While kidnappers abducted three young Israelis in the Hebron region as they were on their way home, Umm Mazen, the wife of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, was undergoing surgery in a Tel Aviv hospital on June 13. The fate of the boys remains unknown. Right now, Syrians wounded in the bloody civil war are receiving treatment in Israeli hospitals.
While the Israeli public is consumed with worry and anguish, it can barely hear the call by call by President Abbas for the abductors to release the Israelis, but can clearly see the Internet campaign in which ordinary Palestinians are shown waving three fingers, each representing one of the kidnapped boys. There is nothing surprising about this campaign, but there has been some progress since the last visual of a hand gesture glorifying an act by a Palestinian that traumatized the Israeli psyche. In that searing image, from Oct. 12, 2000, Aziz Salha waved his bloodied hands from the window of the Ramallah police station after participating in the lynching of two Israeli soldiers. The Palestinians taking part in the current campaign will still have to contend in the future with the hatred in their hearts. No one appointed me their psychologist, but I am suggesting to them that they turn away for a moment from their obvious bitterness — I do not contest their rights to national sovereignty — and invite them to look at what is happening to the north and the east, because there is a clear connection between the relatively good conditions that the Palestinians enjoy and Israeli security control.