Photo Credit:
Andrew Pochter

Condolences to the family of  Andrew Pochter, who was the American killed in Egyptian riots.

I find his story very disturbing.

Pochter’s family said he had travelled to Alexandria for the summer to teach English to 7- and 8-year-old Egyptian children and to improve his Arabic.
“He had studied in the region, loved the culture, and planned to live and work there in the pursuit of peace and understanding,” read the statement, that asked for privacy in a time of grieving.

Pochter was looking forward to beginning his junior year at Ohio’s Kenyon College and had planned to study abroad in Jordan next spring, according to the statement.

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What was he doing in Egypt?  Why did he feel more connected to Arab countries than to Israel?  Did he really think that he, a Jewish American, could do something for “the pursuit of peace and understanding?”

Did his family support this delusion?

Did his family and friends and teachers warn him that he was going to a dangerous place?

Frequently when someone in the states says they’re going to Israel, people act horrified:

“It’s so dangerous!”

Now, I would like to know if Pochter received such reactions to his plans.  Of course there’s no guarantee that Pochter would be alive if he had gone to Israel.  But for sure, if he had been killed here, the article about his death would include something of how his family didn’t want him to come because of the supposed “dangers.”

Think about it.  Where can one find more danger, in Israel or the Arab countries?  If someone is injured or hurt, where is there better medical care?  And are you disturbed by the fact that an American Jewish student is more attracted to Arab society than to Jewish Israeli society?

Am I the only one bothered by this incident and this situation in general?


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Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.