Sally Abrams
Here's How I See It
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Stop pretending

Face the facts: It was terrorism, Palestinians celebrated, Israel has been demonized, the problem is global

Stop pretending that this was a truck attack, as if the truck drove itself.

Call it what it was- a terror attack that murdered four Israeli soldiers and injured many more.

Stop pretending that Palestinians aren’t celebrating.

Palestinians handed out sweets on Sunday in Gaza.

Stop pretending that Palestinian leaders don’t incite anti-Semitism and reward the murder of Jews.

The terrorist’s sister praised her brother’s act. ‘We thank God for this… It is the most beautiful martyrdom,’ she said. She was not born with these ideas. She had to be carefully taught.

Stop pretending that you respect Palestinians if you rationalize what happened on Sunday. It means you hold them to a moral standard far below what you hold yourself.

At the same time, stop pretending that peace-seeking Palestinians don’t exist. They do. But don’t underestimate the difficulty of their task, amid a culture that lauds the murderers of Jews.

Stop pretending that the relentless demonization of Israel at the UN is a minor matter. In fact, it encourages the belief that Israel can be defeated and destroyed.

Stop pretending that this isn’t global, when similar terrorist truck murdererers killed innocents in a Berlin Christmas market a few weeks ago, and in Nice, France last summer.

Instead of pretending, focus on what actually happened.

Imagine your son or daughter, your brother or sister, or your friend, among those crushed under that truck. Whose driver reversed and drove back over them again, for good measure. Can you fathom what it would be like to die this way?

Look at photos of the soldiers. See their smooth, young faces. They were all in their early twenties, with their whole lives ahead of them.

These soldiers were not engaged in combat, in which loss of life is possible. For which some mental preparation is made. These soldiers were standing at a scenic overlook in Jerusalem.

Think of their families bidding them goodbye Sunday morning, after Shabbat. They had every reason to believe that they would be together again next Friday.

Instead, families gathered to bury their loved ones.

Most of all, don’t pretend that there will be ‘closure’ for the families of the murdered. From now on, life will be forever divided into ‘before’ and ‘after’. Peace for them will come in the split- second before awakening. Before the nightmare of what has happened engulfs them anew.

May the memories of Lieutenant Yael Yekutiel, Cadet Shir Hajaj, Cadet Shira Tzur, and Cadet Erez Orbach be an everlasting blessing.

About the Author
Sally Abrams is Director of Judaism and Israel Education at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas. She has taught thousands about Israel and/or Judaism in churches, classrooms, civic groups, and Jewish communal settings.
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