Thirty-eight years ago, Palestinian terrorists attacked a school in Ma’alot and murdered 22 Israeli school children. It was so different than the horrible massacre that just took place in the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, where 20 children and 7 adults were murdered. I have no words to ease the pain of parents who have lost children, those who have lost their beloved relatives – not then, not now, not ever. In Ma’alot, we knew the motive – it was hatred and a belief in a radical interpretation of Islam that allowed, encouraged, and blessed murdering infidels, even if they were children. Perhaps especially if they were children.
“Our hearts go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones and to all those who were injured. Our family is grieving along with all those who have been affected by this enormous tragedy. No words can truly express how heartbroken we are. We are in a state of disbelief and trying to find whatever answers we can. We too are asking why. We have cooperated fully with law enforcement and will continue to do so. Like so many of you, we are saddened, but struggling to make sense of what has transpired.”
It’s impossible for Israelis not to think of Ma’alot when we hear about Newton; impossible not to think of children becoming victims in a place where they are supposed to be safe. And for me, it brought back a thought I’d had a few weeks ago. I had wanted to write about it then, but I didn’t have time to get to a computer and it slipped my mind.
About the Author: Visit Paula Stern's blog, A Soldier's Mother.
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