Sunday, May 13, 2007

Motorcycle Accident Revisited

Last week I blogged about the MVA near Tel Aviv where moped driving instructor Moshe Hai Yisraeli lost his life. I complained about the ridiculous treatment the accident was receiving in the MSM, who were claiming that drivers bypassed 'the "obstacle," the dying man on the road, rather than stopping to offer assistance.'

Today I saw an article on ynetnews by B. Michael that dealt with the accident and the way it was treated in the press. You should know that B. Michael is a writer rooted firmly in the extreme Israeli left, and as such is someone that I rarely agree with. However, this time we are in full agreement. Here is a little of what B. Michael had to say:
Perhaps there's no need to recount what this story is all about, but nonetheless following are the details: A terrible road accident occurred at the Azur intersection in Holon south of Tel Aviv this week. For some unknown reason Moshe Hai Yisrael (may he rest in peace), who was riding a moped, was hurled under the wheels of a cement mixer. He was squashed to death and remained lying on the road alongside his mangled moped.

A security camera positioned on a nearby roof by Channel 10 News aired the footage which shows the 10 seconds where traffic continued to flow normally without a single car stopping and without a single person coming to the casualty's assistance.

And indeed, immediately after the footage was aired the festivities began. Everyone was quick to accuse one another, to cry over the demise of Israeli society, to wail, to be shocked, to wring their hands in obvious desperation and to impressively sound voices of calamity and lamentation that looked and sounded good.

In short, it was a festivity crammed with satisfaction.

However there is only one problem with this festivity: It's synthetic, it is false. It is artificial and affected, but mostly it is dangerous in its ability to teach drivers to act like a herd of curious idiots, instead of as responsible citizens.

Firstly, a few facts should be noted, perhaps not concealed intentionally but not highlighted either:

* The driver of the cement mixing vehicle stopped on the spot, got out of the vehicle, directed traffic and apparently called the police or the Magen David ambulance service, just as he should have. (I personally passed the scene of the accident about an hour after the accident and the cement mixer had indeed stopped near the site. - CX)

* According to reports, at least 20 of the drivers passing by called the emergency services, just as they should have.

* According to eye witnesses, the injuries inflicted on the moped rider were so severe that there was not the slightest doubt that Moshe Hai-Yisraeli had died instantly. (Someone where I work told me that his brains were outside of his skull, which isn't surprising since he was crushed by a cement mixer - CX)

Read the rest.

While B. Michael got it right, it seems that Israel's Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter got it wrong:
In the middle of the day, in the heart of the country, Moshe Hai Yisraeli was hit by a passing truck and critically injured as he was hurled onto the road. For a minute and a half, which seemed like eternity, he bled on the road of a busy junction and no one stopped to offer assistance. Moshe bled to death in front of passing drivers who saw what was happening and drove on.
Dichter goes on to malign the nation by accusing us of being indifferent:
Something has happened in Israel. My soul can find no comfort and my stomach has been turning since watching the inconceivable footage. My heart keeps asking what have we come to? Where will the indifference and apathy take us? What is this screen that has plastered our eyes shut so that we do not see or hear the groans of death?
Unfortunately, I saw that certain elements in the Israeli ultra-Orthodox Jewish press also swallowed the MSM bait, hook, line and sinker. Anyone who learns Gemara should have known better!

In any case all of the people that used this incident to preach morals to the nation from their pedestal of ignorance owe the nation an apology.

Update: Just saw this from Ha'aretz:
Several passersby who saw Hai-Yisraeli after the crash later told police that they kept away because of the gruesome appearance of Yisraeli's body after the truck crushed his head. "It was obvious the man was dead anyway, so there was no point in attending to him," they said.
There it is black on white: Moshe Hai Yisraeli's head was crushed. He was dead and there was nothing that any of the drivers could have done to help him. Avi Dichter proved that he is unworthy to serve in any position of authority memah nafshach: If he knew the facts about the accident and lied about them in order to gain political mileage he is beyond contempt. If he did not know the facts about the accident and started blabbing away in ignorance he is simply irresposible.

There is a lot of mussar that we all can learn from this incident. We have to be careful in passing judgment. How misleading is the film of the accident! We don't see what happened just beyond the scope of the camera. The condition of the moped rider after the accident cannot be discerned from the distant camera shot. Wise men, be careful with your words!

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