The Mournful Dirge of Incongruity

Tonight at the conclusion of Shabbat, I joined the mad techno-rush that ensues each week. The return to our regularly scheduled week signals our return to technology, and the invitation to news of our world, be it good or bad.

Tonight I cried as I read of the murder of another precious soul, 20-year-old IDF Sgt. Tomer Hazan, who was lured to a village near Qalqilya by a Palestinian coworker and killed in an open field. His body was tossed like garbage into a well, intended to be used in trade for the release of the murderer’s brother, a terrorist imprisoned in Israel.

The collective grief we feel here is not limited to those who live here. I remember the tears I would shed when Israelis were murdered, while I lived a comfortable existence in America. Yet there I probably would not have followed up my grief with rage. Here I have the fortune, and misfortune, of being well informed.

I did a double take as I read the quote from Finance Minister Yair Lapid, the very one whose five ministers voted unanimously in favor of the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners, ones with Jewish blood on their hands. Lapid’s quote, completely incongruous with his public stance, might have been comical were it not for the horrifying context.

The TOI quote was as follows:

“ ‘The murder of the soldier Tomer Hazan is a terrible reminder that every day Israel is dealing with murderous, animal-like terrorists,’ Lapid wrote on his Facebook page.

‘We should not abandon the security of Israel to anyone except ourselves.’ ”


Murderous, animal-like terrorists?? You don’t say???

Abandon our security to anyone except ourselves?? Really???

As if we would trust the words from his mouth to represent one desiring justice and imprisonment for the worst of mankind. The very prisoner release that he supported was a shout out that the release of such terrorists is a negotiable piece of cake. The murder of Hazan was clearly seen by his murderer as a possible, if not probable, road to his brother’s release. From where could he have gotten such an idea??

While my blood boiled over at the time the release occurred, I erupted with my feelings of incredulity, while listening to suggestions that perhaps there were pieces of the puzzle I was unaware of. Why would some of the more moderate ministers have voted in favor of the release if they didn’t have vital information that I just wasn’t privy to? After all, am I not a mere common citizen?

I do not know the answer to the question. One thing I am quite certain of is that those who want to shed Israeli blood lack the same understanding that I do. They are also unaware of the seemingly lack of sense in Israel caving to international pressure, and its unleashing of over 104 terrorists upon its citizens. Whether or not those terrorists can be tracked, their murderous plots foiled before dozens are taken from this world prematurely, is not the sole issue. How the releases are seen from a Palestinian perspective is and always has been the danger. For every homicidal maniac sitting in Israeli prisons, there are numerous family members that will stop at nothing to see their loved ones released, regardless of how many men, women, or children have died at their hands. Those who voted in favor reassured them that anything is possible.

Did Lapid miss the message while traveling in well-heeled circles? You may get more bees with honey, but those bees can sting.

Can Israel rely on itself for security when this is how the show is run? Must we bow our heads and walk softly to a mournful dirge? Or can we lift our heads high and just say “NO”??

BaruchDayanEmet. Rest in peace, Sgt. Hazan.

About the Author
Miri Gantshar is a mother, psychologist and freelance writer who immigrated to Israel from New York in 2007. She is currently writing a book on her experiences in Israel.