It is one of those minor incidents in the conflict between Israel and Palestinians, but the story is so sad as to what it reveals about the current state of Jewish consciousness regarding social justice. Children throughout the world learn the story of Little Red Riding Hood who was accosted by a wolf on her way to see grandmother. Perhaps, it is time to learn the story of Bassam, a twelve year old Palestinian boy who set out on a trip to see his aunt, and was not accosted by any wolves, but he did run straight into the Israel Defense Force. Due to travel restrictions he took two taxis, but was still not at his aunt’s house. Someone suggested he take a short cut through some wooded area and off he set only to suddenly be halted by two members of the IDF. They handcuffed him and threw him into a jeep with the warming to say that he had been throwing stones if asked.
Bassam was tossed from one police station to another and finally sent to jail where the prisoners took care of the frightened boy. Ilyad Misk, an attorney for DCI, Defense For Children International, spotted the boy and offered to defend him. The police insisted he was a criminal and wanted a heavy bail set which, obviously, the boy could not pay. The Judge took pity on the boy and noted no one had informed him of his rights. Of course, no one had told his parents he was a dangerous criminal and in jail.
On the stand Bassam was asked if he used a sling to throw the rocks and was bewildered since he had no idea of the meaning of a sling. He was also confused as to where he threw rocks that he had never thrown. In the end, they set bail low and sent him home.
After three thousand years, is this the best we Jews can do in the name of civil rights!!