“An exhausted Arab doesn’t make good headlines” blurted out Shimrit Meir, Arab affairs desk chief at Galatz radio station. A terrible slip of the tongue, since it plays on the cruel local saying, “a good Arab is a dead one.” Meir did not get away with this non-PC statement as the Arabic lobby and other people in the media hurried to condemn her for this. It didn’t take long before she apologized publicly, of course, but perhaps, being so close to the Arabic society in Israel, she did really mean it â€“ and perhaps she was not so far off from the truth.
A 10 year old kid was on the school bus with three of his brothers and some other pupils. Apparently the child got his head out of the bus window, and was consequently hit by a bus that was coming from the other direction. The injury was deadly, and terrible. The poor child’s family members and friends had to watch the headless body of the 4th grader while his head was still rolling on the road.
A terrible story, one that would’ve probably been the talk of the day â€“ had the child’s name not been Salman El-Atrash, a Bedouin. Somehow this fact has turned the story to the usual “somebody’s else’s problem.” But the fact remains that Israeli Arabs, and especially Bedouins who serve in the Israeli army, are citizens of this state and are an integral part of it, for better and worse (though probably both sides are unhappy to admit it).
On the same day, the newspapers reported two other cases, also in the last pages, obviously after the pressing political issues, and typically after some local gossip and funny pictures. A 5 year old girl was badly injured while her mother was killed in front of her eyes, both shot in a drive-by, possibly for the father’s financial problems. On the next page you could learn about a senior doctor who violently attacked his wife. Once again, had it been Jewish children or a known doctor, it would’ve gotten to the front pages. But â€“ exhausted (Israeli) Arabs, we have nothing to do with them. These are not problems real Israelis ever have to deal with, right?