Dietrich Bonhoeffer remained true to his words above by fighting the Nazis in WWII, and he died for them when he was executed by the Nazis (by hanging) on the 9th of April, 1945. The truth is that I have always associated this quote, then and now, with the world’s silence whenever Jews are murdered, whether in the holocaust or now – just down the street from my hometown of Alon Shevut.
But ever since my neighbor Yaakov Don HY’D was murdered last week, I can’t help but associate this very quote with my own people and my own beloved country as well. I went to a rally last night in Gush Etzion, which happened to be organized by my very own sister, Rivka Epstein Hattin. I was appalled to hear people say that there really are no solutions; that closing down the Arab villages where the terrorists come from, or stopping Arab cars from driving on our roads, or checking every Arab car, or not allowing Arab workers to enter our premises, are all impractical and temporary solutions. My mayor, Davidi Perl, got up and said “This is not going to end anytime soon, tomorrow will bring more of the same; we have a long road ahead of us.”
In my mind, all of these people and so many of us in Israel are all saying the same thing; that the murder of Jews is a fait accompli. We go on with our lives as if the daily murder of Jews is a “normal and acceptable” part of life. But I cannot and will never accept such an idea! We, the Jews living in Israel, are a sovereign people in OUR sovereign state with one of the world’s strongest armies. Why should we accept the idea of being murdered daily in every city and on every road? Why should we not be allowed to live in peace and security, as Netanel Litman wrote in his high school article not long before he was murdered?
I am well aware of the famous saying ‘every bullet has its address’, but what if they did not have any bullets? We MUST squash their ability to have weapons of any kind, whatever it takes! I am not saying that I have all the answers, but I am saying that we need to change our mindset and fast! Just because I am a Jew and I live in Israel does NOT make me a walking target. As I always tell my students; something is always better than nothing. That is to say, I think we have to try anything and everything, and keep on trying, until we win. Bibi, Ruby and all of the other politicians, the army, the police, mishmar hagvul, and all of us must do everything in our power to ensure that no more Jews are killed. Any and every action that saves even one Jew is worthwhile!
Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of how we Jews are able to persevere and carry on in the face of terror. We are strong and we have faith and hope in a better tomorrow. What I’m not proud of, is how we allow the terrorists to carry on!
One last thought. The Arab world must choose, for once and for all, which side of history they are going to be on. They must stand up and say no more to the terrorism in their midst or face the consequences. Silence is acquiescence. It is so ironic that one of the people murdered along with Yaakov and Ezra HYD, was an Arab from Hebron. Even more ironic and sick is the fact that they gave him a “martyrs” funeral, as if he, just by being an Arab, was a part of the effort to murder Jews – even though he was really an innocent bystander! The Arabs are in as much danger as we are if they allow terrorist murderers to kill innocent people. Just yesterday, two Arab teenagers in the shuk in Jerusalem, mistakenly stabbed a 70 year old Arab man. The Arabs, here in Israel and all over the world, need to stand up and say “NO MORE TERRORISM, NO MORE MURDER!”
And…we Jews need to stand up and scream “NOT ONE MORE!”