When it comes to the stabbing attacks in Israel, there’s more than one Arab perspective

Published October 18th, 2015 - 02:42 GMT
Israeli border guards give first aid to an injured police officer, who was stabbed along with another officer by a Palestinian, on Oct. 10, 2015. (AFP/Gali Tibbon)
Israeli border guards give first aid to an injured police officer, who was stabbed along with another officer by a Palestinian, on Oct. 10, 2015. (AFP/Gali Tibbon)

With the recent media coverage, it's easy to assume the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been reduced to two opinions: one supporting the Palestinian stabber, the other standing by the IDF shooter.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas hasn't said anything to counter that narrative, and neither has Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Their finger-pointing on the issue — and the violence their citizens continue to commit — if anything has made tensions worse. 

For pro-Palestine supporters, it often seems like a taboo subject to express any condemnation around the recent violence by Palestinians. But some Arab figures are coming out against the stabbings, and have the potential to change what's seen as a two-sided story.  

“Politicians and party members, stop provoking the enthusiastic young men," Jordanian imam Sheikh Abu Talha said in a sermon in Amman earlier this month. "This barbarity will do us no good." The Arabic speech had double the downvotes on YouTube than it did upvotes. 

Then there's this Israeli-Arab news anchor.

"Some of the Arab leaders are keeping a horrific and deafening silence," said Lucy Aharish, whose statement was widely circulated on social media among Israeli supporters. "They are not trying to calm the situation, not trying to act toward mutual understanding and accepting one another."

It's not just Arabs, or Muslims, that can challenge the norm. On social media an old photo of an ultra-Orthodox Jew holding stones with a Palestinian began circulating as a symbol of overcoming religious divisions in the conflict.

It's easy to try to simplify the war into tokens of stones and bullets. But when you look at the wider lens of advocates — whether they're Arab, Israeli or both — there are moderates on both sides, and they have perspectives worth sharing.

By Hayat Norimine


© 2000 - 2021 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

You may also like