Imagine sitting on park bench, standing at a bus stop or shopping in a mall and someone attacks you with a knife for no apparent reason. You have no issues with this person, as you’ve never even laid eyes upon him/her before this incident. If you survive the attack, you’d be asking yourself, why me? What did I ever do to deserve this? And by your measure, you’d be more than justified to be mystified. Especially when you realize, just your very presence could trigger unbridled rage in the heart of another.
Imagine returning home from an exhausting day of terror and turning the T.V. to hear stories similar to your event were happening all over the city. People were being savagely assaulted and killed for no discernible reason. You’d be angry as hell. You’d be wondering WTF is going on. You’d be wondering what was wrong with these people and what is being done to stop them. You’d be wondering how you could protect yourself and your family until things got back to normal.
If you live in the tiny state of Israel, this is what life has been like for the last two weeks. Random acts of violence can be expected to take place anywhere, anytime and to anybody. Jewish Israelis are under attack and the attacks are coming from within this time. The security wall built to keep extremist out won’t help. Israel’s famed Iron Dome is useless against this type of violence. Young Arab Israelis have gone on the war path. Neighbors, coworkers and even close friends could be harboring dangerous sentiments toward you and what you represent to them.
Young Arab Israelis have got some serious issues that have been ignored for decades and they want those issues addressed. Perhaps Jewish Israelis were not paying attention to the building tensions over settlements and the warnings from the international community that the status quo was unsustainable. Perhaps life as an Israeli Jew was so comfortable, they couldn’t see or cared enough to understand how unacceptable that status quo was to the Arab Israeli and by extension, the Palestinian people.
While life is never perfect when living in close proximity with people of another culture, Jewish Israelis always thought they’d had an understanding with Arab Israelis. Perhaps Jewish Israelis always thought any major differences would eventually be overcome somehow, someway, by somebody somewhere in the upper echelons of government. Issues like life as an Arab Israeli or the Palestinian conflict was always someone else’s concern. Jewish Israelis seemed more worried about the price of an apartment, the price of bread, the cost of energy and long commutes to work. How could they have the time to contemplate conditions in the occupied territories?
As an objective observer and documentarian of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict this would be an excellent place to rant a few “I told you so” lines, but that guilty pleasure will have to give way to fully comprehending how bad this situation is and what Israel’s response will be. So far the Israeli Prime Minister is talking tough. Real tough. Benjamin Netanyahu is looking to settle the score. From this observer’s perspective, setteling the score can’t possibly be the answer, but that’s the early talk.
Bottom line: Israel is now in the position of having to face the wrath of another generation of malcontents. And this next generation is determined as ever to send a message written in blood (mostly their own) to the Israeli people and the world that they’re not going to stop until they see things change. They are not going to give up or give in until they’ve been heard and understood this time. They are enraged and quickly reaching the boiling point. Its time to start paying attention.