A Fresh Perspective: A eulogy for Na’ama Henkin

The only “crime” Eitam and Na’ama Henkin committed was to be Jewish and to live in the Land of Israel.

By
October 8, 2015 14:10
Terror Israel

Mourners stand beside the fresh grave of Eitam and Na’ama Henkin (inset) after their funeral in Jerusalem on October 2. (photo credit: REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)

Last week, on October 1, Na’ama Henkin was brutally murdered by Palestinian terrorists with her husband, Eitam Henkin.

They were murdered in front of four of their six children, who were sitting in the car as the terrorists gunned them down. These four children will now have to grow up with the horrendous image of their parents being murdered in front of their eyes.

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A lot has been written about Eitam Henkin, a brilliant scholar in both Torah and academia. Eitam was one of the few people who managed to impress people both in the yeshiva world and in academia. While his rabbis were convinced that he would become the next gadol hador of the religious-Zionist world (an unofficial title given to the greatest scholar of a community), his professors were convinced he would be one of the leading historians in Israeli academia.

Both worlds were shocked at the brutal murder of a person with such incredible prospects. Everyone was puzzled trying to understand how the world could allow such an impressive person to leave so early, before he could reach his full potential.

His wife was also a very impressive woman.

I NEVER had the opportunity to meet Na’ama Henkin. Several of my friends were close friends of hers, but our paths never crossed until recently.

Two weeks ago, one of the clients I consult with needed a graphic designer and asked if I knew anyone talented.



I called some friends to receive recommendations and Na’ama’s name came up. On that day, I called her to discuss the project and see if she was interested.

When I reached Na’ama, I could hear her children making noise in the background.

“I can call back later,” I said, trying to accommodate her. “No, it’s okay, I can deal with it,” she answered, insisting that we speak even as she was busy taking care of her children.

We discussed the project, and at the end of the conversation I asked if she could send me her portfolio. She answered: “Sure, but it will only be tonight, because I am in the middle of something.” I answered: “It can even be tomorrow; there is no urgency.”

Sure enough, that very same night, I received an impressive portfolio in my email account.

From these short conversations, I understood that Na’ama was one of those impressive women in our generation who are able to do everything at the same time and do everything well.

She was a loving wife, a dedicated mother, an entrepreneur who started her own graphic design studio, a serious and practicing Jew, a talented poet, and probably so much more. She managed to juggle all of these, and do them all together, at the same time, without hurting the quality of her delivery in any of them.

She was a sort of “superwoman” who is able to succeed at everything simultaneously.

After our conversation, we agreed that we should meet to discuss the terms of a potential agreement after the Jewish holidays, which ended this past Monday night. Unfortunately, this will never happen, as she was murdered before we had an opportunity to meet. The world lost an incredibly impressive woman.

It is no coincidence that this murder took place one day after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to stop abiding by the Oslo Peace Accords while giving a speech full of anti- Israel incitement from the podium of the UN General Assembly, a speech that was met with loud applause from around the world.

As a direct result, an Israeli couple was shot dead while driving their car full of their children. The applause from the previous night was still ringing strongly as these innocent people were murdered.

The only “crime” Eitam and Na’ama Henkin committed was to be Jewish and to live in the Land of Israel.

THE WORLD today is so clearly divided between evil and good. On the side of evil you have terrorists and their supporters, such as Iran, Islamic State, Syrian President Bashar Assad, Hamas, Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas.

Sometimes, the people within the evil clan have internal conflicts, but don’t be fooled, they are all evil. Choosing Iran over Islamic State is still choosing evil. The right choice is to fight all of them.

On the side of good you have freedom- loving people, including the State of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, a lighthouse of freedom in a sea of tyranny, the hope of the civilized world in this uncivilized region.

Recently, Europe and the United States have too often taken the side of evil against good. Europe called for the marking of products coming from Judea and Samaria, the area where the Henkin couple were murdered, in a move that is reminiscent of when Jews were being marked in Europe by anti-Semites. This is clearly a move taking the side of a terrorism-supporting society, the Palestinian society, against a freedom-loving society, Israeli society.

The United States, of course, recently signed a deal with the terrorism-sponsoring Islamic Republic of Iran. This deal not only leads the way to Iran having nuclear weapons, but it also immediately removes sanctions on Iran without demanding changes in their support of terrorism. In a world where Iran constantly threatens Israel with destruction, we can say the US administration has also chosen the side of terrorism supporters against Israel.

It is time for freedom-loving countries to unite to combat these horrible, evil threats. The Western world can defeat these hateful movements, but in order to do so, it has to change strategies and stop making deals with evil regimes and start choosing the right side of conflicts.

The brutal murder of a young couple in front of their children, where innocent civilians were purposely targeted, is yet another ringing reminder of who the right side is in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Let us hope this is the last reminder that the Western world will need in order to wake up. 

The writer is an attorney and a former legislative adviser to the Knesset’s coalition chairman. He previously served in a legal capacity at the Foreign Ministry. He is a graduate of McGill University Law School and Hebrew University’s master’s program in public policy.


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