The story of Fadi Dekidek, an Arab paramedic from a Palestinian neighborhood in conflict-ridden eastern Jerusalem who rushed to save lives in the two recent terror attacks in Jerusalem, proves that tragedies can bring us up to a better place.
One of the first to arrive at both scenes of murderous terror attacks at a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Neve Ya’akov neighborhood and at the historical City of David, Dekidek never hesitated in his dash to save Jewish lives.
“I’m a professional who is entrusted with saving lives,” he told Ynet. “I ignore all the background noise. Saving people is all that matters.”
All that “background noise” this Arab medic mentions is not only in the background. It’s everywhere these days. The murderous killings in Jerusalem have unleashed a tempest of rage in Israel, and more troubles are stirring in its wake.
While Dekidek was working to save Jewish lives, he heard shouts condemning Arabs and calling for “Death to Arabs.”
The media loves to focus on horrors and is ramped up, and that only amplifies the noise all that much louder.
That’s why the story of Dekidek, an Arab paramedic who is able to push out the fury of his neighbors in eastern Jerusalem, and come to the rescue of Jews at their synagogue is important. It reminds us that things can be better. That we can do better.
It is comforting to remember that we can get along, Arab and Jew, and even be there to save each other’s lives when necessary. We do not need to let the reckless few that constantly go on a rampage at every opportunity control how we, Jews and Arabs, live our lives.
Dekidek reminds all of us that in the midst of tragedy and turmoil we can be the blessed peacemakers. While the world (politicians, the media, religious groups) is busy stirring up anger and revenge, on both sides, the more tempered voices of mutual care among Jews and Arabs inspire us to be different.
I am thankful for Fadi Dekidek, this 20-year veteran at Israel’s Magen David Adam emergency services, for reminding us that there can be rays of hope among despair.
“I can hear it,” Dekidek says of all the “noise,” “but I ignore it and do my job. I’m a professional who is entrusted with taking care of the wounded. The only thing that matters is saving lives.”
Thanks, Fadi Dekidek, for showing us that we can be better even in the midst of hatred. Thanks for sounding a voice of sanity in these frightening days.
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