In the Midst of all that hatred

In the Midst of all that hatred

The following is a translation of a Facebook post, MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) posted yesterday in response to an article describing soldiers who had spent a day renovating the home of a single mother in south Tel Aviv. When the images we posted online, most surfers were furious that the soldiers chose not to help “their own” (elderly Holocaust survivors for example) and instead helped a Congolese refugee.

“They should focus on renovating apartments in Dimona of single mothers who were born in this country!” “Shame on them!!! Go help Jewish mothers who were born in this country!” “There are elderly and poor Jews in south Tel Aviv!” “Her Congolese friends should help her renovate!”


Paratroopers under surfer fire for renovating the apartment of a Congo refugee. “We are delighted we managed to give her a few minutes of happiness.” The paratroopers and the refugee.

Reading the responses the volunteer combat soldiers received is very troubling. It is sad that the kindness of those who remember that people are first of all people, regardless of their skin color, is perceived as provocative. How can anyone respond this way to as basic an act of assistance as turning the apartment of a single mother into a livable space?

We can argue about Israel’s immigration policy, but the reality is for years the government has been facilitating the entry and residence of migrant workers and asylum seekers. Insisting on calling them infiltrators – does not change the fact that the government allows them to stay here.

In such a reality, it is the state’s responsibility to ensure the basic rights of the people living among us. Not surprisingly, the state has not met its obligations. After all its own legal citizens are facing a similar reality where the state is failing to ensure their basic dignity.

It is wonderful to have good people who took on a responsibility the government had failed to fulfill. They helped a single mother from Congo to renovate her apartment and made it livable. “Charity begins at home” and our home includes the people living among us.

By | 2016-01-07T11:28:36-05:00 January 7th, 2016|Blog|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Alan J Weisbard January 7, 2016 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    The fact that we have responsibilities to those closest to us does not exclude the moral principle that we have responsibilities to the broader human family. Kudos to these soldiers, and shame on those criticizing their worthy behavior.

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