other volunteers of a dozen or so “peace” organizations, and never heard of one where a Jew didn’t have to check his identity at the door. So many flashes of memories where well-meaning therapists providing abundant empathy for Palestinian pain, even for minor inconveniences like getting delayed an hour trying to enter Israeli in the middle of a war, (I was routinely delayed longer trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico during peace time when Obama was president). Memories of Israelis fearful of the next knifing or bombing being told by the head therapist that their fear is because they haven’t resolved the Holocaust. It’s as if the frequent rockets, knifings, bombings and car rammings are in their imagination. Or a flash of the time where a peace-educating organization withdrew from their discussions to have a Palestinian professor and I speak at the Holocaust museum in Los Angeles because it would alienate Palestinians who are taught to deny the Holocaust. Or the time a devout Palestinian-Muslim dressed in hijab and abaya, fell into the arms of her Israeli cohorts in a trauma group, screaming in Arabic to kill the infidels, and when cries to the head therapist were made about the non-Muslims feeling unsafe, he ignored them so as not to be. This is what the groups I saw were about. Seeking peace by denying the Jewish experience and enflaming the Palestinian one, but always using flowery words.
The energy of our good will was taken by the haters to fuel more hatred.
So Ari, I was listening to your radio show before I fell asleep last night, not knowing you were in the process of being murdered. I didn’t always agree with everything you said, but is there anyone on the earth with whom we always agree? I’ve met many people with vibrant spirits before, but many of them were filled with hate, even while their words spoke of love. Your spirit vibrated with love, even when you spoke of hate. And because it vibrated with love, your energy was boundless. You were transparent; you had no hidden agenda. And all my fantasies of future talks and laughs, and trying to have you see my perspective, and you trying to have me see yours, they will continue in my mind. Because only your body is dead, your spirit has combined with mine.