Itamar Elkoubi
Itamar ElkoubiCourtesy

In the intensive care unit of an Israeli hospital, an Israeli teenager named Itamar Elkoubi fought for his life for days in intensive care after having his skull crushed by an Arab rock-thrower in Jerusalem and has returned to consciousness..

These are the victims of Arab terrorism whom nobody every hears about it. They weren’t targeted in “major” attacks, so they fall below the radar of both the news media and the Jewish world. But their lives are no less precious than those who were targeted in bombings or shootings. And if they survive, the crippling injuries that they suffered will mar the rest of their lives just as if they had been wounded in a suicide bombing or a sniper attack.

Very little has been reported about Itamar, only that the attack took place last week in the Jerusalem neighborhood that Arabs call Sheikh Jarrah, and Jews call Shimon HaTzaddik, because the tomb of that famous Talmudic sage and head of the Sanhedrin is located there.

Way back in 1875—long before there were any “Palestinians”—the Sephardi Community Council of Jerusalem purchased the tomb and the 17 dunams (4 acres) of land around it. A Jewish community flourished there for decades. The Jews were violently expelled by Arab terrorist mobs in 1936, but soon returned. Then they were exiled by the British authorities in 1948, supposedly for their own protection.

For some reason, the British thought that the appropriate response to Arab terrorists was to expel the Jews instead of fighting the terrorists.

Today, Shimon HaTzaddik/Sheikh Jarrah is a mixed Jewish-Arab neighborhood. The Jewish Left is always claiming that the Palestinian Arabs are moderate and want peace. If so, Shimon HaTzaddik/Sheikh Jarrah should be a model for coexistence. Arabs and Jews should be happily living side by side. Instead, local Arabs—with the support of the Jewish Left—are constantly agitating to expel all Jews from the neighborhood. Sometimes the agitation includes rock-throwing.

Can you imagine if in a racially-mixed neighborhood in the United States, the white residents campaigned—sometimes violently—to expel all their Black neighbors? You don’t have to imagine it, because it happened again and again in America during the past century. And every decent person looks back at that part of American history with shame. The Jewish Left should be just as ashamed of its support for anti-Jewish racism in Jerusalem.

And now the anti-Jewish racists have claimed their latest victim, young Itamar Elkoubi.

Supporters of the Palestinian Arab cause don’t like to talk about rock-throwing. They want us to forget about young Itamar as soon as possible. They don’t want the public to be reminded that rock-throwing is, in fact, attempted murder.

At least 16 Israelis—including four American citizens—have been murdered by Arabs throwing rocks or bricks at them.

In the United States, rock-throwing is not dismissed as child’s play. In a famous instance in 1990, three teenagers threw rocks at cars on the Capital Beltway in Washington, D.C., injuring thirty drivers or passengers. One was a girl who suffered irreversible brain damage. The attackers were convicted of "assault with intent to murder”; they were each sentenced to 40 years in prison. Appropriately, an editorial in the Washington Post asked, "What's the difference between assault with a deadly weapon--a shooting--and assault with rocks that hit cars at potentially lethal speeds?"

For sure, we will all be praying for Itamar Elkoubi’s speedy recovery. But there’s so much more that we can do.

For example, American Jewish organizations that send funds to Israel could earmark some of it for the families of victims of Arab rock-throwers. The compensation the families receive from the Israeli government is never enough to cover the lifelong consequences that they suffer.

We also could press American Jewish leaders to make this issue a priority. Jewish leaders who visit Israel could meet with the families of rock-throwing victims. They can bring victims or their relatives to the United States on speaking tours. They could even commission a comprehensive investigation into the deaths and injuries caused by Palestinian Arab rock-throwing attacks.

Let’s make sure that the suffering of thousands of innocent Jews like Itamar Elkoubi is not forgotten.

Stephen M. Flatow, is a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is author of “A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror.” The opinions herein are his own.