Yet another lynch of a young Palestinian man in Jerusalem. Only about three weeks ago, in the impossible heat of mid-August in this forsaken place, three young Palestinians were brutally attacked. And now, another young man. In both instances, the attackers were young Jewish boys. Very young. In both instances, they were attacked because they are Palestinian. The media jumped on the hot news like vultures on prey and screamed “Lynch.” Actually almost everyone did: politicians, the president, educators, parents. They all rushed to criticize, to emphasize and to remove themselves from this raw hatred. They were surprised.
I am not surprised at all. A society that breeds blind hatred towards a whole people is bound to such extreme actions. But I am not here to write any “op-ed” article. As a writer of political fiction, among other genres, I had a strong sense of responsibility in writing down another story. Not the story of the attack. Not the story of the attackers, and not that of a society that has lost its way. No.
When I read about the lynch of Ibraheem AbuTa’ah on the night of September 5th, I felt an urge to write his story. Of before the lynch. Of a young man finishing his morning shift at the hotel, going home, taking a nap, preparing for the party. Was he going alone to the party or was he taking a partner? What were his hopes? What was going on through his mind when his friend told him she wasn’t feeling well and if he could help her get home? Was he disappointed to leave the party early? Did the lynch that occurred there three weeks earlier pass through his mind at all? Did he walk with full confidence or did he feel insecure? And then – and then, when she called his name, disclosing his nationality, and he saw the pure hatred in his attackers’ eyes? Yes, this is the story I feel the urge to write. Gone writing.