Friday, March 07, 2008

Names of the Dead

The names- and ages- of the yeshiva students killed yesterday have been released:

The fatalities were named as Yochai Lipschitz, 18, of Jerusalem; Yonatan Yitzchak Eldar, 16, of Shiloh; Yonadav Chaim Hirschfeld, 19, of Kochav Hashahar; Neriah Cohen, 15, of Jerusalem; Roey Roth, 18, of Elkana; Segev Pniel Avihayil, 15, of Neveh Daniel; Avraham David Moses, 16, of Efrat; and Maharata Trunoch, 26, of Ashdod.
Children. Freaking children.

As I said in a protracted DovBear thread yesterday, what really kills me, as someone who works with children, is the idea that THEY have been the ones to suffer so much over the past several decades of craziness for the decisions and beliefs of their elders. I look at this attack and am disgusted and sickened. But in my attempt to feel something of what those children's families are going through, I also realize that I can be no less moved by stories like this.

I understand defense. I understand retaliation. But there's something about dead and suffering children that seems to make politics rather facile.

In the meantime, we are left to digest the news that the attacker was from East Jerusalem, and may have known his victims (this story is still being debated; the yeshiva denies it. In any event, it underscores the fear and paranoia that each attack, particularly by Palestinians working in Israel, or Israeli Arabs themselves, impresses upon the Israeli populace). Jerusalem has always been a thorny issue regarding any Palestinian state, but this underscores the fact that, even within the same city supposedly under Israeli sovereignty, there is still "enemy territory." What will the next few months bring to Jerusalem in the way of security, I wonder?

Even semi-notable voices on the left are outraged:

Last week, when Israeli forces drove into Gaza, and some 120 Palestinians were killed, many of them were gunmen, but with children making up another sixth of the total, one grieving father spoke with quiet eloquence, saying "Other places in the world, when this happens, there is a great outcry. When this happens here, the world is silent. No one cares."

He's right. The world has grown content to let Palestinians die. The reason is not simple callousness. And it is not, as Hamas proclaims to its followers in Gaza, that the Jews control the world media and world finance, and thus Western government as well.

The reason is terrorism.

The world has grown weary of the Islamist's creed, that only the armed struggle can resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that the only proper resolution is the end of Israel.

Even the Israeli left, which for decades championed the Palestinian with courage and determination, has, in large part, had it with the Palestinians. The reason is terrorism. The reason is murder. The reason is that the rulers of Gaza are people who see an intrinsic value in the killing of Jews for the sake of increasing the number of dead Jews in the world. .

As for myself, for the first time, I think I am starting to understand the argument behind "transfer." I still think it's a bad idea, a simplistic idea ("No Arabs no terror"), and an idea predicated on the idea that human rights are something you give lip service to, not actually believe in.

But the basic premise of "how can we live next-door to people who want us dead?"... I'm starting to understand that. Which I find very sad, if not a little scary. (Even more so, the thought that maybe some derivations of that idea actually do make some sense- though, of course, it would make more sense if there weren't tons of pockets of Israelis in the West Bank surrounded by oodles of Palestinians, quite a few of whom probably would like to do them harm.)

If that's a problem for some people, I can only offer my apologies. I'll take the flak, but all the thank yous should be sent to Ala Abu-Dhein.

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