Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A National Or A Personal Tragedy?

June 30th, 2014

I shall start from the end:  after 18 days of extensive search for 3 missing  Israeli teenagers, their bodies were found not far from the place where they were abducted. They were kidnapped by Hamas fighters in the occupied territories. 
As we learn about the events that led to the tragic end, it transpires that their dramatic quality surpasses any  fictional story. Thus no wonder that the Israeli public became obsessed  not only with the fate of the three missing boys, but also with every detail of the abduction. Naturally, each aspect of the story was also used as an opportunity to promote political views by all sides.
First, the fact that the boys were catching a ride late at night started a debate about the practice of hitchhiking in the occupied territories. While the settlers argue that it is their home and as  public transportation is sparse, the kids have no choice but catching rides, the members of the left argue that even the army does not allow soldiers to catch rides because of the danger of kidnapping.
Another cause for debate was the 911 emergency call  (100 in Israel) that one of the boys made after they had been kidnapped. We heard from the media that he whispered “I was kidnapped,” and that there were shouts and  some unidentified sounds in the background. The dispatcher was not able to get more information, then the line went dead. She tried to call back, 7 times. Finally after consulting with a supervisor, they decided that it was a prank call and did not follow up.
 This part of the story was hard to take, and it caused a public outrage especially since the first few hours are so crucial in such cases. There were  many arguments in the media about the incompetence and responsibility of the police. On the other hand, in Israel, in contrast to other places in the world, cases of kidnapping are rare and the dispatcher had no experience dealing with such a call. But some one had to pay the price, thus even before the boys were found several police officers lost their jobs.
After the boys were found and put to rest, another tragic event happened: a Palestinian youth was found dead. The case is under investigation, but it is very probable that he was killed by revengeful  Israelis.
At this moment the situation is Israel seems hopeless, but I believe that we could take a brave step in order to prevent more violence and hopefully restore order. Since the boys were abducted and killed by Palestinian terrorists, the Israelis regard their death as a national tragedy. I question the merit of this approach.
This was such an unusual event, that even the 100 dispatcher  and the supervisor did not recognize the call as a genuine  plea for help. We could decide to regard the kidnapping as a horrible, yet private crime. The boys stood at night in a dangerous area, took a risk getting into a car, were kidnapped and then brutally murdered by two vicious criminals, and they should be punished.
However, turning the tragedy into a national and political affair would flare up the area even more and could benefit only the extremists on both sides (or the politicians that thrive on the Middle East conflict). We should not let them take away our future.

No comments:

Post a Comment