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A tit (is not) for tat

May 06,2019 - Last updated at May 06,2019

Ibrahim Karaki is the mayor of one of the towns in Jordan. Israeli tourists happened to be close by, seeking to stay and enjoy the waters of a small brook. He managed to help them, despite a ban on touring in the area, and he drove with them to ensure their safe return to Israel.

When interviewed, he expressed his pride in what he did. An Israeli TV station screened a news report on the story and quoted Karaki’s statement. Not only that, but he also gave the tourists in every car an emblem of his town as a memento of their visit.

By reviewing the reaction in Jordan across the social media outlets, you know that it is mixed. Some were proud of what Karaki did, and others were obviously perturbed by this notion of human kindness, referring in contrast to the Israeli military’s killing of Palestinian children in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, and sometimes further. Others predicted that Karaki will have a bright political future, which in itself is an insulting notion.

When soldier Ahmad Dagamseh killed a few Israeli girls who were agitating him across the northern borders with Israel, the late King Hussein was quick to visit the bereaved families to extend his condolences. When a gun-toting Israeli guard killed two Jordanian citizens, he was released because of diplomatic immunity. Benjamin Netanyahu, the longest surviving prime minister and the ugliest face of Israel, as viewed by Arabs, embraced the killer and gave him a hero’s welcome. This despicable act revealed the immoral ground on which Netanyahu stood, especially when compared with the noble act of the late King Hussain.

What Karaki did was prompted by sheer human drive. He saw a bunch of Israeli kids who were disappointed by the refusal to give them access to the brook, where they wanted to pit and play. As a father, and a true believer that children are innocent until we, adults, plant hate in them, he sought to help them. Well, I say good for him and he should be congratulated.

We are the inheritors of a civilisation where we are not allowed to kill the wounded soldiers, cut the trees of the enemy, hurt a child, woman or an elderly person. We do not kill any human being who seeks our hospitality in peace. We do not kill other peoples’ innocent children and call them collateral damage. We do not lose our values because the enemy does.

By standing our ground adhering to our values, we dignify ourselves and embellish our true identity. Regardless of the motives some may attribute to Karaki, his deed is nothing short of nobility.

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