Peace Begins With a Hug

At a recent Knesset ceremony honoring emergency medical first responders and Search-and-Rescue personnel, something occurred that once again demonstrated from whence true peace and reconciliation must come – the people themselves.

By Ryan Jones |
Photo: United Hatzalah

It was one of those scenes that can be described by saying, “Only in Israel.”


Member of Knesset (MK) Yehuda Glick (Likud), who was the victim of a Palestinian terror attack and attempted assassination two years ago, climbed up onto the stage and gave a warm embrace to Kabahah Muawhiya, an Israeli Arab volunteer emergency medical technician.


Glick is one of those behind ongoing efforts to return Jews and Judaism to the Temple Mount, and is therefore derided by many as an “enemy of peace” and certainly no friend of the Muslims.


Muawhiya, a Muslim from northern Israel, is a volunteer with the emergency medical organization United Hatzalah. He was invited to speak on behalf of the many Arabs who volunteer with United Hatzalah, and in so doing routinely help to save both Arab and Jewish lives.


While Muawhiya was discussing how both the volunteers and the organization learn from their successes and failures, Glick was walking down the aisle to his seat in the front row. He shouted to Muawhiya, “I am one of the failures, but you guys have saved us all.” Muawhiya responded jokingly, “It would have been more interesting had I been the one to save you,” at which point Glick proceeded to climb onto the stage and give Muawhiya a big hug.


The spectacle of a Jewish victim of Palestinian terror – a right-wing “extremist,” as he is often labeled – embracing an Israeli Arab Muslim who wants nothing but to save lives elicited thunderous applause from the gathered lawmakers and medical volunteers.


Continuing his address, Muawhiya stressed that “United Hatzalah is not just about emergency first response and medical rescuing, but it is literally uniting people from different walks of life and different religions. It is a uniting of peoples and a unity of hearts!”


Among those attending the event was David Friedman, Special Advisor on Israel Affairs to US presidential candidate Donald Trump. Following the ceremony, he told the Founder and President of United Hatzalah, Eli Beer, that peace should be achieved by the people, and not forced upon people by governments.


“We should leave peace to be achieved by the citizens themselves, on both sides. This will be much stronger and more effective than governments attempting to impose a peace on the peoples in Israel,” said Friedman. “Actions like what we saw today, where a Jewish terror victim can hug an Arab volunteer EMT, are what bring about peace.”

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