Three days ago I wrote an emotionally charged article about a fellow blogger and the attitude he shares with most of the world. The attitude that Israel should not react with military force against Hamas following the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers and another wave of rocket attacks on our civilian populations in the south. I found it absurd that this camp of idealists, pacifists, docile thinkers believes that it is actually possible and necessary to negotiate and engage in diplomacy with terrorists. Many people agreed with me and shared in this concern. In my article, “Get off of Your Moral High Horse: This is an Asymmetrical War” I was referring to the act of justifiable Israeli military doctrine against a rogue group of terrorists who target both our civilians and their own. I want to make it very clear that I was discussing military revenge on terrorist targets, not the murder of innocent civilians by civilians.
A recent unfolding of events over the last few days has shaken the country. This is the revenge kidnapping and tragic murder of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir. Assuming that this act was carried out by the Jewish men that are detained in questioning by Israeli authorities, I now have another member of the clan to be angered by. I am talking about the docile left’s polar enemy- the extremist Zionist. The people who while committing crimes fueled by nationalistic fervor and Zionism actually hurt our cause and our dignity more than can be repaired.
It is a different kind of blow, when not only your enemies seek to destroy you, but when those who share in your pride and identity, relinquish control and diminish to the same level as barbarians. This is what sinking to their level actually means. Not pre-emptive strikes on terrorist cells, not interrogating possible criminals, but civilian revenge. When Israelis such as these six men forget that this war is asymmetrical, and they tilt things, they strive for the balance. The resort to copycat revenge.
The moment that civilians on our side choose violence, we lose all of our credibility. Israel appears in the headlines with a story of brutal civilian retaliation and moves further away from any chance of being seen as a state acting how she should to protect her citizens while maintaining regard for human rights on both sides. This event causes a distraction which paints Israel in an extremely negative light as a whole, and this is exactly what the Palestinians rioting in the streets want, it is exactly what the foreign media misrepresenting our morals and values want. It is what every single denier of the Jewish State of Israel, claiming that we are aggressive occupiers wants. They want their baseless demonization of Israel to have legitimacy. And if Jewish extremists continue to react as they did this week, then they will.
In Israel, details have just emerged about an Arab Israeli taxi driver who stabbed a 20 year old Afula resident named Shelly Dadon in May and left her in a parking lot to die. This probably won’t make international headlines because CNN is too busy telling the world that Israelis committed an atrocity.
I know that I’m not the only Israeli or Jew who condemns this tragedy, because I know that our society values life and decries murder, and I’ve already seen waves of dissent among us towards this terrible event. I am very confident that no one in our country will be holding up fingers or photos to mock the loss of innocent life as was done towards our three boys. Whoever is responsible for the death of Mohammed Abu Khdeir will be tried in a court of law and sent to jail. No Israelis throwing stones at the ambulance carrying his body, no Jews dancing in the streets of Tel Aviv celebrating a “victory”. That is one of the differences between our culture and that of our radical Palestinian neighbors. We cherish life and lament death on both sides. At Eyal, Gilad and Naftali’s funerals their family members remembered the lives of their lost ones, and wished for peace between both sides and at Muhammed’s funeral, his friends and family members chanted ‘Intifada’.
This is why we will never have peace. Not because of the military actions being taken against Hamas. This goes beyond. It is because there is no moderation from the other side willing to condemn the extreme.
I challenge the innocent, the moderate, the educated and the hopeful Arabs to stand up against the terror of Hamas and the violence on the streets to condemn the slaying of our three sons as we punish our own murderers for stealing the life of theirs.