[Jayce wrote this comment in response to the article about Wafa al-Biss, the Palestinian woman who was arrested while on her way to blow up a hospital in Israel- z.
Wafa al-Biss had been severely burned in a fire in her kitchen and the medical treatment she had received at that Beer-Sheva hospital saved her life. The suicide-bomber recruiters told her that she would never be accepted by Arab society because of her burns. (I don't know, but from the photo I saw, she looked pretty good, with just a quarter-sized mark on her forehead remaining.) Since she was already socially dead, they said, she might as well have a heroic death by killing Jews in a crowded hospital department.
How low can a society go? How sick?
Her story makes me think of another. My dearest friend Margaret and her daughter were shot at by Fatah terrorists, just a few months after Peres and Rabin brought in their warlord Arafat and his army to settle in Gaza. Margaret, MGAHB, was murdered; beautiful, 20-year-old Yael's life was hanging by a thread. Yael had been shot in the head, the face to be exact. Her doctors quietly advised us to dig two graves.
Day and night, for weeks, people from all over Israel, whose lives they had touched, crowded the waiting room and hallways outside the critical care room to beg God to let us keep her. Yael's friends from university and high school, family, her mother's friends, people from towns they had visited throughout Yesha in order to lift their spirits, bus drivers they had run out to give bottles of water to on hot days, soldiers that had found them or were on a break from hunting for the killers, strangers who had heard about them, even friends who were terrified of hospitals came. There were so many people, the hospital asked us to sign-up to come in shifts and to assign persons to handle telephone calls that were flooding the switchboard from around the country.
Our entire town moved to tents outside the Prime Minister Minister's office to mourn Margaret. We worried that we had only 1 day's supply of food and water, but that was all we needed. People from Jerusalem and surrounding cities brought us meals from their kosher kitchens and cafes, buckets of ice, babysitters, teachers for the school kids. People did our laundry, brought us to their homes for showers, visited, honked horns in support as they passed. The city quickly put in water faucets, etc., etc. After the mourning week had passed, another town that loved her asked to take our place. Then another. And another. I don't remember how many exactly because I was in a fog.
Anyway, beautiful Yael survived, thank God. Even though the scarring on her face and lack of cheekbones or teeth made her look 70 years old, one of the soldiers who had been camping out in the hall with his family off and on and loved her inner beauty proposed marriage. Yael regretfully declined. However, she eventually met her intended and had the happiest, largest wedding I have ever been too. We, especially the women, danced like crazy. We old women rocked! We were so happy for Yael, and for Margaret, and for the wonders of God.
Yael and her husband currently have two beautiful children; the little girl named Margolit ("treasure"), her grandmother's Hebrew name. May they continue to live happily ever after.
Two disfigured women. Two different societies. Two vastly different reactions.