Gary Willig

When Heroism is Punished — Why There is No Peace

If anyone was still wondering why there is no peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the story reported in the Times of Israel about the treatment the couple who saved the family of Rabbi Miki Mark should tell them everything they need to know.

A Palestinian husband and wife came across the overturned car and not only stopped to pull the surviving members of the Mark family out, but stayed to administer first aid until an ambulance could arrive.

In most societies this act would be applauded as that of a good Samaritan, and the rescuers would be lauded as heroes. Helping people and saving lives are considered noble deeds and accomplishments to be proud of.

According to the Times of Israel report, what happened to the good Samaritans who rescued who rescued much of the Mark family? The husband lost his job. And he and his wife are never named once in the article, while the photograph is pixilated so that no one can see the husband’s face.

This anonymity is necessary for their protection. Because Palestinian society does not consider those who save lives to be heroes if those lives happen to belong to Jews.

The act of saving Jewish civilians, including children, who were injured in a terrorist attack is considered a betrayal of the Palestinian cause. The hatred of Jews runs so deep that preventing Jewish children from dying is so great a crime that it must be punished, the perpetrator shunned. And if a terrorist finds out who the ‘traitor’ is, saving a Jewish life could cost a Palestinian his own life.

In Palestinian society it is the murderers who are the true heroes ad role models. Streets and parks are named after people whose only accomplishment in life was the murder of Jewish civilians. Salaries are paid to convicted murders in Israeli prisons and to the families of dead terrorists. And Israelis were chilled by the joy expressed by the mother of the scum who stabbed to death 13-year old Hallal Yaffa Ariel in her bed as she slept.

Her words, as translated by Palestinian Media Watch, were “My son is a hero. He made me proud. My son died as a Martyr defending Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa [Mosque]. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, he [my son] has joined the Martyrs before him, and he is not better than them. Allah willing, all of them will follow this path, all the youth of Palestine. Allah be praised.” [emphasis added]

Peace will come when the Palestinian hate for Jews subsides enough that they begin to acknowledge the heroism of people who save lives and the evil of those who murder children. As long as the opposite continues to hold true, there will only be more dead children on both sides.

About the Author
Gary Willig is a researcher at the Center for Near East Policy Research and a student of communications at Bar Ilan University
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