Today's Facebook has photos of the graves of Dafna and Shlomit, side by side, in Jerusalem's Har HaMenuchot cemetery.
Internet news is full of articles about various terror attacks over the past few months.
It is a very difficult period of time. We've gone thru it before. And the hope is that we will never have to go thru it again. A hope that has yet to be fulfilled.
Sometimes it reaches a point when you (me) try to turn yourself off or perhaps, you (me) are already numb, and it's like when your foot falls asleep. On the one hand you don't feel anything, but on the other hand, it really hurts.
But it shouldn't be thought that the pain is simply an emotion due to the senseless loss of life of so many people. It is much more complex than that.
For example, almost all news reports and discussions of the stabbings, shootings, and car-rammings use the same semantics, about the 'recent wave of terror.' I attended a class about a week ago, and the Rabbi lecturing mentioned this. Why is this called a 'recent wave?' 'Recent wave' tends to play down the seriousness of what's going on. If, for instance, it was called an 'intifada' this would, theoretically, demand a much more serious response. After all, an intifada is an intifada.
But then, it would be labeled as the '3rd intifada.' Why? When was the last time Arabs stopped murdering Jews in Israel? Or elsewhere, for that matter. When did they not kill Jews?
Here in Hebron, and I've seen it also in various publications, we tend to relate the beginning of Arab terror to the summer of 1929, when the riots and massacres in middle August left about 150 Jews slaughtered. But it really didn't start then. Jews were terrorized by Arabs throughout the centuries, if you'd like, starting, let's say, with the expulsion of the Crusaders by the Mamelukes in the 1250's. They too were fanatic Muslims, no less than those practitioners of ISIS today. A barbarian named Bibers closed Temple Mount and Ma'arat HaMachpela to Jews. For the next 7 centuries the Hebron holy site was off-limits. And Temple Mount, for all intents and purposes, still is.
(And let's not let the Crusaders off the hook so fast. Muslim they weren't – but terrorists they were. Jews were slaughtered left and right, without pity or mercy).
Over the centuries, Jews were seen as less than pawns in our holy land. After the Ottoman conquest Arabs worked for Turkish landowners, Effendis. Their positions of power and genetic hate of Jews didn't play well for the People of the Book. Jews in Hebron, Jerusalem and Tzfat weren't taken advantage of, rather they were toyed with and tortured, both physically and financially.
Terror? I don't know of a better word.
And of course, during the British mandate, from the end of the First World War thru to 1948, Jews were targets of bloodthirsty Arabs, and no less so after the Israeli War of Independence.
So, I ponder, hearing the phrase, 'the current wave of terror,' or the first, second and perhaps third intifada, where is dividing line? Where has one stopped and the next one began? Jewish blood is Jewish blood is Jewish blood. And when going to the beach, watching the tide, usually you see wave after wave after wave after wave. And so it goes.
However here, the euphemism is quite helpful politically, for it creates an imaginary illusion that, in essence, we haven't always been at war, fighting for our existence, for our right to live here. Rather, the violence spurts in waves, which are, at most, sporadic. And in between those waves, we live in peace with our neighbors.
All of this, though, is the least of our problems. What can we expect from our neighbors, who have lived by the sword, at the very least, from the inception of Islam. This is their DNA, and anyone who ignores this is blind to simple historic fact.
The issue is our own – our 'so-called leaders', those who should be at the forefront of the battles, of the war, against these attempts to decimate us. I'm not interested in hearing the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister or the President of the country exclaim how strong we are, and how we must show fortitude and determination, and that we will not be broken. Or that the wave of terror is complex and will not put down in the near future rather, seemingly, will continue for quite some time.
I'm not encouraged seeing leaders and ministers, one by one, visit families of those killed in their homes, or in synagogues, or anywhere else, expressing their sorrow and condolences. At present, this is hypocrisy at its worst. Because the leaders of the state of Israel have the tools necessary to stop the bloodshed, to prevent the next murder. They just don't want to use them.
Our enemies understand two primary responses: Force and land. The force used today is minimal. True, attackers are being shot and killed. But this is not force. Why not impose curfews, not allowing them out of their towns and villages for, say, a month? Let them buy food in their own towns, but don't let them out. Like animals in a cage. Is this collective punishment? Yes, but they deserve it, for the terrorist killers have the backing of all their townspeople, who either assist them before the attacks, or afterwards, when they return to hide.
Besides which, one Jewish life is worth more than even a year-long curfew.
After a car-ramming, declare a driving curfew. Suspend their licenses and jail any Arab found driving in Jerusalem. Or anywhere else.
Are these doable, enforceable? Of course they are, if the powers in charge want them to be.
But most of all, land. They understand land. Build and build and build. Find lawful ways, not to destroy houses, but to confiscate them and put Jewish families in their place. The once 'Zionist solution,' to build a new city or town, following a murder, says more than any declaration of courage. Words, in these cases, are worthless. Only facts on the ground matter.
And if the supreme court gets in the way, pontificating human rights, well, at some point, someone is going to have to say no. A court that takes upon itself powers which in reality it does not have must eventually be put in its place. Continued acquiescence to nothing less than judicial terror is almost tantamount to submission to Arab terror because continued prevention of all means possible to protect our citizens and our country is equivalent to backing that Arab terror, saying to the terrorists, 'do what you want – we will ensure that you are not stopped.'
This is preposterous.
And as we continue to see in Hebron, the Arabs here are allowed to do as they wish, building, renovating, opening closed stores. Whereas Jews cannot, cannot build, cannot buy, nothing. The current strain of virused thought is to make sure that the Arabs can continue their everyday life, without too much interruption or bother. Even if that comes at the cost of our lives. The Hebron Reclamation Committee clearly defines its goal: to prevent the expansion of the Jewish Community of Hebron. They have a most willing and able partner in the way of the Prime Minister and Defense Minister of Israel.
This is what makes it so difficult. We know that we are still fighting a war of independence. But the generals, not only do they not distribute weapons and ammunition. To the contrary, they take away what you've got, to make sure you can't or don't use it.
That's certainly not the way stop a wave, not to mention, to win a war.