The Unthinkable Has Taken Place
A little over a week ago, as over a hundred Dallasites came together here at Tiferet, overwhelmed by profound grief and at a loss for words, because of the savage and brutal murder of three innocent Israeli teenagers, I exclaimed “G-d forbid”, not once, not twice, but three times, that we Jews should sink to the sub-human level of those Arabs who kidnapped, murdered and burned the bodies of Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrach. My worst nightmare has come true, with the kidnapping, murder and burning of a Palestinian teenager, in what appears to have been a revenge killing. Six extremist Israeli youths have been apprehended. They have confessed.
Even though the unthinkable has taken place, I implore everyone to refrain from making unfounded comparisons. There is no comparison, when one looks at the alacrity with which the Israeli authorities apprehended the perpetrators of the dastardly act in Shoafat and the inability of the Palestinian authorities to apprehend the perpetrators who committed the dastardly act in the West Bank close to a month ago, despite the fact that their identities are well known.
Even though the unthinkable has taken place, it is unconscionable on our part to draw any moral equivalency. There simply isn’t any. When the horrific kidnapping took place last month, Palestinians were rejoicing and dancing from the rooftops. Palestinians, including an Arab member of the Knesset were blessing the hands of those who murdered and immolated three innocent Jews. When the horrific kidnapping took place last week, Israelis were, and still are condemning the murder of Mohammad Abu Khdair in the strongest of terms. The outrage is so great, that I fear for the families of those who have been apprehended. They are destined to live out the rest of their lives in ignominy. As for the Palestinians who murdered and immolated the three Israeli teenagers last month? They have already been beatified!
Even though the unthinkable has taken place, I defy any and all comparisons made between Israeli and Palestinian society. The outrage in Israel is twofold: with the exception of the extremists in our midst, Israelis deplore the snuffing out of innocent lives. Whether it be Christian, Moslem or Jew, Israelis understand “thou shalt not commit murder” as being sacrosanct. In addition to the revenge murder (Judaism deplores revenge; vengeance is the L-rd’s), Israelis are outraged at the stain on society that has been created. Israelis pride themselves of not sinking to the level of its enemies. To quote the late Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, when he lashed out at Dr. Boruch Goldstein twenty years ago, for the carnage Dr. Goldstein created in a Hebron mosque (Dr. Goldstein was beaten to death on the spot by the angry mob) You are an errant weed…sensible Judaism spits you out… You are a shame on Zionism and an embarrassment to Judaism.
The unthinkable has taken place. Perhaps it is time for us to “sit Shivah” for the calamity that has been brought upon us … from within.