If only rocks could talk. In Israel they would have a lot to say, with thousands
of years of history embedded in this land: from the prophets and kings, to the
rise and fall of dynasties, to the countless wars throughout the
generations. And in our time they would tell the story of the Jewish
Nation returning, and assuming control, of its ancestral homeland after 2,000
years in exile.
The rocks in places like Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem
would probably be the most vocal, especially in regard to the Jewish connection
to those areas in which archeologists and historians have pinpointed sites of
Biblical significance, including ‘The Paths of the Patriarchs,” the burial tomb
of Joseph the Oneirologist, and of course the location of Holy Jewish
But in today’s reality, Jerusalem along with Judea and Samaria
(and other places in Israel), are inhabited not only by Jews, but our Arab
cousins as well. Following the second intifada, and most recently the Itamar
massacre, a question that literally keeps me up tossing and turning at night is
the true attitude of my average Arab (Palestinian – a term I have issues using)
neighbor visà- vis an Israeli presence, and jurisdiction, in these areas, but
ultimately over the entire country.
While the Palestinian Authority
continues to incite the masses toward violence against Israel via hate education
in schools, on television and in newspapers, and also glorifies terrorism by
naming town squares and summer camps after “martyrs,” I’m curious to know what
percentage of the general “Palestinian” Arab population these days is
brainwashed into believing that Israel is the ultimate enemy, worthy only of
The first “rocks” I would question seeking answers would be
the ones just down the road from my house at the Gush Etzion Junction, in light
of two recent events – both which perhaps would lead one to reach different
One night last week around midnight, as I drove home from
Alon Shvut to Elazar following my weekly pickup basketball game, I witnessed the
tail end of a traffic accident. An Arab motorcyclist was lying in the road,
clearly in pain, after smashing into the back of another Arab-driven vehicle and
being thrown onto the pavement.
The bike had been torn into dozens, if
not hundreds, of fragments of all sizes, and I couldn’t help thinking how lucky
he was to have escaped serious injury or death.
As a near scuffle broke
out between the driver of the car, which also sustained damage, along with his
passengers, and the motorcyclist and his friends who also arrived at the scene,
it was a group of kippah-clad “settler” motorists who stepped in to calm the
situation, along with a “settler” ambulance corp. that was the first to
arrive to treat the wounded motorcyclist. When tensions calmed, it seemed
that the Arabs were grateful for having concerned Jewish neighbors to restore
order and provide medical first-aid.
HOWEVER, IN the second incident a
few days later, as hundreds of cyclists (including myself) gathered just meters
from where the motorcycle accident took place for a water break during an annual
Jerusalem Day bike ride from Kiryat Arba to Jerusalem, an Arab teen hidden among
the riders was caught by a soldier, brandishing an 11-inch knife.
soldier, after witnessing the youth acting suspiciously, jumped on the would-be
attacker, most likely preventing what could have been a fatal tragedy. I didn’t
even know the threat existed until reading about the incident hours
later. Ironically, the Arab ended up only stabbing himself and, you
guessed it, was treated by Jewish medics and hospitalized in a Jerusalem
So what is the true nature of the state of affairs these days
between the Arabs and Jews in my area or anywhere else in Judea and Samaria? In
separate interviews I recently conducted with both the newly elected mayor and
the former mayor of Gush Etzion, both independently described an atmosphere of
co-existence between the Jews and Arabs in the area (which would support the
events described in the motorcycle incident).
Both also independently
admitted that while relations in the Gush between the two groups is quiet,
outside, in other areas in Judea and Samaria, it’s a different ballgame (which
would possibly support the second incident, as the young attacker was an
outsider, arriving from his hometown of Hebron in hopes of committing
Ultimately then, maybe the answer to my question as to which
event reflects the true reality is “both.” In other words, there are Arabs who
are interested in simply going to work every day, sending their children to
school, and coming home, uninfluenced – able to tune out the hate propaganda
spewed by their leadership.
Then again, it is obvious that for others,
the goal remains spilling as much Jewish blood as possible. A weekly email
“terror diary” compiled and released by the Hatzolah Judea and Samaria
first-response medical organization indicating nearly daily Arab rock, firebomb
and other types of attacks would back this theory.
possibilities existing, I’ll continue tossing and turning.
If only rocks
The writer is a media expert, freelance journalist and the
host of Reality Bytes Radio.