I don’t know, maybe I’m just a cold-hearted person (really, I’m not), but I’m not as forgiving as Dr. Abuelaish seems to be. During the Israeli assault on Gaza, Israeli soldiers fired on Dr. Abuelaish’s home and killed two of his daughters and a niece. His story garnered much attention because he had worked in a hospital in Israel, spoke fluent Hebrew and was a local Israeli news station’s contact and commentator during the Israeli assault. Just before one of his on-air, over-the-phone interviews was scheduled to take place, Abuelaish’s desperate phone call to the station was aired live by one of the newscasters just after the attack on his home where his daughters were killed took place. The video of that newscast was widespread and garnered sympathy from some Israeli viewers.
Yesterday, the Israeli military confirmed that they fired on Abuelaish’s home. As if an investigation was needed to confirm that. Regardless, the Israeli military said that their troops came under fire from a home adjacent to Abuelaish’s and that individuals who they believed were spotters were seen on the upper level of Abuelaish’s home. Mind you, the only thing those people in the home were guilty of, if you believe the IDF, is that they looked “suspicious.” What a solid reason for blasting someone’s home. Abuelaish denied any militants were operating from his house. To add insult to injury, the IDF said it was “saddened” by the doctor’s loss but that decision to fire on his home was “reasonable.”
What kills me is that Dr. Abuelaish thanked the Israelis for an honest investigation during a broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2 yesterday. Not only that, he went on to say that “we all make mistakes” and that he hoped that such a mistake won’t happen again. Is this guy for real? I mean no disrespect, because the man just lost two of his daughters, but the chemicals from the Israeli attacks must be having an adverse effect on his judgement. First of all, I would take the notion of the IDF conducting an honest investigation on actions committed against Palestinians with a grain of salt. They almost never, if not ever, admit to wrongdoing contrary to facts that prove otherwise. And the evidence from these investigations never seems to be made public. And for the doctor to just categorize the attack on his home as a mistake, like mistakes any of us make in our lives, is just ludicrous. The IDF has made millions of these so-called mistakes. And they’re not mistakes. They’re deliberate attacks on civilians. The IDF didn’t even regard this attack as a mistake.
I’m all for Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation, like the doctor is, but you can’t have reconciliation without admission of fault. The doctor hopes such “mistakes” won’t happen again but he seems to not realize that Israel has been making the same “mistakes” for decades now. If you do something wrong the first time and know it was wrong, that’s a mistake. If you continue to do the same wrong thing, then it’s no longer a mistake. I am sorry for Dr. Abuelaish’s loss. But I’m also angry, even if he isn’t.