An Israeli diplomat serving in Cyprus was left with no choice but to cut her mission two years short after her 15-year-old son found himself the target of ostracization at school because he was a Jew and Israeli.
The situation ended with bullies punching him, kicking him, and shocking him on the back with an electric shocker.
The diplomat had already served in the Israeli consulate in Nicosia for two years, when one of her sons enrolled in a local private school became the target of intense ostracization by other kids in his class, led by a Palestinian classmate.
The situation developed quickly into violence. During a soccer game, the Palestinian boy initiated fisticuffs. About two weeks later, the diplomat’s son went out to the city’s center, where he as approached by a group of bullies looking for “the Israeli.” The Palestinian pointed him out, and the group attacked.
They beat him, kicked him and even shocked him with an electric shocker on the back.
A Turkish friend who was with the Israeli boy managed to help him flee to a nearby kiosk.
“My son returned home with his face covered in blood. He was frightened, crying and hysterical. I almost fainted from the sight,” the diplomat said.
The mother quickly filed a complaint with police. Cyprus law enforcement was cooperative, and arrested the boys who appeared on security cameras. They confiscated the electric shocker and remanded the boys, who will be tried for their actions.
The Israeli boy remains traumatized. Since the incident, he is afraid to go to school, and has nightmares. After consulting with the Foreign Ministry, the family decided to shorten their overseas mission, and return home.
“What is important to me is what is good for my son. After speaking with professionals, we decided it was best for us is to return to the family. You must understand that as diplomats, we are under personal and security dangers.”
The Foreign Ministry worker’s union responded to the situation: “This shows the many challenges which face diplomatic families.
In our current situation we want to ensure good service conditions to those on missions outside of the country, with the understanding that this is not only made up of the private individual, but also by the family effort, and the willingness to sacrifice in every sense.”