Opinion

Blue-and-white, That’s Our Color

A blue ID card is perceived here as a prize, or a gift, or an honorary grant that we, the Jewish landlords, have in our goodness granted to Palestinians.

Masabah Abu Sabih, the assailant behind the October 9 Jerusalem shooting attack.
No credit

The way in which the story of the terrorist who murdered a policeman and a woman was told and not told arouses some questions. Is it possible, for example, that an Israeli judge would hand down a lenient punishment to a Palestinian convicted of a “security offense” without anyone from the Shin Bet security service whispering a secret into her ear? Why, after the terrorist’s name and picture had already been published, were they suddenly under a gag order? How did he gain possession of a regulation Israel Defense Forces rifle? And what is that exaggerated joy – even in Palestinian terms – of the terrorist’s family at his murders?

And another petty issue cropped up in this story, which is worth talking about – the announcement that was issued immediately by the Public Security Ministry and immediately published in all the headlines, namely: “The man suspected of perpetrating the attack has a blue Israeli ID card.” Nu, so what? Why is that important and why is it relevant that he has a blue ID card? What does it mean? What are you trying to say by that?

Presumably it means that a person with a blue ID card isn’t supposed to, or isn’t allowed to, or really shouldn’t, carry out an attack. Because apparently attacks are supposed to be perpetrated by people with ID cards in other colors: orange, red, green, beige – but not blue.

Why? Because a blue ID card is perceived here as a prize, or a gift, or an honorary grant that we, the Jewish landlords, have in our goodness granted to Palestinians residing in East Jerusalem, and thanks to which they are eligible (to pay for and receive) National Insurance (but not eligible for sewers, garbage disposal, education and all that crap), and therefore it’s not right, not nice, chutzpah, irresponsible and certainly (typical Arab) ingratitude on their part to carry out an attack with a blue ID card in their pocket.

But Jerusalemite Palestinians didn’t ask for a blue ID card. It was forced on them by dint of a decision by the State of Israel to annex East Jerusalem, a decision that forced Israel to give those living there “residency” status (but not “citizenship,” so they won’t vote for our democratic Knesset, God forbid), which is reflected in that blue ID card.

That’s why reporting that “the terrorist had a blue ID card” is just as unimportant as writing that “the terrorist had a white family car.” It may even have been better to link the two and write that “the terrorist had a blue ID card and a white family car.” Because blue-and-white is our color, and how dare he perpetrate an attack with a blue ID card and a white car?

The connection between the color of the terrorist’s ID card or car and committing or not committing the attack is amazingly reminiscent of the connection between the no-show of Arab MKs at the funeral of the late President Shimon Peres and the boycotting by the Jewish coalition – in return, or in revenge, or the devil knows what – of speeches by Arab representatives in the Knesset, initiated by the defense minister and prime minister.

Because what’s the connection? Is attending the funeral of a former president a legal, civic or parliamentary obligation, or a measure of loyalty to the state? Has anyone from any Jewish coalition ever suggested boycotting or removing from the coalition ultra-Orthodox Jewish MKs who don’t stand when the siren is sounded on Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism – which incidentally is also not a legal, civic or parliamentary obligation, nor a measure of loyalty to the state?

After all, they also have blue ID cards and white cars, don’t they?