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Reconciliation in Israel Begins with a Simple Hug
During a ceremony saluting emergency medical first responders and Search and Rescue personnel that took place in the Knesset on August 1st, a unique scene developed on stage that could only happen in Israel.
The scenario was as follows: MK Yehuda Glick (Likud), who was the victim of a Palestinian terror attack and attempted assassination two years ago, climbed up onto the stage and gave a large hug to Kabahah Muawhiya, an Israeli Arab volunteer emergency medical technician. Muawhiya works with Israel’s national volunteer emergency medical services organization United Hatzalah. Muawhiya hails from the “triangle” region of Israel and was invited to speak on behalf of the Arab volunteers of United Hatzalah. While Muawhiya was discussing how both the volunteers and the organization learn from their successes and failures, Glick was walking down the aisle to his seat in the front row. Glick told Muawhiya, “I am one of the failures, but you guys have saved us all.” Muawhiya responded and said jokingly, “It would have been more interesting had I been the one to save you,” at which point Glick then proceeded to climb onto the stage and give Muawhiya a big hug. The scene resulted in a thunderous applause from the gathered crowd, volunteers and MKs alike.
Muawhiya, who was one of the first responders to enter the home of the Fogel family after they were murdered by Palestinian terrorists, said that the images of slain children will never leave him. Immediately thereafter, the son of Julia Gurevitch, a woman whom Muawhiya had previously saved, came onto the stage to thank Muawhiya. Muawhiya said during his speech that “United Hatzalah is not just about emergency first response and medical rescuing, but it is literally uniting people from different walks of life and different religions. It is a uniting of peoples and a unity of hearts!”
David Friedman, Donald Trump’s Israel Advisor, was in the crowd for the ceremony and walked away with a new understanding of how it is the people themselves who will decide when and how peace is possible. Following the ceremony, he told the Founder and President of United Hatzalah that peace should be achieved by the people, and not forced upon people by governments. “We should leave peace to be achieved by the citizens themselves on both sides. This will be much stronger and more effective than governments attempting to impose a peace on the peoples in Israel. Actions like what we saw today, where a Jewish terror victim can hug an Arab volunteer EMT, are what bring about peace.”