Hell Hath No Fury

Aviva Yisraeli, an Israeli who lives in Tekoa, a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.

Photo: USA Today.


Even by its own depressing standards of hostility, conflict and violence, the atmosphere in Israel (especially in Jerusalem) and the Palestinian Territories has become desperately tense this fall. For parents as for children.

In Gaza, in the summer of 2014, the Palestinian death toll at the hands of Operation Protective Edge numbered over 2,100 and included approximately 500 children. More recently, a spate of brazen individual acts has hogged the headlines. Two weeks ago, near Nablus in the West Bank, four Israeli children watched as their parents were gunned down, point-blank, by Hamas extremists while inside their car at a traffic stop. In July, Jewish extremists fire-bombed a Palestinian home in Duma in the West Bank, burning alive an 18-month-old boy and causing injuries that would eventually lead to the deaths of his parents.

There's also the ongoing wave of Palestinian stabbings targeting Israelis. Not to mention, the relaxed rules for the indiscriminate shooting of Palestinians by Israeli police and security forces. (According to one Palestinian Christian leader, "We are facing the army of Israel, the Israeli police and 500,000 armed settlers who have orders 'Shoot to kill.'")

In this hard-to-imagine, powder-keg climate, I suppose as a parent I find myself sympathizing with the story of this particular Israeli "glocker mom." She has armed herself and is ready to protect her children at all cost. However, in one sentence, and beyond the identities of Israeli or Palestinian, notice how her view of the other as problem unwittingly dehumanizes herself and her neighbor.

If we continue to barricade ourselves, you can never take care of the problem.
— Aviva Yisraeli


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