Monday, March 14, 2011

The Land of Milk, Honey and Tragedy

There is a lot to be said in favor of living in Israel - the people, the sense of community, the history, the beaches, the nightlife, etc. A land of milk and honey… But then comes a human tragedy. A sudden flash of senseless violence – all in the name of God, Allah and someone’s favorite political cause.

Massacre at Itamar
The most recent incident is the massacre at Itamar – a small Jewish settlement in the West Bank. The short version for those who “missed it”: one or more terrorists infiltrated the settlement on Friday night, broke into a house and slaughtered the sleeping parents and three of their children. The longer version can be found at,7340,L-4041237,00.html.

You can turn that into a “political debate”: Are the settlements legitimate? Do they present obstacles to peace? Do Jews have a right to purchase land and live anywhere? Were the terrorists influenced by Palestinian incitement? Do Palestinians have a right to attack Jews who purchased land and settled in the West Bank? And so on.

But slaughtering children in their sleep should NOT be the subject of a “political debate”.

These children were not “collateral damage” of a struggle between adults with different ideologies. These children are victims of an intentional, horrible crime specifically targeted at them. Children should not be targeted regardless of what their parents’ religion, or political views are.

I can’t stop thinking about this tragedy. Not as an Israeli, not as a Jew, but as a parent. What if these were my own children? What if these were your children? Senseless killing of children is beyond words, and should never happen.

I don’t know who “sent” these murderers. I can only hope this was a spontaneous act by people who lost their sanity. However if this was a pre-meditated act by a political group, than hopes for peace in our lifetime are seriously dimmed.

I don’t even know what the proper “reaction” should be. I do know that neither side will politically gain from this. If anything, the extremists on both sides will harden their stance.  And the cycle of violence will continue.

The milk and honey taste a bit bitter today.


  1. I think you are splitting hairs, or in a more Solom-esque sense, splitting babies, to draw a bright line difference between Jewish or Palestinian children in disputed territory. The children hiding in a school in gaza are no more guilty than the children sleeping in their beds in Itamar. One might seem more terrible because the killing was done face to face, but I suggest to you that there is no difference at all - certainly there isn't to the dead children. It is certainly the most terrible crime. But the radicals on each side cannot survive if the terror does not continue. We are all at their mercy.

  2. In regard to children:
    With high regard to children:
    Children, women, civilians suffer directly in and from combat situations. This is a whole issue on its own.
    I believe that here we speak about a premeditated act which is AIMED DIRECTLY AT CHILDREN, babies, women, civilians, with the purpose of murder.
    And yes, this "qualifies" as is rape, sexual abuse, mutilation, drugging children and turning them into murderous child soldiers,and so on.
    For some reason of which I am not aware, the world tolerates all of these and many more.I believe each and everyone can make and have their clearcut stance in regard to this situation. I am not speaking about actions and practicalities. I am talking about taking a moment to declare one's stance.

  3. Dear Anonymous,
    Your anonymity is a similar haven to the one the terrorists found in schools, hospitals, ambulances and mosques in Gaza. Usually mixed with civilians. Many times behind children. Go and find yourself another blog to pour your senseless, insensitive propaganda.

  4. This was so horrible. I saw this on Glenn Beck (the only news person who reported it in the states) and think death is too good for the cowards that did this. No real man kills a child. They are less than animals because even animals don't do this.

    My family has been praying for that community and your country.