The killers of Muhammed Abu Khdeir had burnt the boy alive. ‘Racism’ is not seeing a different human being standing before you, but seeing no human being at all. Only those who were not able to see Muhammed, 16 years old, could have tortured him to his death this way. This was racism.
Naftali Fraenkel’s uncle spoke Sunday with Hussein Abu Khdeir, Muhammed’s father. Their conversation illustrates the fault line we should be seeing in this conflict: Not between Arabs and Jews, but between people who value life and those who live in a mindset of death. The latter should be vanquished and defeated, spending their lives imprisoned, or lying six feet under, their networks of hate rendered obsolete. The former may have 2 separate national ambitions between them, but their aspirations for civilized, prosperous lives are a stronger bond than that.
If we want to continue priding ourselves for keeping The moral high-ground in the face of tremendous challenges – than it is time to act.
Act on the notion that Muhammed’s killers are not criminals, but terrorists. They chose their course of action and they should pay a price that fits the realm in which they chose to act. There should be no difference between Arab and Israeli terrorists.
We have to show that outright opposition to these acts is not dependent upon political or religious stances, as Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, a settler from Elon Morre, clarified on Sunday.
Our leaders should clarify with great haste that acts of violence and terrorism are beyond the limits of the political game in our civilization. Those who support violence, even if elected, are no longer our leaders.
We need to reiterate that we value life more than anything else, as the unquestionable right of any human being, whoever he may be. I was touched by the statement made by Naftali Fraenkel’s parents upon the news of Muhammed’s death, which made that clear.
We need to remember, upon future tragedies, to keep the awareness of the wrong doing that took place in our name, because what is inflicted upon us is no excuse for the compromise of our values. Dwelling in victimization is a lazy and counterproductive act, and revenge is one of its derivatives.
We need to illustrate that terrorists who claim to kill for any Jewish cause have no place in our communities. We need to mark the complete opposite of the glorious celebrations Palestinian murderers so often receive.
No. Murderers from amongst us are no national heroes, no pop-culture icons. We will not name youth programs, public buildings and city squares after them. We will not wear T-shirts bearing their likelihood. We will attach their names to the disgrace they represent.
Through these clear messages of rejection and disgust, those who are part of the network that supports these acts should be weeded out and stopped. Only a small minority pulls the trigger, but it’s surrounded by those who preach, agitate, create a language of hate, incite, minimize one’s humanity, delegitimize one’s rights, show support, turn a blind eye, remain silent.
WE, cannot have that. This is our greatest test: The elimination of these environments. There will be no violence in the absence of breeding grounds.
We need to make sure that the picture of the slain boy Muhammed Abu Khdeir stands out, that he doesn’t become one more face in an endless collage of victims of indiscriminate, blind, heartless terrorism.