Slingshot by Luke Rembold

The young boy stood in the center of the road, his slingshot in his hand. Above him loomed the giant, a power that had defeated the boy’s fathers and grandfathers. Everyone else fell back behind the boy, fearful and scared to draw too close to the giant. Yet the boy stood his ground, calling out and jeering at his enemy.

Sound familiar?

David and Goliath, anyone?

The funny thing is, it is modern day Palestinians that are referred to as Philistines in the David and Goliath story of the Old Testament. And today, while in the Aida Refugee camp outside Bethlehem, I watched from a roof as a young boy played with a sling, aiming at telephone poles and streetlights, yelling out loud as he released stones at his targets. His actions gained the attention of the watchtower at the nearby security wall, and we watched as the gate was rolled open and an armored jeep began to roll out. The boy’s friends gained courage, still yelling and jeering at the Israeli Defense Force manning the jeep.

Our group was quickly herded to the bus, as our hosts were worried about our safety.

I worry for that boy. For Palestinians in occupied territories, resistance is life, and I applaud that young boy’s courage. Yet that boy will likely live his entire life in that refugee camp with no opportunity to leave, and in that situation, that frustration could turn into hatred. His heart could turn hard. How can he still have hope?

And what of those 19 and 20 year old young men and women of the Israeli Defense Force that are supposed to patrol that security wall and control the children? What of their hearts as they are charged with orders they may or may not want to carry out? How much of their fear turns into posturing with their guns and armored vehicles? What is happening to their hearts and their humanity?

The Old Testament David and Goliath had a clear winner. The modern-day story I saw today does not.


1 Comment

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One response to “Slingshot by Luke Rembold

  1. Norm Zamcheck

    A nuanced & thoughtful piece. I believe if there were not a permanent climate of war directed by much of the Muslim world towards Israel -from its very creation -there would be and would have been an independent Palestinian state some time ago. The majority of Israelis favor this. Much of the suffering of the Palestinians is a reflection of this. Recall Gaza was forcibly cleansed of Israelis by Sharon, and great effort made to retain the coastal greenhouses for the benefit of the Gazans in a unilateral peace gesture. Now they are launch sites for Iranian missiles, in a tiny sliver of territory enslaved to the concept of endless war. Israelis have proven repeatedly they will evacuate borders and exchange territory for peace. In light of Gaza, in light of daily genocidal declarations from Iran, in light of jaw-dropping slaughter on nearly all sides and the advance of Islamic terrorism in Syria and Lebanon Israelis will not make major compromises on the West Bank & Jerusalem. As quoted recently in the the The Jewish Voice and Opinion , the feeling is “better a boycott than rockets on Ben Gurion.” In this light boycotts are seen as extensions of that permanent war & will have no impact. As said, both sides are the David and Goliath here.

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