I woke up twice last night from a bad dream.
I was in Israel, standing in the rubble, with bloody remnants of a terrorist attack around me.
And all I could think was that I had to find my children.
The nightmare was so frightening and so chillingly real that I had to go check on my boys; I had to touch their faces and make sure that this was the reality I live in.
My children were safe. It was all a dream.
On Friday morning I learned that three young men had been abducted on their way home from school in Gush Etzion, and from that moment on these children have been on my mind and in my prayers. As I was preparing for Shabbat I franticly refreshed my twitter, my Facebook, looking for any leads and any pieces of news. But what I found was disheartening, even painful to watch.
People, my people, were not referring to the victims of this abduction by their names, or even as children. Instead they were called settlers, people were making a point of saying that they were hitchhiking, engaging in risky behavior and urging us to remember that this was disputed land. Excuses were being made for this kidnapping, people were acting as allies to the perpetrators by laying the blame at the feet of three teenage boys and their heartbroken parents, instead of throwing it in the faces of those who publicly vow to destroy us.
Gil-Ad, Eyal, and Naphtali were on their way home to spend Shabbat with family and friends. They never made it there, instead they are now in the hands of Palestinian terrorists. The three boys were hitchhiking, because that is what everyone does in these areas, a common practice in small communities lacking in public transport. This is their home, their land, and they should be able to hitchhike without being abducted. The fact that I even have to point this out boggles my mind and sickens my stomach.
If these excuses and this table-turning was only going on among laymen in social media, that would be bad enough. But naturally, that is not the case. Haaretz chooses to publish an Op-ed in defense of the kidnappers, saying, and I quote:
”The only way still open for the Palestinians to remind the Israelis of their existence and their plight is the way of violent struggle. All other paths have been blocked. If the Gaza Strip doesn’t fire Qassam rockets at Israel, the Gaza Strip doesn’t exist. And if, in the West Bank, yeshiva students aren’t abducted, then the West Bank disappears from Israel’s consciousness. Abductions or murders are aimed at puncturing Israel’s intolerable complacency, and as such they should surprise noone."
Gideon Levy is saying that not only do these children have themselves to blame for their horrific fate, but also that abductions, violence and murder are understandable and effective methods for the Palestinians to use in their righteous mission against us.
Shame on you. Shame on Haaretz for allowing hateful PA-puppetry to fill the columns of their paper. Shame on those of you blaming the parents of Gil-Ad, Naphtali and Eyal for allowing them to hitch a ride in their own neighborhood. Shame on everyone making comparisons between the IDF temporarily and legally apprehending violent Palestinian minors and Palestinian terrorists abducting our children. Shame on you.
Shame on you.
Shame on you.
When, Be'ezrat Hashem, these young boys are returned home safely, we will remember this as an international roll call. We will remember the names of those who failed these children, as well as the brave men and women risking their lives to bring them home.
That time will come, and those chips will fall, placing all of us at the nexus of truth and history.
But for now, we know only three names: Gil-Ad. Naphtali. Eyal.
Because while I woke up from my nightmare - the parents, siblings and loved ones of Gil-Ad Shaer, Naphtali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach are still living theirs. We pray for you, we cry for you, we stand with you.
Now let’s bring back our boys.