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Don’t Mistake Human for National

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The recent tragedy in Israel has naturally ignited a wave of empathy and solidarity throughout the country. Reports of secular Tel-Avivians donating blood to the victims of the tragedy at a religious festival in Mt. Meron, as well as villagers from nearby Arab communities offering food and water to the victims’ Orthodox families, were making the rounds in social media.

The sentiment expressed in a typical Facebook post went something like this: “yes, we are a deeply divided nation with many problems. But look at these people donating blood, donating food, donating time, showing empathy for the loss of their brothers. We are a good nation after all. We are connected to each other, whether we want it or not. Despite all, our nation is full of love, compassion and good deeds”

The narrative is a familiar one to Israelis. Every tragedy, every disaster produces similar pictures and voices. People that are normally separated from each other by politics, world-views and lifestyle, suddenly come together in altruistic acts in face of a tragedy.

Although Israel may indeed be a more tribal society than many, there is nothing uniquely Israeli to this sentiment. I’ve seen it in Canada in the aftermath of the Fort McMurray wildfire in 2016, where people across provinces and cultural backgrounds were donating money to help the victims, and finding comfort in the arising of this spontaneous urge to help their fellow citizens. I’ve seen it in Mexico City after the 2019........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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