31 Jul 2023

It’s Not All Bad

Sometimes we have to admit that how we look at people might be skewed. I’m the worst offender and try to look in the mirror from time to time. I had such an experience this week, with regard to the Palestinians. My memory goes in and out these days, but if I haven’t mentioned it, when I was in Israel in May, I was walking through the Old City of Jerusalem and all of a sudden in front of me was a group of school children—backpacks, laughter, and chatter. It was almost identical to a scene that affected me on my first trip 25 years ago.

The obvious conclusion is that they are people just like we are, and their children are precious. The problem, of course, is that the Palestinian leadership is wicked. Demonic. They don’t care about the Arab people, only about enriching themselves and killing Jews. It is unknown how many of the population shares that view (something like the complicity of the German people during World War 2), but there must be a sizeable number of Palestinians that are decent people. I’ve met some.

I was reminded of this today as I noticed a posting on Facebook by my friend, Jonathan Feldstein. Jonathan lives in Efrat and does many good things, emphasizing cooperation between different people groups. He spends a lot of time forming friendships for Israelis and Christians. Most importantly, he’s a genuinely nice person. Not terribly common anymore.

In any case, the guy knows tons of people, and his post today was especially remarkable in that way. It involves the kind of story you won’t hear from most media outlets. It doesn’t fit the narrative of either the right or the left, honestly. Because it shows us what is possible. Here is the post in its entirety:

From Im Tirtzu

Hagit, a religious Jew living in Lod, planned to donate a kidney to her friend Yochi.

At the same time, Myaser, a religious Muslim resident of Acre, planned to donate a kidney to her husband Rifad.

Both of them ended up not being a match for donation, but they were both matches for donating to others, and so they did… Hagit donated her kidney to Rifad, and Myaser donated her kidney to Yochi!

A speedy recovery to Yochi and Rifad and their donors Myaser and Hagit

Wow! There you have it. It’s quite incredible that this set of circumstances brought these people together and I believe it clearly shows the hand of God. These acts of selflessness display what humans are capable of if they tap into the slivers of decency inside us. The above story is mind-blowing and should not leave our memories. I know I will remind myself of it more often. Slogging through the Arab-Israeli conflict is often a disheartening thing. The level of evil from Arafat to Abu Mazen, and their international handlers in diplomacy is jarring, and ongoing.

But the people themselves deserve a better life. I admit I am taken aback that a practicing Muslim would donate a vital organ to a Jew. Yet it happened.

Not all the news from Israel is bad.

[On another note, can you drop me an email to let me know you are seeing this column? I wonder if some of the “search engines!” Gorogle are monkeying with communications from conservatives. You don’t even have to write a message or even fill in the subject line. I am doing an experiment to see if there is a problem with BiGtech! censoring us. Thank you]