Or, “Too close for comfort”.
That’s how today’s news feels, hitting very close to home. Sure, the whole country, probably the entire Jewish people, remember this summer’s trauma when three teenage boys were abducted and murdered in Israel, simply for being themselves. Mothers hugged their children tighter, the country’s accepted hitchhikers became more wary, and pretty soon after – we found ourselves under missile attack in Tel Aviv and entrenched in a war with Gaza.
Today, just a few months later, the terrorist mastermind responsible for murdering Eyal, Gil-Ad and Naftali was sentenced in an IDF court of law, Judge Lieberman presiding. Kawasmeh had defense lawyers and freedom of speech. His family was invited and he was able to give expression to his deeds. No remorse. No human empathy. He gave up his right to be called human, if you ask me, when he began collecting the few hundred thousands of shekels it cost to put his awful plan together.
These boys are all of us. They are our sons, and brothers. They are our people, and they have become the symbol of all that is good, as their eloquent, brave mothers (and fathers) have allowed the people of Israel to adopt them into our hearts.
Three life sentences cannot ever do justice for this heinous crime, but we can try to make things right. It is our job to send two clear messages: One, that Israel is fair and moral. Our system judges terrorists in a court of law. Our IDF is just that, a defense force. We will continue to defend ourselves morally, legally and physically against all threats of aggression and hatred. And now that we’ve established that, let’s make sure this is clear too: it’s not worthwhile to mess with us – on the ground, in the UN, or anywhere else.
p.s. Special shout-out to our friends in Washington who are effectively legislating for US-Israel joint interests, with the newest members swearing in this week on Capitol Hill.