We Are Here, They Are There

Tragic day in Israel yesterday. Five dead in a terrorist attack on a synagogue during morning prayer time.

Perhaps the most prominent reaction in social and electronic media yesterday was the outcry against reporting in global media. CNN was widely denounced for briefly running the headline: “Four Israelis, Two Palestinians Killed”, without mentioning it was a terrorist attack (CNN quickly corrected this). Others denounced foreign media for not being critical enough. Prime Minister Netanyahu and other ministers focused their comments on Abu Mazen, head of the Palestinian Authority, as the man responsible for inciting this attack.

The second prominent reaction in social media can be categorized as a general wish for a “we are here, they are there” solution. One friend wrote on Facebook: “There is only one solution and that is complete and utter segregation”. This natural reaction wants to put a barrier between Israelis and Palestinians, who evidently cannot get along living together.

A thought about these two reactions.

Yes, global media coverage is ludicrous, and yes, the solution is separating as much as possible between Israelis and Palestinians. But it’s very convenient for Israeli leadership and Israeli citizens to spend their time criticizing others and hoping for a solution to materialize, instead of acting. I find it incredible that our leadership is wasting time blaming the media and hoping that the Palestinian leadership will solve the problem. How convenient is it for Netanyahu to deflect responsibility and blame everyone else. And how convenient is it for Israelis in general to wish for a “we are here, they are there” solution while continuing to support a government that does nothing to promote such a solution.

It’s time Israel took the initiative to implement a “we are here, they are there” solution. If possible, through agreement. If not, unilaterally. It means taking down most settlements, relinquishing sovereignty over parts of East Jerusalem and erecting a border between two states. I don’t see the current government doing this. It’s hard. Assigning blame to the media and to Abu Mazen is easier.

PS – 23 November 2014:

The UN Security Council unanimously condemned the attack. I have not seen a single post about this, and only a cursory mention in the Israeli media. Could it be that all those who were so vociferously indignant about CNN’s momentary reporting mistake missed this? Or perhaps, God forbid, their heightened sense of victimhood and blame assignment doesn’t allow them to recognize such a gesture?

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