‘Palestinian’ letter to parents of murdered Israeli teen.

I am a Palestinian Christian who shares your sorrow. And I am not the only one.

Dear Rena and Amichai Ariel,

Written by an anonymous author, who is concerned for his safety.

I’m writing to you with deep sorrow in my heart. I try to imagine your loss from the brutal murder of your lovely daughter, and I cannot. As a Palestinian Christian who grew up in Gaza, I can tell you that my heart is broken and I mourn with you the loss of lovely Hallel.

One thing that makes my heart ache is knowing how I used to think and feel only a few years ago. Growing up, I was filled with hate for Jews. In my earliest years and all through high school, I learned to see Jews as evil characters, like villains in a comic book or monsters in a movie. My teachers said that Jews want to kill us all and that they stole our fathers’ native lands. They said that Jews have no history here and are illegal occupiers.

I don’t know why, but one day I opened a Bible and began to read it for myself. I was shocked to learn that God brought the Jews here thousands of years ago and promised them this land forever. I was also shocked to learn that Jesus is a Jew. Although I was a Christian, I never knew these things.

Today I am a different man. How can I not love Jesus’ human family? Should I not rejoice when they rejoice and weep when they weep?

Today I weep with you and cannot find a way to stop. I am haunted by the pictures of Hallel’s sweet face and the bed where she was murdered.

I am enraged with the terrorist who murdered her and with religious and political leaders here who trained him and now call him a shahid, a martyr hero.

I mourn your painful loss and wish that I could come to you to cry and weep. But I cannot.

Instead, from Bethlehem, I grieve with a new understanding. I have come to see that, in spite of its problems, Israel is the best hope for my people.

Today I am a Palestinian Christian who shares your sorrow. And I am not the only one.


 Published at The Jerusalem Journal.

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One comment

  1. I am so moved by this post. Thank you. As an ex Christian, now messianic gentile, to hear a story of the impact of the truth of the scriptures punctuating such a horrific event is amazing. I also mourn the many killed in Israel recently. I wear a ring with the names of the six children left orphans last October to remind me to pray for them on a regular basis. Yes, Elohim does have a plan and purpose for Israel and unless we are bound to Israel we have no hope. Elohim didn’t enter into any covenant other than those with Israel. Blessed be the Elohim of Israel.