An Apology to My Killer in the Event of My Death in the Current Wave of Violence

Those for whom hummus symbolizes coexistence in this binational country are living an entirely bogus coexistence.

Rogel Alpher
Rogel Alpher
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The site of a terror attack in Jerusalem, October 8, 2015.
The site of a terror attack in Jerusalem, October 8, 2015. Credit: Olivier Fitoussi
Rogel Alpher
Rogel Alpher

In the event of my death in the current wave of terrorism, in the event that a terrorist, male or female, runs me over or stabs me, I would like to announce in advance that my final words are:

I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner. Really. What took you so long? Countless times, while passing a construction site on one of the city streets during the quiet, early hours of the morning, I’ve wondered why one of the Palestinian laborers there didn’t grab a drill bit or shovel, a saw or a hammer, and murder me.

I have never believed in the myth of coexistence in this country. I don’t believe in coexistence based on extreme inequality when it comes to human rights, social status and economic opportunities. I never liked eating hummus, or going to Jaffa especially for hummus. And I never liked making a stop on a tour of the north to go to some Arab village for hummus. I didn’t like it. Any talk of humus always disgusted me.

Habayit Hayehudi party leader Naftali Bennett ran an entire political campaign here in the run-up to the Knesset elections in March with the slogan “enough apologizing.” But I don’t like feeling myself exerting my authority. I don’t like exercising control by virtue of my belonging to a certain race or nation. It disgusts me. I always abhorred tours of Jerusalem’s Old City. I spotted the look that the Palestinians in the alleyways gave, a combination of humiliation and anger. If I die in the current wave of terrorism, in talking about me, I want you to say that I refused to eat the hummus.

In the face of the current wave of terrorism, when fear is stirring, it’s very easy to change one’s political position. It’s almost required, when someone wants to murder you, to say that he doesn’t deserve a thing other than a bullet between the eyes. But that’s what the hummus eaters say, the people for whom hummus symbolizes coexistence in this binational country. It’s an entirely bogus and false kind coexistence.

For hummus eaters, the chickpea spread represents commerce with the Palestinians, the good life here in the Israeli consumer society that buys their hummus. The hummus brotherhood. Just look at the tweet by Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai from Jaffa after the recent disturbances there. Come to Jaffa. The hummus is great. You’re invited to partake.

On the other hand, someone who has refused to go for hummus would not be surprised at the current wave of terrorism, but instead just surprised that it took so long to come. And such a person’s political position doesn’t change now, when instead of wiping hummus off their plates, they’re wiping blood off the streets.

If I get killed in a terrorist attack, I ask that the endless broadcasts loop of the report about my murder, as is the custom currently, be dispensed with. It is not what I want. It will contain no information that the public would want or need to know about. It would just stir up hatred. I would ask that my killers, if they remain alive, be told on my behalf that I apologize. I am reconciled with them after my death.

And if my murderers also die, I apologize to them at this time, in advance; not because I deserved to die, and not because they have the right to kill me, but so my death is worth something, so it has some value, some significance, no matter how small. I have no God. I don’t need the Temple Mount. I have no problem living with the Palestinians as full equals in a binational state or as a peace-loving neighbors in my country and next to their own. What use would I have for revenge on my behalf after my death? I apologize for my paltry role in the injustice of the occupation. Even after my death.

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