Loss & Its Aftermath, Arab and Israeli Families
June 9, 2001
Mohammad Darraj stands in front of posters commemorating his son, Obeid
Since the armed conflict between Palestinians and Israelis began last Sept. 28th, scores of children and young people have died on both sides. Many times a child or young person's bloody death has been quickly appropriated as a symbol in the wider political struggle, or a factor in the argument. But for the families involved, it is a death in the family.
As of this writing on June 9th, 164 Palestinians 18 or younger have been killed since the outbreak of the violence. Israel has lost 37 young people, a majority of them in last week's Tel Aviv disco bombing. For their families, that loss will be permanent, and the aftermath of their deaths is as individual and distinct as the young people themselves.
Our story tonight -- Loss & Its Aftermath, Arab and Israeli Families -- visits four families, two Palestinian and two Israeli, to discover what each child's loss has meant. Their reactions are more complex, and in some cases more contradictory, than the numbing relentlessness of the Middle East conflict might lead one to expect.
We talk with two families in Ramallah on the West Bank, and two Israeli families, one in Jerusalem and one in Petat Tikva. The children who died range in age from 9 to 19. In one case a young person committed suicide. Another died at home in his bedroom. These are stories about sorrow. What
people do with that sorrow makes for a more complete interpretation of the cost of this conflict.
This story was produced by Davar Ardalan.
Links and Resources:
Health Development Information and Policy (HDIP) Institute (Ramallah)
Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC)
The Parents Bereavement Circle (supporting Tolerance, Judaism, & Democracy)
The Israel Emergency Solidarity Foundation