Child Abuse: The World Must Stand Up Against the Incitement of Palestinian Youth

We are heartsick and angry at what is happening in our country. Two days ago Dafna Meir, a mother of six, a nurse, a healer, knifed to death in front of her children—a horrifying act of violence that unfortunately goes mostly unnoticed in the larger world. And yesterday Michal Froman, a young pregnant mother of four knifed while she was working at a used clothing store in Tekoa. We live in Tekoa. Our son Koby was 13 when he was murdered here with his friend Yosef Ish Ran in 2001. The two boys cut school and were beaten to death with rocks in a cave in the canyon near our home.

We hoped that terror had stopped. But Arab murderers are still being incited to hunt the young and the defenseless, children like Koby and Yosef, women like Dafna Meir who are unarmed. Women who are taking care of children or are pregnant. The Palestinians are being incited to kill those who are most vulnerable.

Unfortunately our enemy will write about these attacks as acts of Palestinian courage and resistance. Others will justify these acts as resistance. Or a response to despair.

But these acts are part of an orchestrated strategy to destroy the Jewish people. They are not lone wolf attacks. First in September the Palestinians concentrated their murderous activity in the Old City of Jerusalem, and then they were urged to kill on the roads in Hebron and Kiryat Arba and Gush Etzion—ramming their cars into Jews, and now Arab terrorists are being encouraged to infiltrate settlements.

This strategy is doomed and will not bring peace. It will only bring further Palestinian suffering.

In fact, it seems that it is sometimes the weakest members of the Palestinian society who are incited to kill, and then be wounded or killed themselves. It’s a tragedy on their side as well that young Palestinians—youth– are brainwashed to give their lives to murder Jews when their violence only ensures that peace will not be found. Where are the voices crying out against this society’s abuse of children? Against a society that glamorizes its killers, naming streets after them, celebrating their deaths?

We join in the sorrow of the nation of Israel over the despicable events of the past days. We hope that the whole country—indeed the whole world– will understand the nature of our enemy and will join together in mourning Dafna Meir and praying for the speedy recovery of Michal Froman.

About the Author
Sherri Mandell is co-director of the Koby Mandell Foundation which runs programs for bereaved families in Israel. She is the author of the book "The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration." Her book, "The Blessing of a Broken Heart," won a National Jewish Book Award in 2004. She can be reached at
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