David Grossman, Israel’s pre-eminent novelist has once again jeld up a mirror tp a severely corrupted society. that of his homeland, Israel.
In a February 24 article in the daily Haaretz, Grossman using his brilliant writing skills told the shocking story of a Palestinian Omar Abu Jariban who in May 2008 stole a car then was injured in a car accident, then was released from a hospital, handed over to the local Rehovot police and,dumped, catheter, diaper and all by the roadside. The hospital report had stated “Orientation − off and on. Communication skills − off and on. Mobility − not stable when walking. Periodically confused. Probability of falling. Way of eating: Needs partial help. The patient was washed and attended to in bed. Urinates via catheter. The patient is confused. Needs help eating and drinking.”
Despite this shocking analysis It was decided in the callous argot of the Israel police that he should be “returned to the territories, code for “get rid of this Arab”. He was left at the side of the oad to basically die Two days later he did just that and was found dead of dehydration at the side of the road. He was thirty-five years old. Since then the buck has been passed as to the culpability for this outrageous inhuman act. Abu Jariban’s brother Mohammed says that the family is outraged by the death. “They simply threw him to the dogs,Had they brought him to the Erez border crossing, we would have taken care of him.”
The four year old case caught the attention of Grossman who used it as a fitting metaphor for the increasingly callous country he lives in. His long article was printed only in Hebrew but was thought to be so telling that Sol Salbe of the Middle East News Service in Melbourne Australia translated it for a wider internet audience.
I know that they do not represent the police. Nor do they represent our society or the state. It’s only a handful or bad apples, or unwelcomed weeds. But then I think about a people which has dumped a whole other nation on the side of the road and has backed the process to the hilt over 45 years, all the while having not a bad life at all, thank you. I think about a people which has been engaging in a brilliant genius-like denial of its own responsibility for the situation. I think of a people, which has managed to ignore the warping and distorting of its own society and the madness that the process has had on its own national values. Why should such a people get all excited over a single such Omar?