My son and I ride the Jerusalem light rail every morning. I head in one direction for morning prayer services, and he heads the other way for school. And, every day, thousands of Muslims ride the same train; to work, to school, to shop, or just to go to downtown Jerusalem to enjoy what the city has to offer.
This morning, while riding the train home, a young Muslim woman stood casually on the train looking at her phone. She was probably on her way to work; perhaps as a nurse in Hadassah hospital, perhaps in an office or maybe in a store. I couldn’t help but wonder, does it ever cross her mind that she, or her children or siblings might be kidnapped by Jews? Might be held hostage for years—God forbid —or worse?
Only Jewish children in Israel have to be on guard for being snatched and held hostage, only Jewish mothers and fathers have to worry when their children set out for school in the morning.
I’m not saying that all is wonderful for Israeli Arabs, it’s not, but there is no question that their fears, and our fears, are dramatically different.
The fact is, Arabs can and do go anywhere they want in Jerusalem; the zoo, out to dinner on Ben Yehuda, to a movie at Cinema City—anywhere—and never be terrified. Jews, on the other hand, should they inadvertently wander into an Arab neighborhood or town, have good reason to be terrified. And, had the woman on the train this morning been carrying a backpack, then some of her fellow passengers may have become a little nervous.
Jewish children have been brutally murdered, blown-up, and kidnapped across Israel. In Jerusalem, in the Gush, in Netanya, in Sderot, in Tel Aviv – everywhere!
And the Muslims who murder and kidnap children and grandmothers are encouraged and educated to do so by their teachers in school, their counselors in summer camp, their Imams in the mosque and, most tragically, by their parents.
This past Thursday, more than a kidnapping took place. War was declared on every Jewish child, and every Jewish family in Israel.
When my wife looks at the faces of Naftali, Gilad, and Eyal, and slumps weeping in a chair, it’s because when she sees them, she sees our sixteen-year-old son and his friends, and every other Jewish child in Israel as well.
Today, we are all united. We are united with the Sha’ar, Frenkel and Yifrach families; we are united with the soldiers and all those who are trying to find the boys, and we are united in prayer that our boys can sleep in their own beds again tonight.
Let us also pray that terror be utterly defeated, and that our leaders have the wisdom and courage to do whatever, WHATEVER, is necessary to make sure that no Jewish child, anywhere in Israel, should ever again fear tramping home from yeshiva, or boarding a bus or train headed for school, work or for a fun night out with friends.