Dateline Hebron, Israel – 2017: “Humanity is a duty!” – exclaimed a shady character, Mr. Popescu, in the 1948 Film Noir-era sensational star-studded film “The Third Man,” filmed on location in the postwar ruins of the great city of Vienna. And so it is true no matter who proclaims it. Certain truths are independent of their spokesmen. And so it is also true when it is stated by a middle-aged Palestinian Arab Muslim man by the name of Faiz Abu Hamadiah – a proud Semitic family patriarch who staked his own as well as his family’s life on “doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do,” even against the evil of his own compatriots. We must believe in the strange way in which truths are delivered in this world. It still is a hopeful sign. Any gentleman anywhere in the world would feel a natural instinct to rescue people in trouble, especially those falling prey to mobs. And a Muslim family man is apparently no exception.
Sadly, the Palestinian spokesmen, so-called “leaders” and most Palestinians themselves are not even aware of the huge damage to their cause and to their reputation in the eyes of the honorable part of humanity on this planet, which was done through the TV cameras showing relentless mobs of Palestinians behaving like hoodlums and unaccountable ghetto miscreants that randomly attack the personnel of law and order as well as isolated targeted groups of people and individuals. Some of us still remember the Palestinian intifadas so-called in which the mobs of loose Palestinian children acted like street thugs throwing stones, insults and even shooting at the uniformed Israeli personnel. The restraint of the Israeli personnel was stunning. The professionalism and the ethics of members of uniformed services of Israel are remarkable. But where were the parents of such provocative and dangerous children and adolescents? When I was a child or an adolescent, I couldn’t even think of acting like that if for no other reason than because my parents and grandparents would have felt so ashamed of me and so disappointed with me that I could not have lived with myself. Therefore, the misbehavior of Palestinian mobs is a direct reflection on the poor child-rearing skills of Palestinian families who cannot contain their hateful passions and must pass them on to their impressionable children who act out immediately and without restraint. Perhaps, that is the secret reason why militant fighters for Islam look to children to do their dirty work for them.
The unwitting hero of this episode, Mr. Hamadiah, made an impressive statement of the depth of his commitment to his honorable humanitarian cause when he asserted that not only he but his family as well would stake their safety on his commitment to saving the lives of the hapless and lost American Jewish students of Yeshiva who made a wrong turn in the Palestinian hellhole of Hebron.
To explain the action of Mr. Hamadiah (which one can almost think of being “unislamic” in nature since it does not serve the political cause of Islam) I can only think of a brave and noble leader of Pagan Antiquity whose thoughts and philosophy inspired me from my earliest days, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, who stoically observed:
“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
And indeed – Mr. Hamadiah dismissed the distressing prospect of paying the price of fellow Muslim retribution for his correct deed on that basis. He dismisses the frightful capital punishment charge of “Jewish collaborator” that the mobs of Palestinians could easily level against him. Hats off to this man!
Palestinian man gets threats for saving US Jewish students
Despite being threatened with decapitation, Faiz Abu Hamadiah says rescuing youths from Hebron mob was the right thing to do
Faiz Abu Hamadiah of Hebron in the West Bank says he has been receiving death threats over the past few days, ever since he gave shelter to five American Jewish tourists who entered the city in their car and were attacked by a Palestinian mob.
In an interview with Channel 2 aired Sunday evening, Hamadiah said people threatened to “burn his house down, or cut off his head” in the wake of the incident Thusday.
The 51-year-old was characterized by the interviewer as “a hero.” But he brushed off the praise, saying, “I’m not a hero; this is what every person should have done. I did it because I’m a human being. With all my heart, I’m a man of peace.”
The five Americans, yeshiva students, were attacked after they took a wrong turn in the city while en route to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, an ancient holy site revered by both Jews and Muslims. Two of the students, residents of Brooklyn, New York, were injured when Palestinian assailants attacked their car with rocks and firebombs.
The five were whisked away by Hamadiah, who let them hide in his house until Israel security forces arrived to extract them.
According to Sunday’s report, it took the Israeli forces more than an hour to arrive.
Hamadiah showed the interviewer a machete that he “keeps by the door,” and said he was prepared to use it against anyone who attempted to enter his home to harm the students, even at the risk of endangering his own life, he said.
“I was afraid… that men in ski masks would come and give us trouble. [But I knew I would defend them], even if it risked my life and the lives of my children,” Hamadiah said.
“This is my worldview,” he explained. “Either you are human, or you don’t do it and then you aren’t human.”
Hebron is divided between a small population of settlers and a larger population of Palestinians, who control most of the city.
Hamadiah had initially dismissed concerns that he would be branded a “collaborator” by his neighbors. “I did the right thing,” he said on Thursday. “We need to live here together.”
Footage released Friday showed Israel Defense Forces soldiers extracting the students from Hebron. The grainy video showed the five, dressed in traditional ultra-Orthodox garb, being instructed by the soldiers to thank Hamadiah for rescuing them.
One of the men, with clearly visible bloodstains on his shirt, could be seen blowing a kiss in the Palestinian man’s direction.
Faiz Abu Hamadiah of Hebron looking out of his window.
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