Tuvia Book
Author, educator, Tour-Guide, artist

A Tale of Two Mothers

Sometimes the sheer wave of global extreme Islamic terror is just overwhelming. In the midst of the horror and darkness there are some standout moments that are just so shocking they almost beggar belief.  One such incident happened last week when a young Palestinian terrorist, aged 17, jumped over a fence at Kiryat Arba, entered a room and stabbed 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel to death while she peacefully slept in her bed on the first day of her summer holidays. In her home, in her room, her bed, in her safe haven. 
It wasn’t just the brazen murder of and beautiful, kind and talented innocent child (the same age as my oldest daughter) with her whole life in front of her, or the now predictable silence of the PA or the world when we Jews are killed in our homeland.

What followed is truly indicative of the poisonous hatred that has seeped through EVERY LEVEL of Palestinian society. 
What sort of child enters a house, and stabs another child to death? What sort of sick world do we live in? I cry the tears of a parent and my heart goes out to Rina Ariel who last night kissed her beautiful girl before she went to sleep, and from now on will go to sleep knowing she will never tuck her into her bed and kiss her at night again.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted with this statement,

You don’t murder a sleeping child for peace. You don’t slit a little girl’s throat to protest a policy you don’t like.

“You do this because you’ve been brainwashed. You’ve been brainwashed by a warped ideology that teaches you that this child isn’t human.”

Something is seriously broken in a society where political leaders, religious leaders, and even teachers praise their children for being murderers. Where children are incited 24/7 in school, by the media and in mosques to go out and murder. Where schools and public squares are named after murderers. Where murderers are extolled as the epitome of heroism (and rewarded with American supplied tax-payers dollars) by the PA. Now to add a new low, there is a deep flaw in a society where the mothers and life givers become accessories to murder by raising and praising their own offspring to go out and murder innocents.

The reaction of the two mothers is highly indicative of the different moral values on both sides of the conflict. Rina Ariel In her eulogy to her beloved daughter who she waited so long to conceive, said,

 Thirteen-and-a-half years ago, after a lot of challenges and attempts, I had the privilege of giving birth to you. Since then, there’s been light in my life … my daughter slept, peaceful, relaxed, a happy girl. A terrorist came and murdered her in her bed … In my aching heart, I turn to you, the Muslim mother who sent her son to stab – you raised your child to hate, I raised my child to love … Goodbye my princess.”

 That same Muslim mother responded with these words,

 My son is a hero. He made me proud. My son died as a Martyr defending Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, he [my son] has joined the Martyrs before him, and he is not better than them. Allah willing, all of them will follow this path, all the youth of Palestine. Allah be praised.”

The world community, who funds and ignores this poisoning of an entire society, needs to fix its moral compass and help the Palestinians press the moral “reset” button. Palestinians need to understand that one can’t murder oneself towards a state. The PA is responsible for the current violence and to overlook this is to ignore the situation. Years of incitement from politicians and the pulpit have led to this. Only as recently as a few days ago, a senior Abbas official said, “If you ask me my blunt position, I would say — every place you find an Israeli slit his throat.”

The world is not doing the PA a favour by not holding them to account. Indeed this is reinforcing the current deeply flawed mindset. United States and foreign funding need to PA needs to be frozen until they stop using it to fund incitement and pay the murderers and their families with it. As Evelyn Gordon in her article “Stop subsidizing Terror Murder” in Commentary magazine (June 30) (https://www.commentarymagazine.com/terrorism/us-terror-subsidizing-murder/) noted this week,

By encouraging terror attacks, such (US and European) funding also contradicts the West’s stated goal of promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace, since Palestinian terror merely convinces most Israelis that ceding (land) would be a bad idea. But even if this weren’t the case, it’s long past time for the West to stop incentivizing the murder of Israelis through its foreign aid…some things are simply too immoral to be tolerated.”

As Golda Meir observed, “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” Based on the reaction of the Palestinian mother, It looks like we are still very far way indeed from peace in our time.

About the Author
Dr. Tuvia Book was born in London and raised in both the UK and South Africa. After making Aliya at the age of 17 and studying in Yeshiva he volunteered for the IDF, where he served in an elite combat unit. Upon his discharge he completed his BA at Bar-Ilan University, as well as certification in graphic design. He then served as the Information Officer at the Israeli Consulate of Philadelphia, while earning a graduate degree in Jewish Studies. Upon his return to Israel, Dr. Book graduated from a course of study with the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, and is a licensed tour guide. Tuvia has been working in the field of Jewish Education, both formal and informal, for many years. He has guided and taught Jewish students and educators from around the English-speaking world for some of Israel’s premier educational institutions and programs. Tuvia has been guiding groups for Birthright Israel since its inception and, in addition, has lectured throughout North America, Australia, Europe and South Africa. Tuvia served as a Shaliach (emissary) for the Jewish Agency for Israel as the Director of Israel and Zionist Education at the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York (Jewish Education Project). He was a lecturer/educational guide at the Alexander Muss Institute for Israel Education (AMIIE) in Israel for a decade. Tuvia has lectured at both Bar Ilan University and Hebrew University. He is the author (and illustrator) of the internationally acclaimed Zionism curriculum; “For the Sake of Zion; A Curriculum of Israel Education” (fifth edition, 2017, Koren) and is at present working on his next book, a history of the Jewish people. Tuvia has a doctorate in Israel education. His dissertation title is: “Through the Soldiers’ Eyes: Exploring the Influence of a Birthright Mifgash on the Israeli Soldier Participants.”
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