Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Walking in the Rain...

"Jerusalem is so beautiful in the rain," said one young Arab to another. "Let's go for a walk..."

"Great idea," said the second and then added, "Oh wait, I forgot my axe!"

"Oh, you're right!" responded the first, "What WAS I thinking? Let me run quickly and get my knife."

"Do you think I should take a coat or an umbrella?" asked the second.

"No, who needs an umbrella when you have an axe?" said the second as the two happily went off to try to find some Jews to stab and axe.

.....BREAKING NEWS IN JERUSALEM

Police just saw two Arabs acting suspiciously near Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem. When searched, the two were found to be carrying an axe and a knife...no umbrella.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Alone...Even in a World of Supporters

I have found that if I try to explain that Israelis feel very isolated and misunderstood, I get many people from abroad telling me how much they love Israel, that they care, that they understand...one literally wrote, "I'd die for Israel."

Despite UN resolutions and the games of political leaders, there are many who support Israel. Yes, there are pictures of demonstrations burning Israeli (and American) flags, but there are also many pictures of rallies taking place around the world on behalf of Israel and we are so grateful.

The US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly called the Palestinians to order, rightly demanding that they stop the incitement and we are so thankful.

On CNN...can you believe it?...on CNN a Palestinian spoke of the cold-blooded execution of a young Palestinian and the anchor pointed out that the terrorist ran at police with a knife in his hand and if the same thing were tried in the United States, the police would "execute" the man too (and we are sort of in shock at that one!).

On MSNBC, a reporter claims that a seemingly unarmed Palestinian was shot dead by police, and again the anchor points out in the video the reporter provided, a knife is clearly visible as the Palestinian storms towards police.

We are grateful for the support, and yet we Israelis still feel alone. We walk the streets of Jerusalem, the holy, beautiful city of Jerusalem. The heart and soul and hope of our people, and we look behind us to see who is there. We watch as people come into the room, onto the train or bus.

We make our children call home when they get where they are going; we make excuses to avoid places that frighten us. Each time we step out of our homes, and sometimes even in our homes, no matter who we are with, we are alone.

But deep inside, there is the belief that there was no other road we could have taken, nothing more we could have tried. We have been to the negotiations table and sat there waiting for a partner to enter the room; we have frozen our future and that of our children for months and months at a time, only to be told, "wait, freeze the building and we will come talk."

Nonsense. Lies. Stupidity said to a world so desperate to believe their future will never be like Israel's that they will sacrifice us quickly, painlessly, and have a nice cup of tea in a cafe when they are done.

And when the cafe blows up, when masked rioters burn and pillage...when trains explode and planes crash and buildings burn...the world believes that if they mouth the same anti-Israel rhetoric, the enemies of democracy, of free-will and of freedom of religion, will suddenly become rational, western-thinking people. Silly, stupid world.

So we here in Israel live alone, isolated from a world that still believes capitulation to terror can bring peace, a world so worried about its own local issues that it quickly gives a rubber stamp of approval to whatever lies Abu Mazen says and wants to move on.

Sure, the 13 year old Arab boy who just walked out of the hospital on his own two feet is a martyr murdered in cold blood.

Yup, the Western Wall that was the retaining wall of two Jewish Holy Temples long before the world ever heard of a man named Mohammed is a Moslem site.

Yeah, Rachel's Tomb (Rachel, wife of Jacob, buried in Bethlehem, never mentioned by name in the Koran, who lived and died more than 2,000 years before the birth of Islam) is a Muslim holy site.

Whatever you say, so long as we don't have to waste our time learning history and dealing with the real issues of the Middle East...says the world as Jewish blood flows in the land of Israel.

And yet...and yet...and yet.

We are a people who yearn for tomorrow, ache for peace and quiet in which to raise our children. Hope for a better tomorrow defines us and so each day, we rise with the sun and hope today will be different.

A short time ago, a 16 year old Palestinian was shot. That's what the news will report. Will they also tell you that the young man had just stabbed a soldier...perhaps a teenager himself, in the neck?

When the news reports, "Israeli soldier stabbed and seriously wounded" as the headlines and not as was reported yesterday by CNN, "Palestinian teenager shot in Israel" - only later mentioning that the teenager was shot after "allegedly" stabbing a soldier...only then, perhaps, will it be a sign that Israel is not so alone, not so misunderstood.

Until that day, Israelis will continue to feel alone and yet surrounded. Surrounded by ourselves. We comfort each other, we support one another. On the bus ride into my office this morning, we spoke of the rain and hopes it will be a long and wet winter. We talked about normal things - our children, food. Sometimes we speak of the endless attacks, of the fear we carry with us.

Mostly, though, we go about our lives because our greatest answer to every terror attack is to enjoy the very thing they would take from us...our lives, our joy of watching our children grow, our love of this land.

Am Yisrael Chai - the nation of Israel lives...and if that bothers our neighbors and those across the seas, so be it.

Me...On TV? Wow...

So, I was interviewed on the Jewish Broadcasting Service. I thought it was to be a short interview, maybe 15-20 minutes about what it was like to live in Israel during these difficult times.

Scheduling was tough because of the time difference, but we worked it out and I got a call. A minute or two later, I heard music and then the calm voice of Mark Golub introducing the day's topic, and then me.

He made it so easy - he asked questions, commented, encouraged and in the end, suddenly almost an hour had gone by. I want to thank JBS and Mark for the love they show for Israel, the patience they showed in allowing me to speak. If I'd known the questions in advance, maybe I would have sounded smoother. I hate all the "ums" I hear in my voice as in my head I'm trying to think ahead, make sure I don't stumble into Hebrew.

If you have 52 minutes, I hope you'll enjoy the interview. It was, in many ways a bit of therapy for me - a chance to reach outside myself, outside my community and country to spread what is happening here. Too often, the media twists, forgets, ignores.

Thank you to Jewish Broadcasting Service (Shalom TV) and Mark Golub for giving me the time, showing the interest and support, and thanks also to my dear and talented friend Alan who helped coordinate the appearance.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

One Month and Counting

In less than a month, David will become a soldier. I find it hard to explain what I'm feeling. We know the unit now. What color boots he will wear, what day he will go in.

He'll probably be home the first Shabbat and apparently most weekends during the initial training period. After having two sons go through the army, it would seem that it should feel less...less something.

I saw soldiers from his unit a bit over a week ago...and all I could do was think...I'm not ready. I'm honest with myself enough to know that I never will be.

At the request of one mother, I organized a group of parents of soldiers and last week we had our first meeting. It was amazing how many admitted to sleeping with their phones next to them. I even admitted to sleeping once holding my phone through a long night when I was waiting for a call after the Cast Lead war had just begun.

We went around the room and spoke...so many stories, so many differences and yet, so so many things that are the same. The overwhelming love a parent has for a child, the fear, the pride, the worry...it's all there.

We haven't gone shopping yet...there's not really that much to buy before your son becomes a soldier. Some underwear, some undershirts, socks and maybe a strong backpack.

If Davidi is feeling nervous or anything, he isn't sharing that. He spends a lot of time with friends or alone, little time just hanging around downstairs. Some of his friends have already gone in, others will be going in the same time as him, and the final batch in a few months after.

I see many soldiers on a daily basis. It is becoming more and more real that in the coming weeks, Davidi will become one of them...one month...I can't remember the last time I was this desperate for time to slow down...

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Incompetent Terrorist of the Day Award



It's early here in Israel - but by a little after 8:00 a.m., we'd had our first terror attack and first neutralization - in this case, a double. A Soldier's Mother has decided to award special recognition to the men (and women) who are simply to stupid to even be a terrorist.
Yes, this is called "black humor" - it's what people feel when they can't laugh and they don't want to cry. So though it is early today, I am not sure this latest attack can be beaten for sheer blessed incompetence.

So....today's ITOTD Award (Incompetent Terrorist of the Day) goes to two terrorists who thankfully failed THREE times...first they tried to get on a SCHOOL bus...thankfully, the driver closed the door; they tried ANOTHER bus...that driver also quickly shut the doors and drove off. By then, the police arrived, after being tipped off by a witness who was following and watching.

Some report they tried to get into a synagogue; others report the police shot the terrorists when they stabbed a young man getting on a bus. Either way, one Israeli wounded and taken to hospital; one terrorist is in negotiations for his 72 virgins (jokes on him) and one is wounded and being treated by MADA.

Huge hat tip to The Muqata for once again providing fast and accurate updates in English. (If everyone would follow them...I could probably retire from Facebook.)

May the rest of the day be blessed and quiet.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

When the Arabs Make Our Point Better Than We Ever Can


According to popular misconceptions, the left will always tell you there is hope for tomorrow and the right will always tell you that peace is un-achievable. The left will tell you that Israelis just have to be more accepting, more able to see the good in every human being; and the right will say that all Arabs are our enemy...Every. Single. Damn. One. Of. Them. These are the words of people who do not understand left, center, or right.

Ironically, the majority of people who have daily interactions with Arabs...are right wing. We live next to them, among them, not in some tower in Tel Aviv perched on high as a few Arabs sweep the streets below. We ride the same trains, wait at the same bus stops. By interactions, I mean discussions, comments, etc.

I was recently told by a woman that I am a target but she is not. I'm a target because I live in Maale Adumim, and she lives in Raanana. Obviously, she said this a few weeks ago, before two terrorists chose her city to make the point that she is as much a target as I am; that they do not differentiate between those who live here versus those who live there.

We are right wing. We are not stupid. We are not filled with hatred. We are not, as my college friend (now a big thinker in a think tank in Washington from which he tells us of maps and solutions that will bring the peace he envisions for us), said a few years ago, living in "limbo." We lead productive lives, filled with family and friends, work, social events and more. My city has a museum, a Cultural Center, a Music Conservatory and a Country Club. Bowling alley. Schools. Emergency Medical Care Center. In short, we are simply Israelis. On average, we are as educated, as intelligent, as honorable, as peace-loving as those who live anywhere else in this country.

Many months ago, a left/center wing writer attempted to portray left, right and center. Conveniently slanting each article so that his view would seem logic while everyone else would seem illogical, hysterical, uninformed. I protested that he had no right to speak for me and mine and so I won't make the same mistake. I will try my best not to tell you about the left and the center but to focus, from this point onward at least, to tell you about the right.

For the last few days, friends on the left have said things that I would never say aloud; things they would be shocked to hear were said over 30 years ago by Rabbi Meir Kahane, a man they would quickly and decisively label as an extremist, a racist. Wouldn't they be shocked to know they were echoing his words and sentiments?

I remained, for the most part, silent. The Palestinians are making my point better than I ever could. I will leave the left to struggle for a balance between their many attempts to bridge Arab-to-Israeli gaps with today's reality. Instead, I want to tell you about the right. We may have settled in a place to the east, north, or south of Jerusalem rather than the west but we are no less human, no less desiring peace for our families and country than anyone else.

We too dream of a day when our children won't be soldiers; when we won't need or be reassured by the presence of armed security forces in the streets of our cities. And more, we are working for that reality on the ground every day.

We all want to get to the same "end" - a land where 13 year old boys ride bicycles and come home safely at the end of the day rather than raise knives and stab people; where 15 year old girls giggle with their friends and complain about their hair, rather than attempt to infiltrate and murder innocent people in their homes. Where mothers are not taken from their four children and fathers don't die defending their families; where people can go into a mall, and not find themselves under attack.

The difference between left, right and center is not the goal, but the path we must take to get to that bright future, and perhaps, who will be sharing this country when we get there.

We know the Arab leadership is intentionally stirring others up, increasing the rhetoric and the hate. We also know that those in the Arab community who know that we want peace and quiet and want it just as much as we do. There are those in the Arab community who are condemning the violence and reaching out to stop it. The problem, as always is proportionality. How many Arabs are condemning these attacks...how many similar attacks are being perpetrated against Arabs by Jews? How many Arab leaders have condemned the violence and demanded that it stop? And more, how many have examined their own community to understand why 13-year-old Arab boys and 15-year-old Arab girls are going out trying to murder Jews?

When we are at war with Gaza, the world demanded that we be proportional - our missiles would have to miss just like theirs; our soldiers have to fail, just as theirs so often did. In the world's misguided view, a dead Hamas gunman killed in the midst of a gun battle was equal to an Israeli child murdered by a mortar while in his home. One for one - the world did not differentiate.

And now, when our people are being stabbed in the streets, the world is still blind. An injured 13 year old Arab is a victim as much as the 13 year old boy stabbed by that Arab boy. Worse, Mahmoud Abbas lies and says we murdered a 13-year-old Arab child in cold blood, while that very child is in an Israeli hospital in far better condition than the Jewish child he tried to murder.

The painful reality for the left is that our friends in the Arab community will do nothing to bring Abbas down; in fact, they will do all they can to protect and promote him because their lives are at risk if they do anything else. We on the right see that and so we are not crippled and without hope when we hear them praise Hamas and Fatah.

So, to my friends in the center and left - you are mistaken if you think we don't want peace every bit as much as you...and perhaps more, as we are the ones on the front lines. Don't think we hate all Arabs - we don't. And definitely don't think that you understand them better than we do.

The big difference between us is not what we want but what we dream of. You dream of a world that can never exist and mourn that it isn't here already. We dream of molding this reality into a better one.

And more, we think your dreams weaken us and open us to the attacks we have been experiencing for the past few weeks. Secretly and not even secretly, we desperately wish you WERE right, that your WAY could succeed. But when we see the depth of their hatred, when we see them poison their own children as they try to kill ours...we lose hope that your dreams of the future can even be realized.

We want you to stop because when they hear you speak, they believe we can be defeated. We can't be...we won't be...and the one thing I can offer you on the left is that it isn't so much that you are wrong...as that you are wrong about it now. There will come a day when I will stand beside you and work as hard for peace and believe in it every bit as much as you do...because when that day comes, the one major difference between then and now is that we will have a partner; we will have people who want peace as desperately as we do because they want their children to live...

Till then, yes, the left is shifting to the right...and the right is welcoming them because whether you are on the left or the right - we are one people.

We have hope for tomorrow, and all our tomorrows. For now, we dream and hope for security - basic safety so that our children can go to school; that we can go shopping and go to work in safety. We want to walk in the streets without fearing a knife in our back or a car coming towards us as we wait for a bus.

Till that time in the future, when the Arabs understand that they have no option to accept that we are here and always will be, that talking must be done rather than attacking, till that time…each time there is another wave of these senseless violent attacks. The left shifts towards the right...and the right welcomes them because whether you are on the left or the right - we are one people.

Defiant...Determined...Dedicated...

Us, not them...us!

Before I went to bed, I wrote this on Facebook:
The news says two Arab terrorists attempted to stab a soldier near Hebron/Kiryat Arba and were neutralized...no injuries (to the soldiers).
What the news doesn't say is that my daughter called me because she and her friends heard the shots and were told to go inside. The dorm counselor locked the gates.

What the news doesn't say is that all day long, Arabs have been stoning cars (one man murdered) after his car was hit by rocks and then he was deliberately run over by a Palestinian driver (who is not being protected by the Palestinian police).

What the news doesn't tell you is that again people were stabbed today; again people were hurt, again terror attempted to defeat us and again, today, it was defeated.

Because as we close down for the night, we are not defeated, we are not going to give up. We are saddened by the violence; we are angry at those who do not see and understand that the root cause of this conflict is not (and never has been) Israel.

And tomorrow morning, we will all rise in our beautiful land and we will go to school and we will go to work and we will shop and we will walk and we will be...free and alive and dedicated to being who were were yesterday, who we were today, and who we will be tomorrow. We are the people of Israel. Am Yisrael Chai - the people, the nation of Israel lives.
Then, my daughter called and I could feel she was nervous, bordering on a bit scared and definitely saddened as she listened to a friend crying because the friend's neighbor had been killed/murdered earlier in the day and my mood went downhill a bit.

I woke this morning, free and alive and dedicated...rededicated to being who I have always been. And a few minutes ago, my daughter sent me pictures of small children handing out Israeli flags, of signs her friends are preparing to hang around Jerusalem. I've been seeing similar signs for a while now - they are wonderful...their message uplifting.

We are defiant....we are determined...and most of all, we are dedicated.

Our signs say it all:


The People of Israel Live










An eternal nation is not afraid of a long path


When Your Child is Scared

There are few more debilitating days in a parents lives than those that happen when your child is sick or scared (or both). I have been blessed, so so very blessed, with healthy and strong children. Other than the normal childhood illnesses, I have, with such gratitude to Hashem (God) been spared and pray with all that is inside me to continue to be.

But I've had to deal with children who are scared, children who are upset, saddened, even verging on devastated. Last night, Aliza was somewhere between scared and upset, a little bit sad but nowhere near devastated.

This year, for a variety of reasons (mostly negative ones related to her previous school), we decided that Aliza would switch schools. After the cold relationship she had with teachers and the administration, she was looking for exactly what the school here told us they could not and would not provide - a warm, caring environment where the measure of a student was not solely based on grades and performance but the nature and caring of the child.

She found this warm place in a school that requires almost a two hour commute and so for the first time in her life, she lives four nights a week away from home. As an example of the warmth of the school, Aliza's friend didn't feeling like taking part in a required school activity and unfortunately didn't let the school know. The school decided to punish Aliza's friend (and a few other girls) by requiring them to stay late. So when other girls would leave and head home for the weekend at 5:00 p.m., the friend and a few others would be required to stay until 7:00 p.m.

This is a standard and acceptable punishment - except not now and not there. The school where Aliza goes is in Kiryat Arba - bordering...and I mean BORDERING...on Hebron, one of the most violent and hate-filled Palestinian cities. Israeli cars are regularly stoned on the roads around Hebron, and a few days ago, an Islamic religious leader in Hebron called on the Arabs to commit more suicide attacks.

The buses that go in, through, and out of Kiryat Arba are bullet-proof and so relatively safe for the passengers. But to send two 15 year old girls home alone at that hour from that place was not reasonable. Two...because Aliza refused to come home without her friend, even though the thought of coming home at that hour frightened her.

Despite her wanting me not to, I called the school and explained in my less-than-eloquent Hebrew that while I do not oppose them handing out punishments, this one was too much, given the circumstances. And I explained that I was calling not because the one being punished was my daughter, but because ultimately, my daughter would not leave her friend.

The school rescinded the punishment immediately, promising to speak to Aliza's friend on Sunday, and lavishly praised Aliza for being such a caring friend, a true friend - and, said the woman on the phone, that's more important than anything else. I really love the values of this new school.

So, we balance the wonder of the school with the issue of where it is located. So far, Aliza has been coping very well with the distance, the trip, etc. and has made many new friends. She likes her teachers and more importantly, for the first time in years, she feels that the teachers and the administration like and care about her.

Last night, close to 10:00 p.m., she called me on the phone. We often speak at night, so the hour didn't concern me. But she asked me if I had heard any news. She asked me to open my computer and check.

She had heard gunfire and perhaps the sound of explosives and she didn't know what was happening. Sure enough, there it was - two Arabs had tried to stab soldiers nearby and were both neutralized. I have come to love that word "neutralized." Murdering is what they have been doing; killing brings sympathy. But neutralized is great because we know it as a word that mean removing a threat - neutralizing the danger. You don't neutralize something good.

She also told me that the dorms were quiet and sad because some of her new friends knew the man that was killed earlier in the day. His car had been hit by stones and for some reason, he stopped the car and seems to have exited the car. He was run over by an Arab driver - the Israeli security forces are investigating but are stuck because the driver is being protected by the Palestinian Authority, which refuses to cooperate with Israel.

Aliza's friends know this man as a neighbor and friend of their families and so it was a sad day yesterday and a scary one for my daughter.

It isn't easy when your children are sad or frightened. It's even harder when they are far away and you can't comfort them with a hug as you once did when they were little.

All you can hope is that today will be a better day for her, her friends, the community and school that has been so nice to her, and for all of Israel.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Beersheva Terror Attack Moments Ago

Moments ago, there was a terror attack in Beersheva, a name that dates back to the Bible...a place where Abraham, our forefather visited. It is ancient and modern - both of them uniquely Jewish.

Six Israelis have been injured...at least one is in critical condition. Among the injured - those who rushed to defend - a policeman, a soldier.

What I would like to post is this:
Moments after the attack, President Obama phoned Netanyahu to condemn the incident and Kerry called Abu Mazen demanding that he reign in the terrorists. Both men demanded that the Palestinians stop the incitement and Abu Mazen immediately agreed and denounced the attack.

In reality - it is very likely that there will be silence from the White House, silence from the State Department. Abu Mazen's Fatah and Hamas in Gaza will praise the murderers and very shortly, I'll hear fireworks from the neighboring villages as they celebrate their latest victory over innocent human beings who just wanted to get home at the end of the work day.

Newspapers that I once respected - The New York Times​ and others will speak of two dead Palestinians in this ongoing "cycle of violence" - never mind that they chose their destiny the minute they took a gun and aimed it an innocent people.


And Israel is now hearing that there were seven victims, possibly all in their 20s...four are now said to be policemen, 1 soldier, and 2 civilians. We know, in the last few minutes, that one of the victims has died. The city is sealed off, mass transportation shut down while police search for another terrorist.

May God grant them a refuah shlayma - a full and complete recovery and may those who armed and sent these terrorists know no peace - not in this life and not in the next.

I'm Not in the Army Yet

"I'm not in the army yet." So spoke David on Friday when he and Aliza were discussing something. My memory is gone. I can't remember things - I'm too stressed and focused on what is happening. I get distracted so easily. I go to do something, hear my phone beep...and whatever I was going to do is forgotten.

So they were speaking to each other, these two youngest children of mine, and something in what they said got to me and I said that I was going to share it here on the blog.

Then I turned to David, who is about a month away from entering the army, and told him that of course he's going to have to start telling me everything that happens in his life so I can write it here. He snorted. He did!

I told him that his brothers did this daily - called me and reported in so I could write. Well, he knows that for the lie it is and anyway, I was smiling so much and laughing, clearly I lacked credibility.

And then he said, "I'm not in the army yet" and I smiled and laughed and took a pen to write it down while he attempted to grab the paper.

He's not in the army. We haven't gone shopping for the things he needs to get but he got an SMS telling him the date and the division. It's a scary one for me, though I'm not sure what unit would not be scary.

I know he's joining the army in a month...and all I can think to do about it is cry. Years ago, a stupid journalist from a stupid newspaper in a stupid country (okay, I'm exaggerating) wrote to ask if he could interview me. His name was Faisal (an Arab name) and so I decided it would be safest to either decline or answer him by email. I chose email.

He asked me absurd questions that could easily have endangered Elie's life (what is his unit, where are they, what's his cell number, what's his job in the army, etc.) to which I responded by asking him how stupid he thought I was.

One of his questions was whether we threw a party the night before Elie went to war and I responded by asking him what kind of society he comes from. It's a month away and I already know that I will cry my eyes out the night before David goes into the army.

Last week, I went to a ceremony at the Kotel for the incoming Givati soldiers. I've been to a few. This time, there was a difference. First, there were many guards all around - on the way there, at the Kotel itself, all around the trains, and more. The ceremony itself was rushed and done very quickly - if trouble broke out on the Temple Mount, just on the other side of the Kotel, moving thousands of people to safety would be a logistical nightmare.

And the speakers spoke quickly...and it all zoomed past.

And then, as I walked away from the Old City, I saw the most amazing sight...young people were dancing with each of the Givati soldiers as they exited the gate. It was so beautiful...so special. I stood there and watched soldiers joining the teenagers. Often the teenagers handed the soldiers their flags and danced around them.

After  a few minutes, I walked away and as I walked, I began to cry. I'm so not ready for David to go in the army. I haven't had time to adjust...which is, of course, a terrible lie. I've known for 19 years that this day was coming. I've known from the day Shmulik left the army, that Davidi would follow a few years later. I had my break; my time to relax and not worry.

It's time to be a soldier's mother again. Actively. In pride, in fear. In trust, in worry.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Does this kid look dead to you?

This is a 13-year-old boy who is in the hospital in Israel. But wait, before you gather up your tears and sympathy - he's in the hospital because he was shot by an Israeli.

But wait, before you gather up your anger, he was shot because this 13-year-old BOY stabbed and critically injured a 13-year-old Jewish boy.

So - be enraged...enraged at a society that would encourage a 13 year old to try to commit murder.

And then, as if that was not enough, the Chairman of that society, Abu Mazen announced that Israel had killed this boy, who was now a Shahid [martyr], in cold blood. This poor, innocent victim of Israeli aggression.

What a load of....

He's so full of....

Oh, this is hard...ladies and gentlemen, Abu Mazen is a pathetic liar, a desperate liar, and worst of all, a terrible liar because his lies are easily proven as such. Israel today simply released videos and pictures of a very alive 13-year-old boy. No shahid. No cold-blooded murder - except in his eyes when he attempted to kill the Jewish boy riding a bicycle. A hero to no one.

video

I am terribly afraid that Israeli law does not allow throwing this boy into prison (unlike the laws in many Arab countries). I just hope that if he is released, it is not to his parents and not to the society that raised him to violence.

As for Abu Mazen - after being proved a liar, the Palestinian Authority has apparently decided to revoke their statement. Quick thinking, they are...

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Did you ever kill anyone?

I sort of did once. Not really, but despite logic, deep inside of me I believe that in some ways it's true. I carry this person with me, even though I never knew his name. I know that he was 31 years old when he died...six weeks after receiving bone marrow that I donated to him. He was doing so well. It looked like it would work and they were about to let him out of the hospital...and then he died.

Yesterday, I stopped on my way home from work at a mall. I needed to eat something; I needed the bathroom. In the Ladies' Room, I saw a large pink canvas bag sitting in one of the stalls. It's a stupid place to plant a bomb and a very logical place to forget your bag.

Then again, suicide bombers and terrorists are not known to be the brightest people in the world. So I did what I'm supposed to do. I went quickly towards where I knew there were guards. On the way, I saw a policewoman and told her.

I'm not even sure she was on duty - probably on her way home but she asked me again where it was and started to walk towards the bathroom. "Should I tell the guards?" I asked her. She told me that yes, I should, and thanked me.

I walked away with such dread, I can't begin to explain. Within seconds, I had crossed the rest of the large open area and I approached the guard and told him. I told him that the policewoman was going to check; that it was probably nothing, but who knows.

He thanked me quickly and called it in. I left the building, hearing the guard's voice on the walkies-talkies of other guards. One asked the other, "where?" and I heard a second guard answer, "women's bathroom, first floor."

I walked past them towards my car and realized two things. I was waiting for an explosion and there were tears in my eyes. It would have been my fault if something happened to that policewoman.

Of course, I didn't kill that man who had leukemia and whose only chance of life was a bone marrow transplant, but I have to live with the fact that he would probably have lived longer if the database had not found me and told me I was a perfect match.

Of course, if that bag had contained a bomb and if it had blown and if, God forbid, something had happened to the policewoman, it wouldn't have been my fault, not really. But I would have carried her with me as well.

It's hard for me to describe the feeling of dread when you fear, when you believe something is going to explode. Any minute...we have been living that way in Israel, all over Israel, for the last two weeks. The list of places that have been attacked grows longer and longer.

Jerusalem - so many times; Tel Aviv, Haifa, Raanana, Kiryat Gat, Afula...

May you never know the feeling that you caused or may cause someone's death...may you never know the feeling that something close by may explode.

May we all be blessed with peace.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Learning to Live with Terrorism

In the last few days, as Israel has been hit with a wave of terror, I've started to write many times and each time, was only able to capture a fraction of what is on my mind and in my heart. To some extent, feelings are so fleeting, despair so deep, that you realize you can't capture it and you give up. In each half-finished post (or less or more), there is an element I want to share...and then, I get to a point and realize I can't. I can't really explain. I have another thought and so am starting that post but rather than let all these go...I'm going to publish them as they are...unfinished, unedited...unsure. Here's one:

(P.S. You'll see this note above on several posts...when you don't see it, maybe I'll have figured out enough of what I feel to finish the thought completely...or maybe the terror will have ended. No, I have no faith in that happening any time soon.)

.....
In the last I don't know where to start. For me, that's quite an admission. It's been a long time since I came to this blog without a clear thought of what I wanted to write. I've gotten complacent. After 20 years in Israel, two sons in and out of the army, I felt like I was the expert.

I know...well, not on everything, and certainly not when it comes to living and coping in Israel. But I would have said I was so much more than those who came here I'll start by saying that having lived in Israel over 20 years, I have lived through many, many terror attacks...what's been happening in the last few days, as horrible as it is...pales against the scenes forever in my mind

An Open Letter to the World

In the last few days, as Israel has been hit with a wave of terror, I've started to write many times and each time, was only able to capture a fraction of what is on my mind and in my heart. To some extent, feelings are so fleeting, despair so deep, that you realize you can't capture it and you give up. In each half-finished post (or less or more), there is an element I want to share...and then, I get to a point and realize I can't. I can't really explain. I have another thought and so am starting that post but rather than let all these go...I'm going to publish them as they are...unfinished, unedited...unsure. Here's one:

(P.S. You'll see this note above on several posts...when you don't see it, maybe I'll have figured out enough of what I feel to finish the thought completely...or maybe the terror will have ended. No, I have no faith in that happening any time soon.)

Dear World,

This morning, a Palestinian woman blew herself up on the road that goes past my city and into Jerusalem. Her goal was to get herself to downtown Jerusalem (where I work daily) where tens of thousands of people shop and work and kill as many Israelis/Jews as possible. She was stopped with the help of God and an alert policeman from my city.

For many days now, you have ignored the ongoing wave of terror directed at Israelis. You have ignored the murder of parents, the orphaning of children. You do not see the violence, the stabbings, the terror, the stoning attacks and the fireworks used as weapons to attack innocent people who are just trying to live their lives and hold on to some level of normalcy.

The anger we have here boils inside - partly for what is being done here; partly for the Palestinians attempt to twist the facts to claim WE are guilty. A 19-year old stabs a 15 year old...an innocent, unarmed 15 year old waiting for a train...quick acting security manage to shoot and kill the 19 year old before he can kill the 15 year old or anyone else...and Abu Mazen mourns for the 19 year old terrorist/murderer.

A 13 year old Palestinian critically stabbed a 13 year old Jewish boy - and the Palestinians run to the world and complain about the Palestinian 13 year old murderer who was neutralized.

And the other part is that you, the world, are stupid enough and deaf enough to accept the Palestinians at their word and speak of Jews and Arabs at war and Israel and the Palestinians needing to calm down.

Would you calm down if your child was stabbed simply for being in the street waiting for a bus or a train?

Wake up...I would say before it is too late, but I've been on the streets of London and Amsterdam - it's already too late. Europe is dying. As amazing as that sounds, it is the truth. You are about to lose your identity, your enlightenment. Wait, this wave of terror we are experiencing...it's coming your way.

One Attack at a Time

In the last few days, as Israel has been hit with a wave of terror, I've started to write many times and each time, was only able to capture a fraction of what is on my mind and in my heart. To some extent, feelings are so fleeting, despair so deep, that you realize you can't capture it and you give up. In each half-finished post (or less or more), there is an element I want to share...and then, I get to a point and realize I can't. I can't really explain. I have another thought and so am starting that post but rather than let all these go...I'm going to publish them as they are...unfinished, unedited...unsure. Here's one:

(P.S. You'll see this note above on several posts...when you don't see it, maybe I'll have figured out enough of what I feel to finish the thought completely...or maybe the terror will have ended. No, I have no faith in that happening any time soon.)

Unfinished Post # 1:

When you are a soldier's mother, you learn the concept of "one day at a time." It's a common enough idea, one that many people use. Dieting, addiction, coping with long-term, serious illnesses - I've often heard people involved/dealing with each of these situations who say the same thing - take it one day at a time. If you don't succeed in coping today, that shouldn't doom your chances tomorrow...one day.

I learned that with a son in the army - the future was too much to anticipate and so it was today. Today, he is fine; today, he's okay. Where they'll move him to tomorrow, what will happen tomorrow...that's a whole day away. No reason to worry today. The mind has an endless capacity to overcome all logic.

For the past few days, Israel has suffered more terror attacks than I can count. We will learn to cope, we will overcome. The how is the question. I've been here a long time, experienced this before...as many of my friends are new...I wanted to explain how it was compared to how it is and how we can and will survive this.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The End of Yemen's Jews

According to The Muqata News Agency (fancy term but well deserved for one of the fastest, most accurate news reporting groups around), "the government of Yemen has declared that all Jews remaining there must convert to Islam or be expelled. There are about 180 Jews still living there."

So first, this likely means another airlift...the last for Yemen's Jews...in Israel, there are tens of thousands of Yemenite Jews living, thriving here. It's time for the last 180 to come home. A bigger question will be for the Jewish holy sites - the synagogues and cemeteries. I doubt we can bring this all to Israel, yet who will guarantee the safety of these places?

I want to say that I expect the world to scream out in anger. Forced conversion? What are we...back in the days of the Inquisition? The Crusades? And yet, clearly such barbaric tendencies still exist.

I want to demand that the United States worry about these 180 lives...

I want the United Nations to stop the world and rescue these people...my people.

But in the end, somehow, some way, Israel will get them. I believe that with complete faith. There must be a plan somewhere, Bibi...bring them home. Bring them to safety.

Once, long ago, Israel flew planes to Yemen and told the Jews to get onboard. Many of them had never seen planes and so their rabbis told them - on the wings of eagles, God will rescue you...these are the eagles...

Please Bibi...please God, let the eagles fly. Bring. Them. Home.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Josh Earnest Wants Us All to Just Get Along

Note: I attempted to publish this on The Times of Israel, but it was rejected. A site that publishes pretty much every curse word I have ever heard, refuses to publish a post calling a diplomat an idiot after he failed to use the word "terrorism" in his rush to urge "Israelis and Palestinians" to show restraint.
“We are deeply concerned about recent violence and escalating tensions in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms violence against Israelis and Palestinian civilians.
We call upon all parties to take affirmative steps to restore calm and refrain from actions and rhetoric that would further inflame tensions in that region of the world.” -- Josh Earnest
Dear Josh,

I hope it's okay that I call you by your first name. In Israel, we are much more informal than the US. Many kids here call their teachers by their first names; soldiers call their commanding officers that way. Hell, we even call the Prime Minister by his nickname!

So, I heard your recent statement about the..um...violence in Israel and I just had to write to tell you. Josh, you're an idiot.

The US is deeply concerned? Glad to hear it and I can assure you that no one, no one is as concerned as the Israelis. Here we are, trying to live our lives as normally as possible when all of a sudden, some lunatic maniac extremist knife-wielding person comes out of nowhere and starts stabbing people!

You said, "The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms violence against Israelis and Palestinian civilians." Well, that's fine and cute but anything but fair. Did you happen to notice that the Palestinian civilians were carrying knives and placing them, not very gently, into Israelis? Usually their backs?

Then, you went from dumb to stupid, "We call upon all parties to take affirmative steps to restore calm." Um...so far, our actions have focused primarily on shooting the terrorists...I mean Palestinian civilians sticking knives into Israelis. But you may have something there...so what you are saying is that restoring calm is very important, right?

Sadly, the only sure-fire way to do that now is to take steps that we are hesitant to take. See, we can't really know which Arab has a knife until he or she uncovers it, raises it in the air, and prepares to plunge it into someone. At that moment, with the assistance of gravity, restoring calm is probably not realistic. So, to get to that calm place you're thinking of, we'd have to get there before the knife is uncovered.

If you really feel that we need to take steps to restore the calm, what that amounts to, at this moment, is keeping the Arabs who are attacking Israelis out of arms reach - so they can't stretch out their arms and stab Israelis. But, as you have probably guessed, you can't really tell which Arabs are going to stab and which are simply in our cities to shop, seek medical treatments, work in any number of places...so you see, to keep out the terrorists completely, we'd have to keep the Arabs out of our cities as well. Surely that isn't what you are suggesting, right?

If not, we can't restore the calm; we can't stop the attacks. The Jewish student that was stabbed and critically wounded in Jerusalem near the train - didn't do anything to break the calm. The woman who was stabbed this morning in Tel Aviv didn't do anything to break the calm.

I'm wondering whether you are naive enough to think we can continue to live with these endless attacks, this violence brought into our cities by people who are completely taking advantage of the open nature of our society. The fact is, we cannot "get along" with the Palestinians so long as every answer they have for not getting all that they want involves a violent response.

What you said, Josh, is akin to Israel suggesting that the US and Al Qaida have to learn to get along; have to work together to bring back the calm. If we put Al Qaida and the US on an equal moral plane, you'd be horrified, insulted and you'd probably feel justified in calling us idiots.

So, I'll return the favor. There is no moral equality served by suggesting that the man who stabbed a fifteen year old boy and the man who shot the terrorist and stopped him from killing that child are on the same level, or even live in the same society.

There is no way that the security forces that killed the terrorist who had just murdered two fathers, stabbed a mother and shot a 2-year-old in the leg can restore calm in any way other than what they did - neutralizing the murderer.

There comes a time when a man must stand up for truth rather than continue to speak nonsensical words that others put in his mouth. I encourage you to shed the inane, meaningless language you have been taught in the school of diplomacy and begin speaking the language of honesty.

Israel cannot restore calm because we didn't break it. The only thing you can do with a terrorist is hope to neutralize him before he succeeds in killing.

Our true friends will stand beside Israel in these difficult hours and demand that the Palestinians stop the violence they started, that they finally denounce terrorism and return to negotiations without preconditions.

Anything short of that is, without a doubt, yet another betrayal - not only of Israel but of justice as well. By continuing your silence in the face of this latest wave of terror - a wave that has already cost the lives of at least one US citizen, you play into the hands of the terrorists perfectly.
You teach them that they can get away, quite literally, with murder. If you learn anything from September 11, it should be that terrorism comes to the shores of those who fail to fight it, fail to condemn it, and fail to support others involved in the same fight.

What starts in Israel, spreads to the world. That is true of the light - monotheism, the Bible, the Judeo-Christian faith upon which our countries are built; and it is true of the dark - suicide attacks, attempts to undermine the fabric of our society by introducing values that do not center on life, on peace.


Today, you sounded like an idiot because you agreed to speak the words the White House demands of you, rather than standing for truth and honor.

I can only hope that tomorrow, you will come to your senses and demand, on behalf of a suddenly-enlightened administration, that Abbas reign in the terrorists, stop the ongoing attacks.





Thursday, October 8, 2015

Twelve Hours in Time

Stop for a second and think about the last 12 hours of your life, of what has happened in your city, your country.

Now imagine if all of these happened within a distance roughly the size of New Jersey - a tiny country.


Keeping a Sense of Humor

When I went into labor with my oldest child, I was sent to the hospital. They did an examination and told me to go home and come back later. I was a bit surprised. "When should I come back?" I asked them.

"When you can't tell any more jokes," the doctor said with a smile. I'd been talking, smiling and joking around in between the rather weak contractions. At the time, to be fair, I didn't know the contractions were weak...a few hours later, I had learned quickly.

I went back four hours later and, as the doctor had predicted, I couldn't tell jokes. I remember thinking them and then realizing they would take too much energy and so they went unsaid. I didn't lose my sense of humor; it was just too much to verbalize.

Earlier today, I did lose my sense of humor. Reports were coming in from different parts of the country. It felt like it was every few minutes. I was trying to work and my phone kept beeping. Jerusalem. Tel Aviv. Kiryat Arba. Jerusalem. Stabbings - six people wounded in total, at least two seriously. The terrorists were caught in almost all cases (one got away).

I'm not sure which attack broke me more...the one at the train station that I go to almost daily? The one right in front of the mall that I was in yesterday? The one in the city where my parents live? The one in the city where my younger attends high school?

I thought about all the places where there had been attacks and as this startling pattern began to emerge...so too did my sense of humor. As I smiled a bit, I realized that I was not to be defeated. I posted this to Facebook:
So, I figured this out...I think this whole terror wave is my fault. Yesterday, they hit Petach Tivkah, where my parents live. Last night, close to Maale Adumim...a short while ago, they caught an Arab a few blocks from where I am...then there was an attack near the Azrieli Mall, where I was yesterday...and a few minutes ago, an attack in Kiryat Arba where my daughter goes to school...

Are you sensing a pattern? I think this is all my fault.
One person asked, "eh, where are you going tonight?" (thanks, Yarden).

To which I responded, "I thought you invited me to dinner, no?"

So far, my sense of humor, sick though it might be, has managed to stick around. I had to go out of the office for a bit, and so posted, "Dear Palestinians - I need to go to the shuk and the bathroom. Could you please chill out for the next hour or so?"

It seems that I'm not the only one with a sense of humor today. A Palestinian went into the center of Tel Aviv and began stabbing people. Four people were injured, including a young woman. A brave soldier in the Air Force saw what was happening, stepped out and killed the terrorist, preventing him from hurting others.

Someone posted a picture of his dead body (the terrorists, thankfully) to Facebook showing he was shot in the head. I've cut the picture so that you can see what is on his shirt.

Who says terrorists don't have a sense of humor?   

Though, someone probably should have told him that "Time Heals All Wounds" isn't always guaranteed. I'm thinking a bullet to the center of his forehead is kind of fatal. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Israel Doesn't Run

Just over 4,000 years ago, Abraham was commanded to leave his ome and journey to a far off land that God promised him would be for him and for his descendants. For all that time, uninterrupted, the Jews knew Israel was the place we belonged. We were exiled, and returned; exiled again and returned; and exiled again and returned. After the first exile, we actually never left. There were always Jews in this land from the time the Jews returned from Babylonia until today.

Once the Jews were ONLY in Israel, than mostly, than less. Once again, there are more Jews in this land than in any other in the world. We have been hounded and hunted, persecuted and pursued through centuries and continents. When we began returning in larger numbers, we could have lived with the small Arab population in peace, as we had lived for centuries in their countries and among Christians in Europe and elsewhere. We did not instigate the pogroms, the Crusades, the Inquisitions and the Holocaust.

And we did not instigate the conflict here in pre-Israel Palestine. During those years, the Palestinians were anyone who lived here - Jew or Arab. The Jerusalem Post, the only major English newspaper in Israel was originally called The Palestine Post. We fight a war we did not start, nor did we seek one.

My grandfather was born in Poland; his family had moved there from Spain. He moved to the United States...always seeking a better life, a safer one. His mother and his two sisters died in Auschwitz. He came to Israel once in his life and then promised to take me to Israel...he died before he could fulfill that promise, but my husband and I closed the circle, bringing our children to the only land that was, is, and will be theirs.

We have been fighting for 67 years simply to live in peace. We have been accused of being the aggressors, the occupiers, the conquerors.

Last week, a young Palestinian stabbed a 24 year old Jewish father of two, killing him. He stabbed the man's Jewish wife, who is 22 years old. She screamed for help and begged people...Arabs...to help her. They spat on her and told her to die. A Jewish man came running to help. He was stabbed and killed as well. A two year old child of the Jewish couple was shot in the leg before security forces arrived and killed the Palestinian terrorist.

A day later, a young Palestinian decided to kill Jews too. He stabbed a 15 year old boy...and was then killed by security forces.

President and Chief Liar of the Palestinian "Authority" - Mahmoud Abbas - held his silence about the murder of a young Jewish couple right before the eyes of their four children on Thursday; that he was silent about the murders of two fathers and the stabbing of a Jewish boy. As bad as it was that Abbas held his silence..it was made much worse by the fact that he PRAISED the killers and demanded that Israel be condemned.

And to make it worse, the idiot Secretary General of the UN bowed low before Abbas and condemned Israel. The farce that is the world boggles the mind. A mother and father are gunned down and you praise the killers? What the hell is wrong with these people?

And when Israelis began to protest the wave of terror and demand one of the strongest armies in the world be given the right and the power to defend them, Israel's left came out swinging. One woman in Raanana comfortably explained that she wasn't "a target" of Palestinians. One man suggested the protesters were "right-wing fascists."

Apparently whatever Abbas and Ban Ki-moon have is contagious. And so it could have been that Israel would have celebrated what is normally one of the happiest and best times of the year - a month filled with holidays and vacation and hiking and camping and relaxation, with anger and pain and frustration. That's what the Arabs wanted - now and in the past. It's why they attacked on Yom Kippur 32 years ago and why they often attempts terror attacks during this period.

So last week we mourned and struggled not to sink into so many emotions. We danced harder, sang louder and held our children just a bit tighter.

And then, a few days ago, Bon Jovi came to Israel and sang what he called "the fight song for Tel Aviv" - and by that, I think, he meant all of Israel. I guess I can confess - I have no musical talent, no singing ability. The songs I like are more about content than tune and I'd never heard a Bon Jovi song in my life.

That's probably embarrassing but well, the music in my life is the music of words. I hear music in what I read and sometimes what I write. This time, in the midst of such great sadness, this man came to Israel and sang...and Israel danced to his tune.

No, I don't think he wrote the song for Israel...but he's definitely right - we don't run!



Sunday, October 4, 2015

BBC's Changing Headline

There are certain fundamental facts of life that everyone knows. What those facts are can often differ according to gender, religion, race, nationality. Take two people and show them some incident and often they will come away with two different "facts."

I am, for the most part, thoroughly amazed by the world's impression of Israel (and Jews). I would think a simple view of facts would clarify so much and yet, it never seems to matter. I don't agree, but can understand, when the world tell us that our "owning" the land of Israel 3,000 years ago does not impact on today. But how can the world honestly believe all our problems began in 1967, by the so-called "occupation." Seriously?

The Palestine Liberation Organization - a terror group created to eliminate the Zionist presence in "their" homeland, was created in 1964. No attacks until the Zionists were granted a state of their own? What about the murderous attacks on Hebron in 1929?

This was Palestinian land before Israel occupied it? What about the fact that the British took 2/3 of the Palestine mandate and created a fictitious land named Jordan? What about the fact that we agreed to the Partition Plan in 1947 and it was the Arabs that chose war and then started whining when they lost?

History does not determine truth; that is for sure.

Perhaps it is headlines...yes, maybe the media is so powerful it can manipulate information and truth to influence opinions. That is actually closer to reality than any of us would probably be comfortable with.

Last night, a 19 year old Palestinian decided that the Third Intifada had arrived. He posted to Facebook and then he went out to kill some Jews. Brave "man" that he was - he attacked a Jewish family, stabbing the father and mother. A Jewish man in his 40s, a father of 7, ran out from his home to try to stop the attack. A video taken by Arabs in the marketplace shows they did nothing (ran away and listened and one even casually drank from a can) as they listened to the terrified shrieks of a small child being shot in the leg.

The father of the two children and the father of the seven children were murdered; the mother of the two children is in critical condition. The two year old was shot but will survive; another small child was miraculously uninjured.

The terrorist was eliminated. Shot. Dead.

BBC covered the story.

Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two? First, why was Jerusalem attacking anything? Second, who killed the two? What two?

The Palestinian MURDERED two innocent people. This headline is an outrage, a distortion of the facts. It is a clear attempt to influence your view.

Clearly, you are meant to sympathize with the murdered two, but BBC doesn't want you to blame the poor Palestinian...after all, he was shot dead.

Israel's Facebook exploded with anger. It isn't enough that Palestinian terrorists gunned down a father and mother in front of their four children on Thursday; it isn't enough that cars, buses, and trains are relentlessly being attacked by rock-throwers who by-and-large are getting away with it. It isn't enough that two mothers have been injured in these attacks - both with young babies in the car that miraculously escaped harm. It isn't enough that in last night's attack, another mother is struggling for her life, her two children having already lost their father.

Apparently, even BBC realized that the headlines was nearly as abhorrent as the attack itself.

A short while after untold numbers of protests, BBC modified the heading.


It's an improvement but considering that the Palestinian was dead on the ground with clear proof of his identity and his admission that he died as part of the third intifada, the quote marks are rather telling.

Apparently BBC realized that this too was insulting. The victims are clearly identified, at least some of them (and the missing part is telling...more on that in a moment), so why do they hesitate to identify the murderer? The terrorist? The "man" who thought murdering two fathers and attacking a woman and two babies was acceptable?

BBC does mention that "two others were also injured in a knife attack." Well, there we go with the framing again. The two others that were injured included a two year old baby who was shot. Shot because when Rabbi Lavi ran out to try to save the family under attack, he too was stabbed. The Palestinian terrorist then grabbed his gun and aimed it at the other victims.

Soon, the headline changed again.

It now reads "Jerusalem: Palestinian kills two Israelis in Old City".

The BBC article then goes on to explain about the deaths of the two Israelis. BBC reports on another attack that happened a few hours later - reporting that an Israeli teenager was stabbed and his assailant was also killed by police.

Teenager is really a way of cleansing the act. After all, the murderer himself was a teenager, wasn't he? The boy...yes, boy...that was attacked was 15 years old.

The article also mentions that the attack "comes two days after an Israeli couple were shot dead in the West Bank."

No mention of the fact that as the sun rose over Israel today, there are fourteen orphans. Fourteen children who have lost their fathers (and four that have also lost their mother in the same attack).

BBC does not mention these children, yet they too are victims of these attacks. BBC does not mention families in mourning, communities in shock.

And they don't mention the tears that come to my eyes as I hear my two year old granddaughter call out to her father, "Abba! Abba!" downstairs as I write this.

One crime from the Nazi era that is rarely mentioned was in fact the very crime that enabled the Holocaust to happen - the dehumanization of Jewish lives. When you call a fifteen year old a "teenager"; when you don't mention the shooting of a two year old; when you don't mention 14 orphans; when you call victims "settlers" instead of Jews, Israelis, or simply parents or human beings...all this leads again to the dehumanization of the Jew.

It happened countless times in history. It cannot be allowed to happen here in our homeland. Each victim has a name; each child must be mentioned. The one who chose to be dehumanized was the Arab terrorist. I have mentioned his age but will not mention his name. Instead, I will curse it and pray that his memory be erased - perhaps the worst curse you can give a person according to Judaism.

"Yamach shemo" - erase his name, God, please.

And please bless the Henkin, Lavi, and Benito orphans and watch over them, bless the widows with strength in the coming days. Please grant Adele bat Miriam (Adele, daughter of Miriam) and Natan ben Adele (Natan, son of Adele (and Aharon)), a full and speedy recovery from their wounds.

And please bless the world with clarity of vision to see the threat that faces Israel, and them.

And please continue to bless and watch over Israel. You have taken back to Heaven four amazing souls, whatever tasks you assigned them in this world having been completed. It will be hard, so hard, for those left behind to understand and through their pain accept that these four can now do more in the world-to-come.

Today, we will bury two fathers as on Friday, we buried a father and a mother. Please God, bless Israel with peace.



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