Can we mention the “I” word?

R4BIA Symbol of Islamic Resistance on a T-Shirt in Jerusalem’s Shuk - Phtoto: Brian of London
R4BIA Symbol of Islamic Resistance on a T-Shirt in Jerusalem’s Shuk - Phtoto: Brian of London

It took some time for The Times of Israel to publish any Oped or blog post about the slaying of Eden Atias by the 16 year old Palestinian teenager, Hussein Rawarda. But what they have published now, by their Founding Editor, David Horovitz, has much to praise in it.

David is, like almost everyone, horrified by this particular attack. Somehow the premeditated murder of what amounts to almost a child while he slept has pushed another button.

But is it really so different from the slaughter of the infant child of the Fogels’, or any of the cold blooded child killings we’ve suffered through? And they go back way before the re-establishment of Israel or occupation.

What is truly praiseworthy in David’s writing is the clear way in which he separates this act from any of the usual causes which Israel’s peace processors have found to blame Israel and Jews for the violence perpetrated against them.

It’s the argument of blaming the victim: do you blame Eden for the IDF uniform he was wearing? If the IDF uniform represents “occupation” or “settlements” was he asking for it by falling asleep?

To excuse this murder by referencing a “brutal occupation” is a discordant view held by a small and diminishing section of Israeli public opinion.

David settles on incitement:

The main enemy of Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation is the hatred for Israel that is being nurtured daily in the hearts of so many in the West Bank and Gaza — the constant peddling of the narrative that says Israel has no right to exist, and that its people are rapacious invaders who must be struck down.

But here’s the rub: is it really “hatred for Israel” or is it something far darker. When Arabs were “incited” to murder in Hebron in 1929, was it hatred for Israel? Or was it perhaps hatred for Jews they were incited with?

Israel has built schools, hospitals, infrastructure and dramatically advanced the living conditions of the Arabs in the disputed territories. This receives no thanks and was delivered in the face of unremitting terror attacks. Without the strong security measures, how many more Jews would have been killed?

But the more Jews do, the more Jews give, the greater the hatred of Jews becomes. It’s a kind of jealousy: each one of our successes highlights their failures. Is it time to study, honestly, the contemporary  theology that provided the basis for the indoctrination of this young murderer?

We can never surrender enough to placate this foe. We’re locked in an endless war. That doesn’t mean we have to give up living here or being proud, independent Jews. But we must never let ourselves fall asleep thinking we’re safe.

About the Author
Brian of London made aliyah from the UK to Israel in 2009. For many years he has blogged and broadcast about Israel, technology and other subjects. Most recently he's focused on the experience of driving an electric car every day. Brian has a scientific PhD but today owns a business in Israel.