A few words on "Palestinians pay condolence visit to family of slain teen Ori Ansbacher"

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By Kathryn Shihadah

It’s unspeakably tragic that Ori Ansbacher died at the hands of a Palestinian man. The Palestinians who paid their condolences to the family did a humble and courageous thing - and so did Ori’s family by receiving them graciously.

It’s perfectly natural that the Times of Israel would tell this story. It’s uplifting.

Those of us a few degrees separated from the incident - we who don’t live in Israel - can view this from a distance, can - if we are willing - see the context of Ori’s death that those close to her can not.

When we recognize that bigger picture, our sadness can be channeled productively toward justice, instead of toward hate or dehumanization.

We can acknowledge that while the murder of this teenage girl is a terrible, terrible thing, it has been (thank God) four months since the last Israeli civilian death, 2 1/2 years since an Israeli under the age of 20 - Hallel Ariel, a pretty girl of 13 - was killed.

Since Hallel’s death, almost 350 Palestinians have been killed by Israel. Some were engaged in terrorist acts, but hundreds were killed while peacefully protesting - some were giving medical aid to injured protesters, and some were journalists recording the demonstration.

AT LEAST 126 PALESTINIANS UNDER THE AGE OF 20 were killed by Israel during the same time period. Each one had a name. Each one had a funeral. Each one was cherished by family and friends.

This does not diminish the travesty of Ori Ansbacher’s death - it reminds us that the fallout from the conflict has two sides, not one. That many, MANY families are grieving unnecessary losses. And with a little sincere questioning (e.g. “Why is there a conflict?” “Why were Palestinians protesting”), we can learn that there is profound injustice.

It is fitting to recognize the whole picture.