Someone wrote on Sunday about waiting in a pharmacy line in Ramle: “It’s a small city where Jews, Muslims, and Christians live and work and wait in line together like it ain’t no thang. There are no CNN news cameras here because let’s be real: coexistence is, like, super boring.” (You too can aspire to such style if you graduated from Berkeley with a double major in Middle Eastern and Jewish Studies.)
I wonder how the family of George Sa’ado Hy”d would feel about that description.
His name probably isn’t familiar to most people. George Sa’ado wasn’t a high-tech entrepreneur in the “start-up nation” fashion, just a phone company employee. Last March, the 51-year-old father of five was walking his dog in Ramle when a gang of Arabs accosted him. Then one of them murdered Sa’ado and killed his dog.
A neighbor stated, “We have warned people in the past about shooting coming from the nearby Arab neighborhood. This has been going on for years.”
Police and Ramle’s mayor initially denied the murder’s anti-Semitic motivation, but here are Sa’ado’s dying words: “They said it was because of the situation in Gaza and shot me.” As one of his sons noted:
“The state has an interest in saying it was criminally motivated so they do not have to spend money on compensating terror victims. Mayor Yoel Lavi also wants to keep it criminal so people do not say that there is terror here. Everyone has an interest. But the truth is my father’s last words.”
A similar cover up occurred after the 2011 murders of Asher and baby Yonatan Palmer Hy”d when police first attributed the deaths to driver error.
Last month, the murderer of George Sa’ado plea bargained to a manslaughter conviction, with the prosecution seeking a 12-year sentence and 140,000 shekel fine. He could be free in eight years. Sa’ado’s ex-wife said after the conviction:
“We don’t accept the plea deal or the 12 years, and we don’t want the money. We want justice. At the entrance to the courtroom it says, ‘Justice, justice shall you pursue,’ and my son said, ‘Mom, what justice is there here? They took my father, they murdered him and they say it was manslaughter.’ ”
Add George Sa’ado to the list of cheap Jewish blood in Israel.
Other recent forms of peaceful coexistence in Ramle have included a firebombed car, synagogue arson, slashed tires, other vandalism, and a brick through a home during a Shabbat meal. Emily Amrousi wrote last month about the city: “Just this week, the windshields of about 10 cars were smashed there. Families driving their children to an after-school activity, or coming back from the supermarket, had bricks hurled at their cars.”
But hey, what’s all of that compared with waiting in a pharmacy line without violent incident?
Rabbi David Bar-Hayim of Machon Shilo has observed, “It’s possible to physically be in Eretz Yisrael but spiritually, psychologically, to be elsewhere. You don’t have to look very hard to understand what I’m referring to.” (See 57:15 here.) No, you don’t.