This is me and Mohammed Zoabi – the young Israeli, Arab, Muslim, Zionist who had to leave Israel. It was taken a few weeks ago. We are hugging each other goodbye in the USA before I headed back to home. I want to use this extraordinary photo and the story behind it in the hope that people will see what a remarkable yet fragmented nation Israel is.
Yip, it was me, me, a terror victim, stabbed 13 times by Palestinians, who hid this Arab teenager in my house for nearly a month while Arabs were threatening his life. In addition to hiding him, I was also able to find Mohammed a wonderful community of Jews and Christians in the USA; a community that financed his schooling, took him into their homes, helped him with his visa and treated him like a son.
I helped Mohammed despite my own long-life trauma caused by Arabs who tried to murder me. I helped Mohammed because I admired his courage and because like me, he is a human being. I helped him because I know from the machete scars on my own back, that death threats should always be taken seriously. It was not one way. Mohammed helped me too. There are many things I am unable to do due to being in constant pain as a result of being beaten and smashed to a pulp by Palestinian terrorists. Mohammed was a not a guest, he was a friend and a great asset.
I also helped Mohammed Zoabi because our democracy – the only one in the Middle East – is flawed to absurdity.
In the name of our democracy, Mohammed’s relative, MK Hanin Zoabi irresponsibly abused her free speech by stating that kidnapping and murdering three Israeli teenagers does not amount to terrorism. Upholding the value of free-speech is the essence of a democracy, yet abuse of any kind, including the abuse of free-speech, always has ethical and social consequences. In Mohammed case, it was our democracy’s subsequent failure to provide a safe environment for him and his family following death threats on his life, born out of his courageous response to the perverse and obscene remarks made by his relative who squandered her moral position of authority.
As a survivor of Palestinian terrorism I hope that I would be forgiven for feeling incensed at MK Zoabi’s irresponsible comments. I hope that I would be forgiven for feeling enraged that it is my taxes, and those of Mohammed’s family, which pays her salary.
Ironically, while Mohammed was hiding in my former home, it was Israel’s democracy that afforded a free state-defence appeal to the Arab terrorist who stabbed me 13-times. It took place in Israel’s Supreme Court, THAT Court, where an Arab judge also presides. My democracy did not see it fit to even award me the $100 that the terrorists stole from me that day, money which my murdered friend had given me as a guiding fee.
During that time, I also had to attend my sixth, humiliating, costly and abusive Israel National Insurance (Bituach Leumi) medical committee. Four years out of work, thousands of shekels spent on lawyers and required second opinions, were once again summarised in a committee that took no longer than 8 minutes. This time they did not measure my stab wounds and award me a disability pension according to the length of the machete scars. I also had no need for another free TV licence, but until today they refuse to acknowledge that watching someone hacked to death like a cucumber on chopping board brings with it severe life-long Psychological disabilities.
As a survivor of Palestinian terrorism I hope that I would be forgiven for feeling a sense of injustice that the terrorists who tried to murder me are being paid by Mahmoud Abbas (J Street’s partner for peace), an execution stipend of $3500 per month, twelve times that which my own democracy awards me as a victim of terrorism.
Yet despite the injustice, I am grateful that Israel – unlike the PA – has many legal channels where as a citizen, I can pursue justice. I will continue to do this for myself and for the thousands of other Israeli civilians who are both victims of Palestinian terrorism and victims of the abuse and corruption rampant in the Israel National Insurance.
Despite the frustrations I experience, I have no fear to criticise my government. Living in the only democracy in the Middle East even affords me the liberty to criticise them publicly on social media without repercussions. Unlike those living under the regime of Abbas – I do not face imprisonment or torture for my actions.
I hope that J Street will study this profound photograph. It speaks of love, friendship, coexistence and peace. It also speaks of pain, frustration and injustice – the result of Arab terrorism and my government’s failure to help victims of terrorism and deal with those who incite it.
Although painful and infuriating this failure is not surprising. In part, the government’s inability to act firmly concerning incitement to terrorism is probably due to the likes of J-Street. From the comfort and distance of their own homes they arrogantly and dangerously haul Israel up on the world stage in front of an already-hostile global audience, and seek to berate the only democracy in the Middle East. In doing so I believe that they shackle my government in impotence because of their fears of more international pressure, reprisals and isolation.
For more posts about my story with Mohammed please like my page Let Kay Wilson speak at the J-Street Conference I am unable to answer private messages from anyone.
Am Israel Chai!