A Middle East Metaphor in Brooklyn


This story may be from last week, but I’ll post it anyway because:

1. It shows while US Muslims claim they are being victimized and are the victims of hate crimes, members of their community are victimizing and perpetrating hate crimes against others.

2. It is a great metaphor for what is happening in the Middle East.

3. The bad guy gets hurt.

A 25-year-old Israeli rabbinical assistant was assaulted by a group of Arab teenagers screaming “Allah akbar” in Brooklyn on Tuesday evening.

Uria Ohana, originally from Kfar Chabad, entered a subway station in the affluent Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn Tuesday evening, on his way to a lecture in Manhattan, when he noticed a group of Arab teenagers congregated on a bench in the station.

Ohana did not exchange words or make eye contact with the group, but proceeded upstairs to his train.

On his way, he felt someone grab his kippa from his head and then heard laughter. Ohana decided to chase the boys to retrieve his kippa.

The 18-year-old boy who grabbed the kippa left the subway station and ran into the street, where he was hit by a car, breaking his leg.

While Ohana chased the boy, the other teenagers began chasing him, screaming “Allah akbar.”

“They screamed at me, ‘Did you see what happened to him because of you?'” said Ohana, a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbinical assistant who works in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Two of the Arab boys then started kicking and punching Ohana in the face.

“As soon as they started screaming, I understood [the attack] was racial,” said Ohana.

The crime is being investigated as aggravated harassment and a possible bias crime, according to a New York Police Department spokeswoman. “I am almost sure it will be charged as a hate crime,” said the spokeswoman.

“I’m sad that this kind of attack is coming to New York after seeing this in Israel,” said Ohana. “An Arab teenager attacking a Jew for being a Jew scares me as a Jew.”

Ohana said one police officer brushed the incident off as a case of a teenager who “doesn’t know what ‘Allah akbar’ means.

“This scares me in a global context, Arabs taking national pride one step forward,” said Ohana.

The youth who was hit by the car was taken to the Lutheran Medical Center to be treated for his broken leg and was placed under arrest. The other two boys fled the scene and have not yet been apprehended.

I say this story is a great metaphor for what is happening in the Middle East, because it involves the following scenario: Arabs attack Israel, Israel responds, resulting in Arabs getting hurt. Arabs then blame Israel for Arabs getting hurt, and perpetrate further violence in response. And of course, the police officer’s response is a great metaphor for world indifference to Jewish suffering at the hands of the Arabs.

However, the metaphor does not completely hold.

CBS reported that Hussein has been charged with grand larceny, petty larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

In the Middle East, it are the Jews who are blamed, charged with crimes at the UN, and judged harshly in the court of public opinion.

Update: The story reminds me of the following joke told to me by former senior advisor to Ariel Sharon, Ra’anan Gissin:

Three hunters are out on safari — an American, a Brit and an Israeli. They are captured by cannibals who start getting the cooking pots ready. The cannibal chief tells the hunters they can have one last wish.

“What’s your last request?” he asks the American.

“I’d like a steak,” he replies.

So the cannibals kill a zebra and serve the American his steak.

“What do you want?” the cannibal chief asks the Brit.

“I’d like to have a smoke on my pipe,” which they let him do.

Then the chief asks the Israeli: “What’s your last wish?”

“I want you to kick my rear end.”

“Be serious,” says the top cannibal.

“C’mon, you promised,” says the Israeli.

“Oh, all right,” says the chief, who delivers the requested kick. Whereupon, the Israeli pulls out a gun, shoots the chief and a few other cannibals while the rest run away.

The American and Brit are furious.

“Why didn’t you do that in the first place, so we wouldn’t have had to go through all this?” they demand.

Replies the Israeli: “What? Are you mad? The UN would have condemned me as the aggressor!”

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