Monday, May 19, 2003

So who rides the bus from a Jerusalem suburb into town at 5:45am? 44 year old Marina Tsahvirashvili does, or used to, on her way to work in the kitchen of Shaarei Tzedek hospital; so did 63 year old Yitzhak Moyal, on his way to the sorting room in Jerusalem's Central Post Office; and 42 year old Ghaleb Tawil, also a hospital worker; 34 year old supermarket worker Ronny Yisraeli; 55 year old Nelly Frob, maintenance worker in the police station in the old city; 52 year old Olga Brenner, a cleaner in a new immigrants radio station; and even 67 year old Shimon Ostinsky, once an economics lecturer in Kiev, now a guard in a car park in Jerusalem. Just ordinary, hard working people, scrambling for a living, ride the bus from a Jerusalem suburb into town at 05:45am.

Who would blow up such people? 19 year old Bassam Jamal Darwish Takruri, son of a well-to-do Hebron family, would.

I look at the pictures, on this side and on this side. Here - a good looking young warrior, from an affluent background, taking his fate in his hands, sacrificing himself for an exalted cause, to be remembered and revered forever as a hero; here - people who got up early day after day and worked hard and long to feed themselves and their loved ones, to pay the rent, to survive. Not striving to be heroes, not striving to be anything. Just people. Like you and me.

Where is the poetic justice in this? Why are the cold-blooded murders of these people seen by so many as fitting revenge of the weak? Why is this young, good looking, physically strong and economically secure kid perceived as being more desperate than a 67 year old economics lecturer making his way in the soft early morning light to his dead end job as a guard in a car park?