While I pray for the release or rescue of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers named Eyal, Naftali, and Gilad, I also mourn for a 13-year old Israeli named Mohammed who was killed a few days ago in the Golan Heights.
Did you catch that?
A young teenager named Mohammed was an Israeli citizen. Based on the IDF’s strong response to the unprovoked, cross-border attack on its citizens from Syria, I think what mattered most was that he was an Israeli, not that he was named Mohammed.
For those who don’t know, Jewish people who have citizenship in Israel are all Israelis; however, not all Israeli citizens are Jewish. According to most estimates approximately 20% of Israeli citizens, or almost 2 million people, are not Jewish. This is an inconvenient truth for those who have an anti-Semitic agenda to drive Israelis from the land of Israel.
Do they also desire to remove those like Mohammed who have the same rights and privileges as Israeli citizens everywhere, or does that agenda only apply to Jewish Israelis? Before you answer, let’s take a moment to honor the memory of the young Israeli named Mohammed Karaka who was laid to rest yesterday.
His mother reported that Mohammed couldn’t sleep the night before—he was going to spend the day on the job with his father, a defense contractor in the Golan Heights. It was the first day of his summer break from school when, all of a sudden, death caught him unaware.
Fahmy Karaka, a driver of a water tanker truck doing contract work for the Defense Ministry, talked about the final moments he spent with his son. “We took a direct hit and Mohammed died before my eyes,” he said. “It was impossible to help him. He had wanted to come with me to work. He was killed on the first day of his summer vacation. This was his fate. I agreed to take him with me to work, because I did not think it could be dangerous there. I lost my son and I will not return to this job. I don’t know how I will deal with his death.”
My prayer is that all Israelis—no matter what their names—will stand together during this time of striving and struggle and remember the God-given name of the children of Jacob, you know, Israel!
He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed” (Genesis 32:28).