And The Cycle Goes On… by Angy Shavit, Israel

tumblr_inline_nf8kjvnqvq1sag8l3Take a moment, think of what you were doing when you were 13 and when you were 17. At the age of 13 you may have had your Bar Miztvah¹, maybe even your first kiss. At the age of 17 you may have passed your drivers test and got your license. Maybe you even had your first drunk embarrassing night out. What about when you were 15? Were you already a rebel and your parents started embarrassing you when they came to pick you up?

Mahmoud Rafat Baderan was 15. A few weeks ago he was accidentally killed by the IDF as they mistakenly identified him as someone who conducted an attack. Who knows what he could have been one day. Maybe a singer, maybe a lawyer.

Hallel Yaffa Ariel was 13. She was murdered in her bed last month by Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah, who was 17 years old. I wonder what she planned on doing this summer. What pool she planned on going to, what friends she planned on seeing the next day.

Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah was 17. Muhammad entered Hallel’s room and stabbed her to death. He was mourning the death of his cousin, Yousef Walid Tarayrah. Yousef was 18 years old and was killed when attempting to run over soldiers. IMG_6167

Politicians have already started working towards revoking permits for Muhammad’s family members. They’ve started to talk about demolishing his families home. So what will his little cousin think next? What will his brothers feel? Now that they won’t have a home anymore, their father will be out of a job as he will lose his permit, what will they do? How will they feel?

What about Hallel? What will her family think now? They live in a settlement in the West Bank where they see Palestinians every day… Will they begin to fear all Palestinians because of a few radicals? Will Palestinians fear coming anywhere near soldiers and Israelis after Mahmoud Rafat Baderan was accidentally killed?

The real issue is that we are stuck in an ongoing cycle of violence. A cycle that cannot end, a cycle that will continue so long as we give it fuel. As long as our politicians choose to use aggressive means, as long as we decide to incite hate, the cycle won’t end. Children who have yet to begin their lives, to get their drivers license, experience their first kiss, and enjoy the summer with their friends, will continue to lose their lives. If we don’t end it, who will?

 ¹ bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah literally translate to "son of commandment" and "daughter of commandment".  According to Jewish law, when Jewish boys become 13 years old, and Jewish girls 12, they become accountable for their actions and become a bar/bat mitzvah and traditionally celebrate this event with their families and friends and in their religious community.

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