World leaders and diplomats, who don’t know the names of any of the Palestinian kids killed on an almost daily basis, deplored in the strongest terms the killing of the three settlers, mentioning them by name. But what about Youssef Shawamra, 15, who was killed in March while harvesting the wild thorny vegetable gundelia (Akkoub) in Deir Al Asal, south of Hebron; or Ahmad Sabarin, 20, who was watching a World Cup match when the Israelis came to arrest people at Al Jalazoun refugee camp and shot and killed Ahmad as he went out to see what was going on? Saker Daraghmeh, 16, was killed in Tayaseer village near the Jordan Valley while shepherding his cattle. Mahmoud Odeh and Nadeem Nawara, the two teenagers khttp://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12666-mourning-the-deaths-of-all-children-update-from-jerusalem.htmlilled while commemorating the Nakba, did not receive anywhere near the international attention bestowed on the three young Jewish settlers! The killing of a Palestinian is not seen as horrific as that of an Israeli; our pain is not sensed as acutely as is theirs. The unfair equating of Palestinian responsibility for the alleged acts of a few individuals with the formal responsibility of a democratically elected Israeli government for the actions of its army is yet another insult to logic and reason often committed by the friends of Israel.
In fact, no Israeli has ever received a serious sentence for killing a Palestinian. Today, following the killing of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, Israeli troops are invading Shuafat—not his killers’ neighborhood! They likely will remain anonymous, their homes will not be demolished, there will be no closure imposed on Israeli neighborhoods, nor will Israeli settlers be prevented from going to work or traveling abroad. The rabbis and settler leaders who incite their followers will continue to do so with impunity.
Since it first occupied our land, Israel has kidnapped our freedom, our lives, and our opportunities. As long as the killing of a gentile is taken more lightly than the killing of a Jew, as long as there is this huge discrepancy in human worth and lack of validation of the Palestinian experience, as long as Israel remains the only author of this land’s narrative and the only political player who counts, death and nihilism will continue to kidnap our life opportunities—Israelis and Palestinians alike.
Washington Report contributor Samah Jabr