The media networks in Israel reported two events this week that, ostensibly, were relevant only to the sectors in which they occurred: the injury of nine-year-old girl Noam Glick at her home in Psagot and the death of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. They managed to do it well. I'll make it easier for you to understand: When the people reporting about these stories from outside of the communities in which they happened, from a distance that could easily spark ignorance, wonder, contempt or hatred, and they still treat the subject matter with the warranted respect (with the same attitude as though something dramatic happened in the heart of the mainstream in Tel Aviv), that is not something that we are used to. Ten years ago, we would not have seen such respectful media coverage of these specific events.
It's not like there were not exceptions: Haaretz reported simply that "Ovadia Yosef died," Walla insisted on saying that the Psagot incident was a "suspected terror attack," and Channel 2 cast doubt on the authenticity of Shas supporters' tears. On the morning after the terror attack, while the people of Psagot were under curfew and schools were closed, Israel Radio's morning program completely ignored the entire incident. On the whole, however, the media deserves a compliment on its surprisingly fair coverage.
When an Israeli, any Israeli -- and there are people like this -- justifies the bloodshed of a nine-year-old girl just because she happens to live near the Palestinian town of al-Bireh, this Israeli is actually voicing his support for Iran, where it is believed that the shedding of all of our blood is legitimate because our parliament is situated in close proximity to Al-Aqsa mosque.
On a day when another Israeli flips through the paper, not pausing to dwell on a story of a nine-year-old girl who confronted the angel of death on her balcony, just because her parents chose to live "there" -- on that day, it becomes universally legitimate to cut off the oxygen supply to all Israelis.
So get your noses out of your pillows. There is not a single Jew in the whole world who doesn't bother someone. To the world, all the Jews are settlers. All the Jews live near the border fence. It doesn't matter if it is a minute from the fence or a half hour drive from the fence. There is not a single enemy of Israel (besides those with the suits) that sees any difference between the 1948 War of Independence and the 1967 Six-Day War.
If it is okay to minimize Noam Glick's injuries because she and her parents decided to shove themselves down the Arabs' throats, then it is okay to be sympathetic to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his plans to turn us into dust. Because all of us, that means you, too, in line to buy your morning coffee, shoved ourselves down the Arabs' throats.
My constant fear that a terrorist will infiltrate my own community is just a small-scale allegory for the fire and brimstone prophecies voiced by the IDF chief of staff this week: Precision missiles will target the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, a cyberattack will be launched, Hezbollah will launch missiles at the Galilee and their accuracy will be vastly improved, similar salvos will strike Eilat, hundreds of thousands of Hamas activists will march toward the Erez border crossing into Israel, an explosives tunnel will consume a kindergarten. It is very dangerous to be Israeli.
Meanwhile, thousands of religious-Zionist Israelis cried this week during a mass prayer for the recovery of ultra-Orthodox rabbi Ovadia Yosef as he lay dying in a hospital bed, accompanied his funeral procession with faces covered, studied Torah to hasten the rise of his soul to heaven, and felt orphaned by this genius. The number of religious Zionists who mourned Yosef is far greater than the number of ultra-Orthodox Jews who ever prayed for the health of all religious Zionist rabbis, combined.
At Zionist yeshivot (religious schools), Yosef's writings are taught as a matter of routine. There is not a single ultra-Orthodox yeshiva where the writings of religious Zionist Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook are taught. In a debate, a Zionist yeshiva student could easily quote an ultra-Orthodox rabbi's ruling, but never the other way around. There is not a single member of the Bnei Akiva movement who doesn't know about the Chofetz Chaim (Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan) or the Chazon Ish (Rabbi Avrohom Yeshaya Karelitz), but ultra-Orthodox children have never even heard of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu.
It could be that we are still affected by our traditional inferiority complex when it comes to ultra-Orthodox Jewry, and we invalidate ourselves in front of them. It could also be that the ultra-Orthodox still look down on the Torah teachings of the Zionist stream. It could also be that the Zionist Jews who participated in this week's funeral and cried -- cried hard -- simply see the Torah and nothing else. And there is only one Torah.