Yesterday a missile fired by the terrorists of Hamas killed a 4 year old Israeli boy while he was running to the bomb shelter.  This was not an act of “collateral damage.” This was an intentional deed made with malice of forethought – the savage murder of an innocent child. This was not an errant razor sharp bit of shrapnel that cut short this young life. It was designed and destined to do this bloody deed. Those who committed this horrific act meant for it to happen-this was a war crime of the greatest magnitude-the deliberate targeting of unarmed, non-combatants in a civilian setting devoid of military installations or fighting forces. Under international law, there is no greater offense by a nation’s uniformed military, no less by a sanguinary cabal of barbarians.

Well, the slaying of Jewish children is not something that is unknown to the world.  Jewish pre-school students were shot and killed in Toulon, France not too long ago.  Attacks on Jewish students on American university campuses such as the assault on a Jewish student at Temple University just the other day, and the often unreported, yet significant physical beatings of Jewish students on college grounds in Europe and the United States. There is definitely something ultimately pernicious and savage when the youth are specifically made the target of Islamist thugs and their blood crazed henchmen.

These acts of deliberate and calculated murder only point out the depth of the loss to world Jewry, specifically European Jewry, during the Holocaust. Of the six million slaughtered members of the House of David, 25% of those so cruelly butchered, were children. One and one half million of those liquidated by Nazi savages and their lackeys, by bullet, bayonet, bomb and bondage were not much older, and many younger, than the four year old Israeli boy, cut down by Arab shrapnel.

Imagine, if you can, the statistics of this loss to the Jewish people. There are almost 330 million Americans today ( pardon me for using round numbers).  Two thirds of Europe’s Jews were wiped out, and a fourth of those ranged in age from newborn babes to teenagers. That would be equivalent to 220 MILLION Americans, including 55 MILLION children. I know that statistics are often considered ill proof of damages, but to quote Iosif Stalin, “A hundred dead is a tragedy, a million dead is a statistic.” But I truly doubt that the number that counts is only the one whose loss is felt.

Who can ever fathom today if among those so brutally slain could have been the scientist who would cure some of the world’s diseases, or enrich our lives with beautiful music and art, or lead our troubled planet to world peace? Who knows if among the three Israeli boys shot dead by bloodthirsty Hamas cretins, might have been a blessing to all of mankind? How can we ever know if four year old Michael Turgeman might have grown up to be another Ben Gurion or Martin Buber?

Well, we can only weep for the loss of such youth to our people of the Holocaust-we can remember their names, the places they were born and the locations of their cruel murders, but we cannot bring them back to life.  Nor can we but bury our Israeli children in the soil of the homeland and collectively, as a nation, mourn their demise. However at this time in our long history, there is a difference.

Today, we are not homeless, we are not helpless and we are not defenseless.  We have restored our national existence and raised the banner with the Shield of David over our beloved land of Israel. We no longer have to beg for others to protect us, we have renewed the honor of Hebrew arms, we have brought about the determination and strength of those ancient Jews who challenged the might of the great empires.of the hoary past. We have, in this blessed land, reincarnated hundreds of thousands of Joshuas, Gideons, Devorahs and Yaels!

No longer will the blood of Jewish children flow without those responsible paying a heavy price for every droplet of their precious lifeblood. The days of Jewish life being on the open market, cheaply appraised, no longer exists.  Today, we can, and should, exact a terrible price from the enemies of our people. We must pay them back with fire and sword!

May our dear sons and daughters slain by the evil ones be forever remembered and may their souls rest eternally in the heavens.

But let our enemies cringe and fear in their rat holes because we will find them and we will exact justice.