I hate to follow such a happy blog post so immediately with one filled with sadness, but I also felt that I needed to express my feelings of what happened today in Jerusalem. Today, a group of young soldiers had gotten off of their group bus to do some training exercises together. They had no clue that their day would end by getting run over, not once, but TWICE by a terrorist in a large truck. 4 soldiers have already passed away from this attack, and at least 16 more are injured. To put it in perspective, these soldiers are not even MY AGE. One of the fallen soldiers was 22, and the other three were only 20. These four that left our world today were absolutely too young and did not deserve to come to such a fate.
One thing that truly upset me, aside from the actual incident, was the terrible reporting in the world news and social media. Yet again, I have seen a world news article from a reliable source, this time BBC, “forgetting” to mention what actually happened in their tweet of the breaking news.
BBC’s tweet started by saying that the “Driver of lorry shot in Jerusalem.” Not that the attack was done by a terrorist. Not that 4 soldiers were killed and over 16 more injured, after being run over twice. They started with the driver was shot. EXCUSE ME? And, this is not new. I just took a screenshot of this tweet at 8:30 pm, 7 hours after the attack happened. This literally kills me inside to know that when these attacks finally get reported to world media, they are done so in such a horrendous fashion. Even when your read the article, it takes BBC until the 6th paragraph to finally call this terrible man what he actually is, a TERRORIST. And then, BBC refuses to use that word again in the article, referring to him as the driver. They even decided to talk about the terrorist’s family and the four children he had before even mentioning the victims. And, in case you are unsure of how these attacks work in Israel, the Palestinian Authority pays a monthly stipend to any family who had a member die while killing Israelis. The terrorist’s family will now be taken care of, because as Hamas reported, the terrorist “Died in a heroic act.”
In addition to the horrible news reporting, there was nothing on social media about it. We have all seen in recent months the “_______ marked him/her/them self safe,” on Facebook. So, why was that not an option for this terror attack? Was it not “big” enough? Is it that Facebook thinks these attacks happen too often to allow us to mark ourselves safe? Either way, I have so many friends and family living in and around Jerusalem, not to mention the fact that it is currently Birthright season, so I have many friends visiting as well. I am lucky enough to be in close contact with many of these people to know right away that they are safe. But to all of my friends and family living halfway around the world? Being able to mark myself safe in such a situation could help put a lot of people’s minds at ease. Also, I know that Facebook allows this type of thing in Israel. It is not a matter of location. During the terrible fires that stuck our nation in November and December, I had plenty of friends and family mark themselves safe. But, apparently, terror attacks in Israel are not important enough for Facebook to allow that as an option.
I know these terror attacks are something that plague this amazing nation that I call home. But, I hope that the way that the news and social media covered this attack can be a wake up call for all of my friends around the world to try to get a better grasp on our everyday life.
Baruch Dayan HaEmet:
2nd Lt. Yael Yekutiel (20) from Givatayim
Cadet Shir Chajaj (22) from Maale Adumim
Cadet Shira Tzur (20) from Haifa
Cadet Erez Orbach (20) from Alon Shvut
May your memories be for a blessing.