Sarah Tuttle-Singer
A Mermaid in Jerusalem

When a child’s murder becomes a numbers game

“What about all the Palestinian children the IDF killed?” people have commented on my essay, “What Really Happened in Jerusalem.”

To which I reply: I hate when children die. Your children, or our children. (And as far as I’m concerned, “yours” and “ours” are bullshit qualifiers  anyway, because no child should die. Not Chaya Braun. Not Eyal Yifrach,  Gilad Sha’er, and Naftali Frenkel.  Not Muhammad Abu-Khdeir)

Children should live to grow up and learn from our mistakes and make the world a little kinder, a little more accepting.

Right now, things are really bleak. And you know what would go a long way to lighting the uncertain path to some sort of future where we can coexist?  Just a little empathy, that’s all.

A baby was murdered. She wasn’t wearing olive green and carrying an M-16.  She was wrapped in a blanket.

How does that NOT shake everyone into that universal place of sadness?.

Where is that outcry from the Palestinians? From Abbas? Those who aren’t full-on celebrating and handing out candy, are blaming Israel.

Where is that outcry from the BDS supporters? Oh wait, they’re too busy using their Intel processors (made in Israel, for the record) find justification for this senseless murder.

Hell, where is that outcry from the UN? I know “strongly worded condemnations” take a few minutes to write, but come onnnn…

Instead, a child’s murder has become a numbers game, where my grief — and the grief of all of us living in Israel who feel that this baby was part of our family, because she WAS part of our family, somehow begs the question: “Yeah, well what about the children in Gaza?”
And so it goes, whirling and twirling into the hard, cold darkness.

A few simple words would soften things – A quiet statement from the PA president condemning the senseless murder of an innocent child, would be a start. Op-eds written by Palestinians condemning a culture that celebrates death would be a start. And I do see it from a precious few — and it’s sad to me that their empathy should stand out when really, the outrage should pour in from all directions.

Yes, I ask too much.

But because I hope that one day we can figure out a way to live together, I’ll keep asking.

About the Author
Sarah Tuttle-Singer is the author of Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered and the New Media Editor at Times of Israel. She was raised in Venice Beach, California on Yiddish lullabies and Civil Rights anthems, and she now lives in Jerusalem with her 3 kids where she climbs roofs, explores cisterns, opens secret doors, talks to strangers, and writes stories about people — especially taxi drivers. Sarah also speaks before audiences left, right, and center through the Jewish Speakers Bureau, asking them to wrestle with important questions while celebrating their willingness to do so. She loves whisky and tacos and chocolate chip cookies and old maps and foreign coins and discovering new ideas from different perspectives. Sarah is a work in progress.