Thursday, October 08, 2015

Righteous neighbours

With all the horrific insanity of recent weeks, especially the bloodcurdling video of local Arab shopkeepers taunting the critically injured young Jewish mother and her baby in the Old City,I just wanted to mention an article I read recently, can't remember where.

It was the story of a Jewish family living in Hebron during the 1929 pogrom against the Jewish community there by their Arab neighbours. One family was saved by an Arab friend of the family. She hid them in her house. It turned out that her husband was one of the rioters out massacring Jews and he realised she was hiding a Jewish family. An Arab mob besieged the house and demanded that she hand them over. She responded that they'd have to kill her first. The mob relented and the Jewish family were saved.

More recently a car of visiting American yeshiva students took a wrong turn in Hebron and they too were set upon by a mob. A local Arab man rescued them from the bloodthirsty crowd, sheltering them in his home until Israeli security forces could arrive to take them to safety.

Our Arab neighbours are being egged on by their leadership to glorify the murder of Jews, to go out and perpetrate more acts of terrible bloodshed and scores of young Arabs have heeded this call in recent days.

In these times of once again feeling like we have to second guess every Arab we meet to see if they have a knife it's important to remember that there are also many good and level headed people among our Arab neighbours, though tragically not among the mainstream leadership, be they from the Palestinian Authority or even Arab members of Israel's Knesset.

Even with new campaign of attacks sowing terror in Israeli towns there are courageous men and women among our Arab neighbours who are trying to make their voices heard, continuing interfaith dialogues and peace prayers with their Jewish neighours, or speaking out on public television, like the mayor of Nazareth, pleading for calm and berating the rabble rousing and hate mongering of so many Israeli Arab politicians.

The decent and righteous among our Arab neighbours are the hope that one day the madness will end.

I pray that speedily and in our day their voices will be heard loud and clear.

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