To me, this was the most astounding story of the past week:
Fatah Terrorists Kill Elderly Israeli in Jordan Valley
The body of Massoud Mahlouf Allon, 72, of Moshav Menahemya, was found Thursday in a burned-out car in the northern Jordan Valley following a wide scale police search. Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility for the murder. Members of his family told police that Moroccan-born Allon used to collect used clothing and blankets to give to Bedouin and Palestinians in the Arab villages in the Jordan Valley.
North Korea? Don't be fooled by their bellicose announcements. They're not interested in being obliterated by a pre-emptive US blow. Kim is just grandstanding for a big US financial bailout. Sadaam? He's only continuing to try to get us to hang ourselves with more Iraqi "rope-a-dope" tactics than Muhammad Ali can shake a glove at.
No. The story of Massoud Mahlouf Allon, an observant Jewish immigrant from Morocco, who was mutilated, bludgeoned and beaten to death while in the process of distributing blankets he collected from Israelis to poor Palestinians, is my pick for story of the week.
He refused the donated blood of Israelis because it was "Jewish blood."
A while back, when the Israelis were fighting for their lives in Jenin, it emerged that an injured Palestinian Authority fighter was evacuated to an Israeli hospital for life-saving care. In the course of his treatment he required several pints of blood. He refused the donated blood of Israelis because it was "Jewish blood." What did the Israelis do? They flew in some "Moslem blood" from Muksaad Hospital in Jordan.
Imagine this story being played out in a different location and with a different cast of characters. Substitute an Al Qaida regular soldier named Shahid for the Palestinian. Substitute the field hospital at Camp X-ray at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba for the Israeli hospital. We'll call the South Carolina native, regular US Army soldier standing guard over him Luke.
Luke: "I heard the doctors say that you need a couple of pints of blood to get you through the night.
Shahid: "Whose blood are they going to give me?"
Luke: "Probably some sweet, kind volunteer who thinks it's going to be given to a young, rosy cheeked, American GI injured in Afghanistan."
Shahid: "I cannot accept such blood."
Shahid: "Because it is the contaminated, tainted blood of, barbarian, infidel crusaders."
Luke: "So what are you gonna do?"
Shahid: "I will become a martyr and hero to my religion and my people."
Luke: "Like they say at Burger King, ‘Have it your way.'"
What is it with these Israelis anyway? Bringing blankets to people who want to kill you? Flying in Moslem blood for the guy who's going try to finish the job he failed to do the first time around and kill you just as soon as you have fixed him up?
Maybe the amazing value that the Torah places upon human life has affected the Jewish nation. Maybe teaching and practicing the fine art of charity has impacted the Jewish nation where we not only sport the highest per-capita rates of charitable giving of any nation or culture, but we lavish kindness upon those even bent on destroying us.
However, it's not like this is something the Torah requires us to do. In fact, the Talmud admonishes us, "He who comes to kill you, rise up to kill him first."
But if killing your own benefactor is an extreme statement of hatred on the part of the Palestinians, bringing the killer the comfort and warmth of blankets in winter might just be an expression of the opposite extreme.
Rabbi Yekusiel Halberstam, known to the Chassidic world as the Klauzenberger Rebbe, was singled out for special beatings as a concentration camp inmate due to his distinguished lineage and leadership. During a particularly violent beating, the SS officer delivering the blows placed his boot on the saintly rabbi's neck and mockingly asked, "Do you still think that you are God's chosen people?"
The rabbi is said to have responded, "Since it is your boot on my neck, it would seem that I belong to the more Godly of our two peoples."
Who would I rather be: Massoud Mahlouf Allon, or his killer?