Meron Disaster Stirs Euphoria and Joy on the Arab Street

One of the foundations of any religion is to preserve basic humanity even during a time of war

| Topics: Meron
Photo: David Cohen/Flash90

“We will have peace with the Arabs only when they love their children more than they hate us,” Golda Meir once said, expressing a sentiment we did not yet fully understand. The fact is that hatred of Jews among many Arabs is stronger than ever, under the guise of hatred for Zionism and Israel.

After 45 Jews were killed in the recent Meron tragedy (and not soldiers), millions of Arabs around the world rejoiced, even in the midst of their holy month of Ramadan, which they claim is all about forgiveness. This is not only a blow to morality and coexistence, but to humanity.

Although we have peace with some of the Arabs, recently with the Gulf States, there is no genuine peace with the neighboring Lebanese, Palestinians, Jordanians or Egyptians. With some there is a “cold peace,” which is really a cold war.

While we saw the Israeli Arabs and the Druze communities in the villages around Meron come to the aid of the wounded, we are seeing a level of hatred on social media that we have not seen for a long time. I do not remember a single Israeli who mocked or laughed or reveled in the deaths of Arabs in the midst of their internal wars or the many accidents and fatalities that have occurred frequently in Egypt, Lebanon or Jordan in recent years.

Israel and Israeli society are always making great efforts to bring peoples and nations together. For example, when the Port of Beirut exploded on August 4 of last year killing multitudes, the Tel Aviv Municipality was lit up with the Lebanese flag in a gesture of solidarity, even though there are no diplomatic relations between Lebanon and Israel. And if you thought the Lebanese might take the opportunity to return the favor, then you were greatly mistaken. There is no such thing in the Middle East.

Watch how some Lebanese reacted:

The most-watched trends in Lebanon this week were: The Holy Bridge (people thought a bridge had collapsed) and Mount Meron.

One Palestinian posted a video mocking the dead that has since been removed by Twitter and the offender’s account has been suspended.

Another person published a picture that says: God will keep the settlers and their families – in the cold rooms of the dead.

Another expressed “joy for Eid al-Fitr,” when Muslims break the Ramadan fast:

Many in the Arab world are happy about the disaster that has befallen us. But it is typical and no one is surprised. We all remember how following the events of 9/11 the Palestinians shared candies and rejoiced upon learning that Jews had also died in those devastating attacks on America.

At the same time, our friends in the Persian Gulf identified with us and posted numerous messages expressing their condolences. These came from the embassies of the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Bahrain, but also everyday citizens who identified with us:

One of the foundations of any religion is to preserve basic humanity even during a time of war. Let us remember this verse from Proverbs:

Do not gloat when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart rejoice when he stumbles, or the LORD will see and disapprove, and turn His wrath away from him.(24:17-8)

Israel Today Newsletter

Daily news

FREE to your inbox

Israel Heute Newsletter

Tägliche Nachrichten

KOSTENLOS in Ihrer Inbox