Stories like these unfortunately make it all too clear that peace simply isn’t possible with a culture like this. The basic decency of one man only highlights what is so fundamentally wrong and broken with so much of the colonial Muslim settler population occupying parts of Israel.
Three years ago this month, thousands of Israelis attended the funeral of Rabbi Michael “Miki” Mark, director-general of the Otniel Yeshiva, who was killed in a drive-by Palestinian terrorist attack.
The father of 10 children was shot while driving with his wife and two of his kids on Route 60 in the South Hebron Hills. He was struck by a barrage of bullets and lost control of the car, causing it to overturn…
The unnamed 28-year old ‘Palestinian man and his wife, who has a nursing degree, were traveling in the vicinity of their home near Hebron on July 1, 2016, when they encountered the overturned vehicle of Rabbi Miki Mark and his wife, Chava, which had gone off the road near Otniel after being sprayed with bullets in a terrorist attack.
In an interview at the time with Israel’s defunct Channel 2, “A” – whose name has been withheld since then – recounted seeing the Marks’ overturned vehicle and stopping on the side of the road.
“I tried to open the door, but the car was completely locked,” he said. “I saw two children inside screaming and asking me to help them. I put out my hand and for two minutes, I tried to open the door to get to the children who were suffocating in the car. I think that if they stayed there a little while longer, those children would have suffocated in the car. Out of the shock she felt, the young daughter spontaneously grabbed me and jumped onto me. I immediately put my hand on her head and spoke to her in Hebrew, of course. I told her, ‘Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, I will help you. Don’t worry.’ I did what I did out of humanity. These are children. There were children inside. There were people inside. I didn’t hesitate at all.”
For that, A was fired from his job and forced out of his home.
However, according to the anonymous rescuer in an interview with NPR, more Palestinians began to arrive—some of whom threatened to kill the survivors.
“If any of you approach my car,” he told them, “you will see what I am capable of. They are under my protection.”
Following the event, word spread of the man’s heroism, though some of the reactions were not what he expected. He was called a traitor and a collaborator. His boss fired him.
With no means of supporting his wife and baby financially, or of protecting them from the wrath of their hostile neighbors, “A” has been camping out for the past two-and-a-half years in a tent on Tel Aviv’s Manta Ray Beach – with no money other than the pittance he earns from doing odd day jobs when he’s able to find them.
“A” told Hemo about the hell his family has endured as a result of his having come to the Mark family’s aid: “Every time someone [in the PA] considered hiring me, he asked around the village and was told that I’m a collaborator [with Israel], because I helped [Jewish] people. They boycott you [to the point that they] don’t even say hello. In one case, someone came to my house, shot at me and threw a Molotov cocktail. The Palestinian Authority broke into my home and scared my family. If I return, I know that I will be executed.”
A has received residency in Israel. But the PA sent a message to the next West Bank Muslim who might consider helping a Jewish family after a terrorist attack.
Meanwhile the politicians and activists who claim that the Palestinian Authority is a peace partner refuse to pay attention to its actions.