Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Many Shades of a Story

There are some irrefutable facts in today's headlines - and then there are many shades to the story. What is known is that during the night, Muatez Edris Sharuna died. Actually, even that is a question because some news sites refer to him as Muatazz Sharawnah. Everyone seems to agree that he was 19 years old at the time of his death. Everyone seems to agree that he was a cadet in the Palestinian Military Security Academy in Jericho.

From there, the facts slide into a blurry mess of information. Some say he was run over by an Israeli military jeep during rioting; other say he was shot. The Palestinians have the body, so the confusion on their part is a bit strange. More and more, the Palestinians are saying that Sharuna or Sharawnah was shot.

Some eyewitnesses (and IDF forces) report that during the rioting, some of the protesters climbed on to the IDF jeeps and were throwing stones...it was at that point that the Israeli soldiers opened fire. Now, as the mother of two soldiers, mother-in-law to one, adopted mother to two, and aunt to two more...have I forgotten anyone? Anyway, with this background in mind, I have to say to those soldiers who were in the jeep - first, good for you for defending your lives and second, why did you wait until they were close enough to be climbing on the jeep to open fire?

As for the dead cadet, one could argue that Sharuna/Sharawnah was acting in his capacity as a security officer, trying to bring order amid chaos. Of course, the flaw in that logic is that a) he was a cadet and I find it hard to believe that rather than send trained officers, the Palestinians are sending out cadets to quell riots and b) if he was trying to stop the rioters, why was he climbing on an Israeli jeep?

Seems to me, he should have had his back to the Israelis and his front to the Palestinians if his goal was to end the violence. He should have been trying to separate, rather than lead...unless, of course, he wasn't there to quell the rioters, unless, of course, this misguided young man thought that there was glory in mounting a jeep filled with armed soldiers.

There are times in my life I wish I had the power to speak to the dead. If I did, to be honest, I'd probably want to speak to my grandfather who helped instill a love of Israel in my heart. I'd like to speak to Menachem Begin - I'd have so much I'd want to say to him. I'd like to speak to Golda Meir and thank her for setting herself as a role model long before it was comfortable for a woman to be a leader.

I probably wouldn't waste my chance speaking to a 19 year old Palestinian boy/man who wasted his life climbing on a military jeep - because the only thing I could possibly ask him would be, "What the heck were you thinking they'd do?"

Of course, the Palestinians are referring to Sharawnah/Sharuna as a martyr...but what was his cause? Stupidity?


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