Arab Lives Don’t Matter

Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat
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MK Itamar Ben-Gvir confronts MK Ayman Odeh at Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot, Israel.
Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat

The mother of the administrative detainee Mikdad Qawasmeh begged for them to prevent lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir from entering the room at Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot, where her son, who has been on a hunger strike for 91 days, is hospitalized. “Mikdad will not survive the ‘visit.’ Ben-Gvir’s entrance could well cause a rise in heart rate and blood pressure, he won’t be able to take it, the visit will finish him off,” she said. “If he comes here, it’s almost certain he will shout at Mikdad that he is a terrorist, and he deserves to die. Please, don’t let him come here.”

What would you have done if you were in the place of Ayman Odeh, who was present during the attempt to invade the patient’s room? On the one hand, a mother who is calling to save her son from the jaws of the bully, and on the other, journalist Baruch Kra, who asked, after the fact, to allow Ben-Gvir his sacred parliamentary immunity. Parliamentary immunity against the dignity and welfare of the patient? The choice is in your hands.

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Moreover, what do you think about the fact that the deputy director of Kaplan Hospital, Dr. Eitan Lavon, cast off his sacred obligation to protect the patient, and instead reprimanded both lawmakers, the one who intended on violating the privacy of the patient and the one who protected him: “Make your provocations somewhere else.” What a disgrace for the deputy director of the hospital to flee from his medical responsibility.

Here is the picture from afar. Ben-Gvir is allowed, according to the speaker of the Knesset, Mickey Levy, and journalist Kra, to violate the patient’s privacy, while on the other side of this same universe, a police medical team stood alongside the injured Yakub Abu al-Kiyan for tens of minutes in 2017, without providing him the medical help that could possibly have saved his life, and he bled to death.

You are seeing the height of absurdity. On one side the patient is abandoned to the bullying of the fascist, and on the other hand the injured man is left to bleed to death in the presence of a medical team. In each case, the life of the Arab is worth nothing.

Not just is the life of an Arab worth nothing, so is the parliamentary immunity of an Arab Member of Knesset. When Ahmad Tibi was pushed by a soldier and prevented from visiting Hebron, the army and the Israeli media rose up on the barricades and praised the soldier’s violent actions. Not a word about honoring the immunity of an Arab MK. But when an Arab MK fulfills his human obligation, the sword of the liberal journalist is aimed at his neck; here is the ugly division of labor between the journalists of the state of the Jewish nationality.

On all levels, the lives of Arabs are worth nothing. The High Court of Justice has found it just to close the case on the death of Abu al-Kiyan. In truth, why scratch the wounds, all it is – is the life of an Arab. How did author David Grossman put it, after two police officers abandoned Omar Abu Jeriban’s life on the side of the road: “What’s the problem, did someone die?” On the other hand, the prosecution closes the case against those involved in the killing of Musa Hassouna in Lod, for a lack of guilt. Since when is the murder of an Arab a crime?

In the meantime, Arab society continues to bleed, every day and its news of more travails, and sometimes more than one news item. But if you look at it from afar, you clearly see the three sides of the triangle under whose auspices the crime grows and flourishes: A. weapons whose origin is a military base and which flood Arab society. B. The Shin Bet, which collaborates with the criminals. C. A willingly paralyzed police.

I am convinced that there are officials, in the law enforcement system as well, for whom the fight against crime in Arab society burns in their veins. So let us whisper in their ears – that the main arena for the war against crime is not in the streets and squares of the Arab cities. Please, don’t look for what you lost just under your flashlight; search the area where you lost it. Search for the failure, or more precisely the conspiracy, in this triangle of darkness. All the signs show that the lives of Arabs are worth nothing.

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