There was a disturbing incident in Tel Aviv earlier this week. A contractor’s employee, 54-year-old Ahsan Abu-Srur, was critically injured while helping to renovate an apartment. According to eyewitnesses who spoke to the daily newspaper Haaretz, the contractor and another man dragged the injured worker onto the sidewalk outside the apartment, locked the door, and began to run away, leaving the resident of a west bank refugee camp to die on the street. Passers-by tried to revive Abu-Srur, but failed.
If the eyewitnesses are accurate in their descriptions, the death of Ahsan Abu-Srur would seem to be part of a growing culture of apathy toward the suffering of others, whether they are Arabs or asylum-seekers from African despotism. Sudanese are a “cancer in our body” according to one Likud member of Knesset, Miri Regev. A deputy defense minister who chairs the Likud central committee, Danny Danon, also heads the so-called “deportation now” movement that has helped inure some Israelis to the suffering of others.
Dragging an injured human being to the street to die there is not a common occurrence, but it should be a clarion call. Apathy exists everywhere in the world, to be sure, but it should have no place in the Jewish state.
“When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him…; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I the Lord am your God.” (Leviticus 19:33-34)