Tuvia Book
Author, educator, Tour-Guide, artist

Shabbat Bloody Shabbat

Sometimes the sheer wave of extreme Islamic terror that is sweeping over the world including Israel 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 this past Shabbat when three members of the Salomon family, a father and two of his children, were brutally murdered by a knife-wielding terrorist whilst celebrating the birth of a grandson at a family Shabbat dinner. Horrific images of the blood soaked kitchen caused revulsion to any decent human being. Those same images led to wide spread celebration in the Palestinian Authority controlled territories and the Hamas controlled Gaza strip.

It wasn’t just the brazen murder of innocents (or the now predictable silence of the world, or failure to label this an act of terrorism, when we Jews are killed in our homeland) that was just as predictably followed by Hamas press releases praising “the magnificent operation” followed by the now ritual distribution of sweets to celebrate murder. What followed is truly indicative of the poisonous hatred that has seeped through every level of Palestinian society. Not only did the head of the Palestinian Authority, Abbas, who seemingly is “leader for life,” fail to condemn the attack, not one PA institution condemned it.

Something is seriously broken in a society where political leaders, religious leaders, and even mothers 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 teens are raised, incited by the state, praised and financially rewarded to become murderers.

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. The world is not doing the PA a favour by not holding them to account. Indeed this is reinforcing the current deeply flawed mindset. Deputy Minister Dr. Michael Oren observed, “Being Palestinian means never having to say that you’re sorry.” Unless the PA educate for peace there will never be peace.

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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