GIVAT SHMUEL, Israel, Oct. 13, 2015 — To the liberal and conservative, Jew and Gentile, American, European and the rest of the enlightened world I issue this plea: please, for the love of G-d, speak out for the children of Israel.
When I say “children of Israel” I am not referring to one of the oft-used Biblical nicknames for the entire Jewish people. I am referring to the actual youth of the state of Israel.
Why am I limiting my plea to such a small population?
Sadly, it is because my expectations for you continue to drop by the minute. It is because speaking out against the attempted eradication of the ENTIRE Jewish people wasn’t, isn’t and never will be en vogue. It is because you have allowed yourselves to believe that, if an Israeli adult is murdered in cold blood on Israeli soil, it must be due to his role as an oppressor of the Palestinian people and of the Arab Israeli minority population, and I know that there is little I can do to dissuade you.
I hate that these are my expectations of you, but I find myself unable to escape them.
So, with the desperate hope that you have not become so jaded by the endless anti-Israel tidal waves that the merchants of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist hate crash down upon your head every second of every day that you cannot find any sympathy for children, no matter where they were born, I make this plea.
I have some cause to hope, considering the endless pleas seen on social media and beyond during Operation Protective Edge last summer, when Gazan children were killed after Hamas intentionally used them as human shields against Israeli airstrikes. From the celebrity elite in America, including such properly informed figures like Rihanna, Dwight Howard and Selena Gomez, begging people on Twitter and Instagram to “Pray for Gaza” because it is “About Humanity.”
While you misguidedly blamed Israel for these deaths, at least you spoke out for once. Or was that just to make Israel look bad? I hope that is not the case. I hope it is exactly what you said it was. I hope it was about humanity, and I hold out hope that the plight of Israeli children, despite the fact that they live in a country you probably hate, will appeal to your larger love for humanity as well.
Why am I limiting my plea to such a small population? Sadly, it is because my expectations for you continue to drop by the minute. It is because speaking out against the attempted eradication of the ENTIRE Jewish people wasn’t, isn’t and never will be en vogue.
Then again, I should probably temper my expectations after perusing your shocking track record regarding Israeli children during that very same time period. There was the time you said nothing in the face of the horrific kidnapping and murder of three young boys, Naftali Frenkel (16), Gilad Shaer (16), and Eyal Yifrah (19), by Palestinian terrorists on their way home from school. You were also silent when 3-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun was run over and killed by a Palestinian terrorist.
You also did not make a peep when 4-year-old Israeli Daniel Tregerman was killed by a Hamas mortar.
Wow. Perhaps I am giving you too much credit. Or perhaps I am hoping that this time around you can redeem yourself.
So here’s to hoping that by now you have begun to see Jewish children as a young fragile innocent human being equal to one of your own.
I hope so because it is happening again.
Another Palestinian intifada, whether the media chooses to call it one or not, has begun. The endless attempts to stab, shoot, stone, run over and blow up innocent Israeli citizens as they go about their day has gone on for more than a week. I know you won’t care about Alexander Levlovitz, who was killed after his car was stoned on his way home from a Rosh Hashana meal sending his car head-on into a pole. After all, he was a Jewish 64-year-old.
But is there any hope that I can get you to care, if only a little, about the four young children of Eitam and Naama Henkin, who had to sit in the back seat of their car while they watched Palestinian gunmen shoot their parents to death? Don’t worry, I won’t ask you to feel anything for Eitam and Naama themselves. After all Eitam had a beard and a large skullcap and lived in “the occupied West Bank,” so I know there is no chance you will see him as anything but a crazy messianic imperialist settler.
But is there any chance watching their 9-year-old son recite the mourner’s prayer at their graveside will move you in any significant way? Does reading pleas on social media for the donation of breast milk because the young Henkin child was still breastfeeding and no longer has a mother to feed him break your heart even a little?
How about after seeing the picture of a wounded 2-year-old Israeli boy being evacuated from the Old City of Jerusalem, where a Palestinian terrorist had murdered his father (and another man, who had children of his own, but I don’t expect you to think that much) and wounded the toddler’s mother before stabbing the tot in the leg?
Or after hearing how Arabs in the area laughed, spat and wished death upon his mother as she attempted to flee with a knife in her shoulder and her child in her arms? Or after seeing Palestinian homes adorned with posters honoring the disgusting beast who stabbed the kindergartener and his parents?
How about the two young children shot while celebrating the Jewish holiday of Succot in a drive-by attack at the hands of Palestinian terrorists in the city of Lod? How about just the 5-year-old who suffered a fractured skull? That do anything for you?
Any chance you might care about a 19-year-old Israeli girl who was run over and then repeatedly stabbed by a Palestinian terrorist and is now in critical condition? Or is 19 too old for you to care? I mean she is practically not a teen anymore. And a Jew.
If so, does the 13-year-old boy stabbed by a Palestinian terrorist today while riding his bike now fighting for his life evoke any emotion whatsoever? Does the fact that he was stabbed by two Palestinians who were, themselves, teens, help you see how drastically different the two societies educate their children? Or are you too busy focusing on the IDF shooting one of these young terrorists as a show of “excessive force.” After all, he was just trying to kill a Jew. What’s the big deal, right?
By now I have creeping suspicion that you don’t really care about the children of Israel at all.
I really hope that I’m wrong.
I hope that by some miracle, you can set aside your (circle one) apathy/dislike/hate for the Jewish State and see these children for what they really are: children. They are exactly the same as the children that are sleeping quietly in the room next to you. They are exactly the same as the children who sat at the dinner table with you tonight and told you about their day. They are exactly the same as the children who are growing up way too fast for your liking. Except that these children, thanks to the savage brutality of Palestinian terror, are not sleeping tonight, not eating dinner with their families, not growing up at all.
In Thomas Paine’s American Revolutionary War pamphlet, “The American Crisis – No. I,” Paine, criticizing a British Tory who was standing with his son and whining for peace in his time, writes “a generous parent should have said, ‘If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.’”
Well, here I am, an Israeli father, answering Thomas Paine’s call. I am an Israeli adult, and there is probably no chance you will every feel anything for me and my peers. But please, I beg of you, if there must be trouble, let it end with me and my generation and stand up for my child and the rest of the children of Israel.