A Gazan woman with an infant dying from a genetic defect that causes failure of the immune system took the child to Israel for expensive life-saving treatments. Individual Israelis donated money to help save the boy’s life.
It was such a heartwarming story about how the two peoples might be able to come together someday that an Israeli journalist started filming it as a documentary.
Imagine the filmmaker’s surprise when the woman explained to him that she hoped her desperately ill baby would grow up to murder Israelis someday.
Nevertheless, this idyllic situation developed into a deep crisis that led to the severance of the relations and what appeared to be the end of the filming. From an innocent conversation about religious holidays, Raida Abu Mustafa launched into a painful monologue about the culture of the shahids – the martyrs – and admitted, during the complex transplant process, that she would like to see her son perpetrate a suicide bombing attack in Jerusalem.
“Jerusalem is ours,” she declared. “We are all for Jerusalem, the whole nation, not just a million, all of us. Do you understand what that means – all of us?”
She also explained to Eldar exactly what she had in mind. “For us, death is a natural thing. We are not frightened of death. From the smallest infant, even smaller than Mohammed, to the oldest person, we will all sacrifice ourselves for the sake of Jerusalem. We feel we have the right to it. You’re free to be angry, so be angry.”
And Eldar was angry. “Then why are you fighting to save your son’s life, if you say that death is a usual thing for your people?” he lashes out in one of the most dramatic moments in the film.
“It is a regular thing,” she smiles at him. “Life is not precious. Life is precious, but not for us. For us, life is nothing, not worth a thing. That is why we have so many suicide bombers. They are not afraid of death. None of us, not even the children, are afraid of death. It is natural for us. After Mohammed [her sick infant] gets well, I will certainly want him to be a shahid. If it’s for Jerusalem, then there’s no problem. For you it is hard, I know; with us, there are cries of rejoicing and happiness when someone falls as a shahid. For us a shahid is a tremendous thing.”
When the liberal peacemakers say that all cultures are alike and we all want the same things, they aren’t just liars. They are damn liars.