Menachem Begin is dead.
That may not sound like news, since Begin the Israeli leader died 18 years ago, more than a decade after making peace with Egypt in 1979. That year, the "peace triplets" were born: Menachem Begin, Anwar Sadat and Jimmy Carter Kidasa.
"When the boys were born I truly believed in coexistence," said Ibrahim Kidasa, their father. He and his wife, Hitam, thought they would raise their three sons in a new society, one that has put down its weapons and chosen to focus on building the peace.
But yesterday morning, Menachem Begin Kidasa was shot to death in Lod.
The police arrested Na'ef Radwan, a 21-year old resident of Lod, as a suspect in the killing. He denies it. Police are investigating claims that Radwan was angered by Begin's drinking alcohol near his 19-year old brother, so he went home, got a pistol and shot Begin. Radwan is being held in custody for five days.
"How will this help me now? Nothing will bring Begin back," Ibrahim said.
"We are Arabs. When the killer is a Jew, Israel will do everything in order to bring the murderer to justice, from anywhere in the world. Here they killed an Arab and who cares? Another one that was and is gone."
Sadat, meanwhile, has been granted furlough from prison because of his brother's death. He landed in prison a decade ago with a three-month sentence, but has been serving time since then because he killed another prisoner two days before his release. Now he is due to be released again, in two months.
The morning the triplets were born at Assaf Harofeh Hospital in Tzrifin, the small home of the Kidasa family was filled with flowers and well-wishers. Yesterday, hours after Begin's death was confirmed in the same hospital, hundreds came to the house to offer their condolences.
Ibrahim has lost the hope that drove him to name his three sons after a historic peace, he said. He learned that good intentions will do nothing to get his family out of the poor neighborhood that offered them little beyond crime.
"Look at the children growing up in Rishon Letzion, in the afternoon," he said. "They go to after-school activities, they go to the community center. There is nothing like that here. Our children do not know what after-school activities are. This is no way to create coexistence."
On Tuesday night, Lod residents called the police to complain that drunks in the neighborhood were disturbing their sleep. The patrol found Begin there and the police officers say he promised them he would get things quiet. The officers left and two hours later, gunfire broke out in the same area. The police searched the backyards and the alleys, and found Begin bleeding on the ground. He had been shot in both legs and was bleeding to death.
Begin uttered a few words and lost consciousness. The officers called an ambulance and the medics described his condition as critical as they rushed him to the hospital. After a short battle to save him, the doctors declared him dead.
Like Sadat, Begin had also been in prison. Ibrahim never visited his sons in jail, though.
"It was humiliating for me and I could not bear the shame," he said. "I am an Arab, and before every visit they wanted me to strip to see I was not smuggling in drugs. For me this was new. I had never had any run-ins with the law, never been arrested."
"I am fed up," he said. "We had a lot of good will, but we were unlucky."
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