You expect it from CNN. You expect it from the Arabs. You expect it from Jew-hating Jews. But you don’t expect it from a Jewish newspaper.
You don’t expect to see the brutal terrorist abduction and murder of three teenage boys described in this fashion in a Jewish newspaper:
"On Thursday night, July 3, a community-wide memorial service was held at Minyan Ohr Chadash for Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrach, the three Israeli teens found dead 18 days after allegedly being abducted by two Palestinian men."
But that is exactly what the Jews in Seattle saw on July 7th, when they opened their copies of the JTNews to Associate Editor Emily K. Alhadeff’s piece about a community memorial service for the three Israeli boys.
The word “murder” was nowhere to be seen in this news piece. Instead, the three boys were “found dead.”
The abduction? Not an indisputable fact, according to Alhadeff. At least in terms of the who and the how many.
Could it have been three “Palestinian men?” Four? Could the abduction have been carried out by Jews, as the grandfather of Mohammed Abu Khdeir suggested?
Or perhaps it never happened at all.
Who knows? Perhaps the boys themselves were responsible for their own terrible end.
Perhaps at the time they were “allegedly being abducted by two Palestinian men,” the boys were playing a game of Let''s Shoot Ourselves in the Heads and Bury Ourselves Under Rocks in an Empty Field.
Well then. This would be the reasonable explanation for the lack of the word “murder” in this recounting of a community memorial service for boys “found dead” after a massive manhunt. This would be missing piece of information leading to a complete recasting of the event as something questionable: something that isn’t as clear-cut as Israel would prefer to suggest! This would certainly go a long way toward appeasing those who hate Israel and Israeli Jews.
Perhaps those boys weren’t as innocent as the photos of their now familiar, youthful faces suggested. Were they sons or were they settlers? Soldiers?
Or maybe it has nothing to do with the boys or Israel or the Jews. Perhaps it’s about what drives page views for the newspaper. Or about bending over backward to be fair.
I really don’t care.
And here is why:
In the Pacific Northwest, the Jews are not bereft of enemies who will spread ugly lies about the Jewish community and about Israel. The enemies of Israel are everywhere here with their false narrative and their propaganda.
But there is only a single Jewish newspaper in all of the Northwest. Just one David against a Goliath. The odds are stacked against the Jews.
And that stack will topple over and crush the Jewish community unless the Jews themselves and in particular this one solitary Jewish newspaper takes up the gauntlet and advocates for its own side: the side of Israel and the side of the Jews.
It is the responsibility of The Jewish Sound to speak up for the Jews, to be the only true voice advocating for the Jews within the thick haze of hate in which the Jewish community finds itself in this part of the world. For it is here that blood libels dating back to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are still aired in the light of day. It is here that the Jews are demonized because of their religious beliefs and where the limits to the crimes of which Israel stands accused is only in the boundaries of her accusers’ imaginations.
On Thursday night, July 3, a community-wide memorial service was held at Minyan Ohr Chadash for Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrach, the three Israeli teens found dead 18 days after allegedly being abducted by two Palestinian men.
The blood of these three boys cries out from the ground. Do these cries disturb Alhadeff at night, I wonder? Or does she sleep peacefully, sure in the knowledge that her words are true and fair?
Does she kiss her own children goodnight, secure in the knowledge that no one will ever kill them for the crime of being Jewish or for the misdemeanor of living on land that terrorists covet? Does she ever dream of an ancient Farhud in Iraq or a pogrom in Russia—something that happened to an ancient relative, and then pull the covers around her that much tighter?
“It could never happen to me,” she thinks. “It could never happen to me.”
And she shrugs off the little voice that says otherwise. The voice that is the sound of history coursing through the blood of her veins like a river. The blood of the ages. Blood that flowed through the veins of three faraway boys.