A moment of humanity


I have just finished a translated article from Ma’ariv, an Israeli newspaper, under the title of: Jewish young men strangers in their land. The article tries to wear the shoe of the radical settlers who commit crimes against Palestinians in the settlement. How abandoned these young people feel from their state that left them alone unprotected with the uncontrollable Palestinians.

It is extremely hard to sympathize with such a reading, humanizing such people, I thought. But somehow I had to retreat and think loud repeating to my memory what happened this morning.

I had a flat tire on the way to the university, and I found myself obliged to pull behind a boarder police vehicle. So many ideas and images roamed my mind in the moments before, thinking of how critical it could turn out. I could turn in a moment into a suspect and the next moment I could become the next terrorist. I was wearing a blouse with Palestinian embroidery, which was definitely not timely. I was looking around myself and thinking of how much suspicious do I look. If I became hot next “terrorist” what would they say they found incriminating in my car? My power juice bottle covered with sponge-bob to hide the word fuel that my daughter didn’t like.

Somewhere, I had to stop, there was no other option. Stopping on the side in any case will be suspicious. A month ago a woman who was shot with her infant in the back seat was a suspected terrorist who wanted to explode the soldiers when they stopped her on the same road. The Palestinian version was that the engine of the car exploded. The Israeli story was that she had explosives and she panicked when they stopped her.

The daily story of the ongoing murders we hear the Palestinian version of a knife that the Israelis threw on the crime scene to cover the murder. And a Palestinian story that denies the attempt of the stabbing.

I felt for that instant that the safest way to the end would be me stopping behind them. It is not that they got suspicious, and stopped me. I went to them on my own feet. Of course I also thought that they might think I am willing to ram them. Towards the end of the debate in my head I found myself stopping behind them.

A group of soldiers\police who usually stop on that area to catch or trap smuggling boys from the other side of the road. So in my head they were people that I already resented. There were many scenes of dragging young boys from their necks on that side of the road, which always felt degrading and oppressive.

The moment the soldier\police approached me; I quickly said that I think I have a problem with the tire. It was less than a moment that all the other four or five were surrounding the scene. At this very moment, a deep eye contact was established between the first one and me how came to check. Something inside me used this as the only rational tool to remove suspicion from what is originally a normal situation. He was very friendly, and he even offered to help me change the tire. I was debating with myself at that moment as the others were interfering and the discussion was increasing that my Hebrew would start exposing my non-Hebrew spoken language. I actually softly switched to English with the same tone I used before thinking, they must be like us enjoying integrating English with the sentences (which I know they are not) but I thought I would be the new Israeli generation who is cool to use English.

As we were having this strong in-depth eye communication, I couldn’t but have the scene of the woman who stabbed the security person last month hopping inside me like a monkey. There was that moment in that scene with that woman of pure human contact that she insisted to ignore and yet precede with her mission. Watching that video many times, made me also see her hesitation but yet insistence that the person in front of her was the enemy.

I was thinking as I was talking to that police\soldier man of how much difference this human contact can make. That moment that you force your eyes into meeting and interacting is life changing. Life changing in terms of everything we think we believe in and we insist on.

There is something about humanity that is so simple. Humans stupidly put it into such complications.

Yes , I was enjoying the idea of how good looking that young man was … and yes, I was flirting on that thought for my own safety of course… but yet … I couldn’t but think of how much we really miss each moment we insist in categorizing our life into “us” and “them” .

How much a single moment of humanity can save humans … as such a single moment of disregarding that humanity wastes humans.




  1. Perhaps it is because of where you have found yourself, in such dire surroundings, but, your insight into humanity, your own, and that of all of us, is amazingly deep, and powerfully motivated by your compassion, as well as your intelligence…. I suspect it is merely a reflection of your spirit, which, as far as I can see, is indomitable.

    I can only look on in awe, and in hopes you find a way to experience changes which can improve your situation, and continue to evade/avoid the perils of existing next to a huge nest of a people who have labored under a delusion for more than 5000 years, and still haven’t a clue they live as slaves to their own natures, or that their entire belief system is a huge lie, foisted upon them, and all their kind, by unscrupulous predators, who still control them by their blind faith….

    Yours in peace,

    Ned, aka

    gigoid, the dubious

      1. My friend Ned sends a compliment…..

        Nadia Harash is an amazing person, gender not an issue. As a woman, she presents EVERY quality that is admirable, not in spite of her sex, but, because of it. Her courage seems limitless…. as does her intelligence and compassion….
        Great article; scary, uncomfortable and inspiring….
        gigoid, the dubious

      2. ok.. let’s have a deal here . u keep all the not gracious ones and inform only on the good ones )))) .. i like to be fair .. u need to have something in al this )))) . i have enough of those in arabic…

      3. You have my word….I just do not like rude especially from someone that has no idea what is going on other than their backyard….LOL…..chuq

  2. Reblogged this on In Saner Thought and commented:
    I share with my readers another excellent piece written by my friend, Nadia. Americans need to read her powerful words and learn what life is like for people other than themselves….

  3. Fear! It is what causes us to think “them” and “us”. We can disagree vehemently on all points of life, but if we do not fear the other person, we can accept their lack of agreement with us. That does not have to be abandoning our beliefs, just accepting that theirs are different, even if we believe wrong.

Leave a Reply