The more we heard about Alon Bakal, may he rest in peace, and about his personality which moved us to tears, the stronger we became in coping with the loss of our personal safety in light of the intifada - sorry, the "wave of terror" which has been washing over our country for more than three months now.
Alon, who was murdered Friday afternoon at the entrance to Simta pub on Tel Aviv's Dizengoff Street, represents the beautiful Israeli who was raised here. The Israeli who serves in the army, volunteers and is mainly tolerant towards the other. The Israeli who reinforces all the doubts in terms of our unity.
It is precisely against this backdrop that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood out Saturday evening, when he arrived at the scene of the shooting and chose that terrible place to verbally attack the Arab minority, cynically using the occasion to send ugly messages in every direction.
Here are the facts - compared to Netanyahu's ugly generalizations:
The murderer's father, an Arab from the town of Ar'ara who serves as a police volunteer, was the one who reported that he suspected his son was the terrorist. Netanyahu, on the other hand, made a general accusation that Israel's Arabs were in fact a "fifth column."
The prime minister tried to adorn his words with determination: He promised to increase efforts to collect illegal weapons hidden in the Arab sector. "We won’t have two states here," he declared. But what about the fact that the weapon in question was actually licensed?
And what stopped Netanyahu in the past seven years, when he could have enforced the law among Israel's Arabs or collected the weapons in their possession?
Why is he playing dumb? Hasn’t he heard that Electric Corporation workers and other service providers avoid entering certain areas in the Arab sector where they fear for their lives?
And like in other speeches, he used his family members this time too. On Saturday, he mentioned his two sons in connection with the two young men who died in the attack. He just forgot to mention that his sons walk around with bodyguards, even when they serve in the IDF.
The loyalty of most Israeli Arabs and their desire to live in Israel are unquestionable, but Netanyahu keeps inciting. Just like he did on Election Day, when he looked straight into the camera and claimed, without blinking, that "the Arabs are heading to the polling stations in droves." Mr. Prime Minister, have you already forgotten that you were forced to apologize to Israel's Arabs for that miserable comment?
All we can do is hope that the prime minister will soon apologize once again to the public he offended. He owes it not only to us, but to the late Alon Bakal, who wanted to live here in a different country, with a different set of values from Netanyahu's.