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July 26, 2014 / 28 Tammuz, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Eyal Yifrach’

‘Voice of American Jewry’: Israel Guilty of Arab Teen’s Murder

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) claims on its site and its Facebook page that it “is the representative voice of the organized American Jewish community.” While that may be news to many American Jews, even more of them will be loathe to accept that description after reviewing the JCPA’s latest press release.

The public statement, “JCPA Mourns Palestinian Teenager, Calls for an End to Violence,” was posted on its website just after mid-day on Wednesday, July 2, less than 12 hours after news that an Arab teenage boy had been found dead in Jerusalem.

And yet, although JCPA President Rabbi Steven Gutow noted in the statement that, “the circumstances of his death remain uncertain,” the same sentence then takes a sharp turn and places the blame squarely on Israel: “it appears that Mohammed was not a party to nor instigator of the tragic events of recent days and weeks. But he now has paid the ultimate price regardless.”

So although no one yet knows for certain how the teenager died or who was responsible, the JCPA publicly drew a target on the back of the Jewish State. Not content to simply act as judge and jury, the JCPA proceeded to send out the statement to its members across the country, inviting everyone to embrace its judgment – that Israel or individual Israelis are responsible for the abu Khaider’s murder, and pronouncing the murder a revenge attack.

It is important to mourn the loss of a teenager’s life whether it is a member of your own family or a stranger, and true leaders take the opportunity to model that behavior. Many of Israel’s top leadership immediately condemned the murder of abu Khaider, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Jerusalem’s mayor Nir Barakat and several Knesset members. Even, and most incredibly, the Yifrach family, the family of Eyal Yifrach – one of the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped and murdered and buried just yesterday – condemned the killing. That statement was unequivocal:

There is no differentiating between blood and blood, murder is murder, whatever the nationality or age. There’s no justification, no forgiveness, and no redemption for any murder.

It may be, when the investigation is complete, that Israelis were responsible and that it was an act of revenge for the kidnapping and murder of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Shaar. And if that is the case, the guilty must be condemned and punished. The murder of innocents is always tragic, whether the guilty are our friends or the victims are our family.

But until the investigation is complete, no one can – and no one should – say why Mohammed abu Khaider was killed, or by whom.

And yet, the JCPA rushed to put out a public statement less than 24 hours after the death was discovered. And in that statement the JCPA presented itself as judge, jury and sound system with a verdict of guilt for Israel.

Why the rush? It took the JCPA 3 days to condemn the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers. Perhaps that was due to an abundance of caution – one would not want to falsely accuse anyone. If so, why the different standard here?

Perhaps the JCPA’s goal was to present themselves as the “good Jews,” the ones who not only condemn the murder of an Arab but who rush blindly forward with its finger pointed at the “bad Jews,” the Israeli Jews, the ugly, violent Israeli Jews who would do such a thing, and to heck with truth and facts and evidence.

Because if the goal was to help to reduce violence, to help shepherd the masses poised to strike back to a path towards calm, the JCPA statement will only achieve the opposite. The statement will fuel the fire of hatred by anti-Semites who readily believe Israelis should be punished for Mohammad’s death, whether or not Israelis are guilty. And look, here’s an official Jewish coalition, officially blaming Israel! It will also inflame anger towards those whom JCPA claims to represent by supporters of Israel who believe that the Jewish State is entitled to the presumption of innocence at least until strong evidence is produced pointing in the opposite direction.

If Co-Existence is Impossible, Then What?

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

We found out that the three boys, Eyal, Gilad and Naftali, were murdered shortly after their abduction. I’m sure we’ll hear the full story, in horrifying detail, at some point.

I can’t imagine how the families must feel. Or rather, I can imagine it but I am certain that their actual experience must be far worse than what I can imagine.

There have been so many terrorist murders, so many murders of children. The Ma’alot massacre, The bus of blood, the Haran family, the Sbarro bombing, the Dolphinarium, the Fogel family. The Palestinians and their supporters tell you it is “resistance to occupation” but in fact it is pure evil, hate made substance. Hate made flesh.

The Left says that it is our fault that they are doing these things because we are not giving them what they want. But what if what they want is to kill us?

Societies protect themselves against murderous criminals by killing or imprisoning them in order to separate them from normal society.

“If a man comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.” Good advice, but how do we follow it when a whole culture has been created out of the idea that they should kill us?

The Palestinian people have demonstrated by the whole-hearted support shown for the kidnappers, the murderers, that they are satisfied with the path they have taken, the path of hate.

The problem is not a few extremists or criminals or terrorists who need to be killed or captured. The problem is a culture whose essence is to negate ours. These acts will not stop until the culture changes or dies out, or we completely separate ourselves from it. I don’t think our society can tolerate living as a target of terrorism forever.

First we have to decide that yes, we want our society, the Jewish people, to survive, and to continue to do so in its historic homeland. It’s not such a forgone conclusion — many, especially the intellectual elite among us are not so sure. But let’s suppose that we do. Since the nature of the Palestinian Arab culture is not under our control, since we can’t educate them or change them, our survival depends on separation and deterrence.

Then we need to look at geography and military realities. What territories do we need to control as a necessary condition for our survival? Authorities agree that the Jordan Valley and the high ground of Judea and Samaria must remain under our control. This isn’t a political issue, and we don’t need to bring in the spiritual dimension to decide this. It is simply a fact that follows from the topography of the region.

But some of the area that is essential is heavily populated by Arabs, many of whom belong to terror organizations and most of whom wouldn’t accept Jewish sovereignty.

Caroline Glick is probably correct that annexation of all of Judea and Samaria wouldn’t create an Arab majority. She estimates that the Arab population of Israel would go from about 20% to about 30%. She believes that the same relationship that has been established with the Israeli Arabs could be extended to the Arabs of the territories.

The lesson I have drawn from these murders is that she is not correct. It won’t work. This marriage cannot be saved. The educational enterprise of Yasser Arafat and his followers, aided by the West, has succeeded — perhaps beyond expectations. There is no going back. The Palestinian Arabs will not, cannot, coexist with the Jewish people.

The Curse of Cain

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

After Cain killed his brother, the Lord told him, “A fugitive and a wanderer shalt thou be in the earth.”

But the natural order has been reversed, instead the Abels, if they survive, become homeless wanderers and the Cains build their Caliphates on the tombs of their victims.

“Cursed shall you be from the earth,” the Lord said, and so it has been.

The earth under their feet may be cursed, it yields nothing but sand and thistles, but they are nomads, forgetting agriculture, remembering only their tradecraft of murder. They become worshipers of death dreaming of the green verdant fields of paradise which they can reach only if they kill enough men, women and children.

Leaving devastation behind them, dead lands, lost cultures, widows and orphans, they claw their way up to heaven on a ladder of bones.

Everything around them dies until the only green is on their flags. They are cursed from the earth and they curse the earth. Where they go, the world dies.

It is not murder that makes it impossible for Abel to live with Cain says the State Department, says the European Union and says the New York Times. It is Abel’s fields and houses that provoke Cain.

The PLO formed a unity government with Hamas and the loud voice of consensus, the voice of men who imagine that they become god when they speak in a single voice, is that it was the Israeli houses that were to blame. It is not Cain’s fault that he kills. It is Abel’s fault that he builds.

Of the three kidnapped and murdered boys, two Israeli and one American, Jodi Rudoren of the New York Times wrote, “Palestinians… see the very act of attending (school) yeshiva in a West Bank settlement as provocation.”

Abel is forever provoking Cain who rises up and kills him. And if only Abel hadn’t had so many sheep, if only he hadn’t built so well, if only he hadn’t made the desert bloom, if only he hadn’t won so many wars and if only G-d didn’t appear to favor him.

Cain sows fields of corpses of the innocent for the Lord and he still does not understand why his sacrifice is not accepted and why the earth he dwells on is cursed.

Abel does his best to appease Cain with gifts of earth, but the earth is useless to Cain. What good is cursed earth to cursed men? What can a man plant in the desert? What can he harvest when everything dies at his touch? All he can offer is a harvest of death.

That is what he brings to the faintly remembered Creator he calls Allah. From Iraq to Iran, from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia, from Nigeria to Somalia, from Pakistan to Indonesia, he holds up human heads and cries, “Allahu Akbar.”

As if G-d needs such petty proofs of superiority.

Cain cannot be appeased with earth. The earth is his curse. All that lives hates him and he hates all that lives. He tortures animals and raises dead crops. He kills his daughters and sisters, his mother, the source of his life and the source of his future, for the same honor that made Cain the first killer.

There is no use negotiating with Cain. There is no compromise that he will accept. Cain is his own curse. He loves death and that is all he will ever have. His acolytes cry, “We love death, you love life.”

Cain was meant to wander the earth. To be a rootless nomad whose curse of death would not collect in any single place. He was not meant to build kingdoms of death. He was not meant to rule over a Caliphate of death and a culture of death.

What Do I Tell My Children (About the Boys)?

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

The devastating news reverberates throughout the Jewish world. Our worst fears have been confirmed. We won’t be able to #bringbackourboys. It’s over. And for now, we mourn.

But many of us are struggling to unravel the Gordian Knot of emotions, religious meaning, spiritual devotion, time, effort, energy we’ve put into these last few weeks. For those of us who are parents of children who have been aware of the ordeal, many of us are wondering what we tell our children? But all of us are also wondering, what do we tell ourselves?!

Perhaps the wisest thing I’ve ever heard about tragedy was something Fred Rogers quoted from his mother. He said that his mother would comfort him during challenging times with a pithy thought. “Look for the helpers.” So simple and so sublime.

For every wicked person in the world wreaking havoc and destroying lives, there are many more good people in the world who are helping others and fixing the things that were broken by the evil people. Our minds focus on the outliers and the ones who make the most noise. But for every person doing the wrong thing, there are more people doing the right thing. We should not allow the pain to dominate us so completely that we forget that there is enough light in the world to outweigh the darkness.

Most of all, we can all be one of the helpers. Say something nice. Do something kind. Find empathy. Spread love.

Children need to be reminded of this even more than adults. If they know that something sad has happened because of bad people, remind your children to look for the helpers.

The emotions of a child are likely to be their primary concern. Most kids aren’t as worried about theology as adults. Adults have tougher questions and life experiences that demand a response. Here’s what I say today: (For children who do worry about this kind of thing, I think the following would be just as applicable.)

For believers, there is a real struggle between belief and doubt. When we pray, we are hopeful and optimistic, and we want to believe. When we are crushed and depressed, we experience doubt. The human mind seeks to make peace between these two warring factions. We want to be certain about our beliefs and if we aren’t certain that our beliefs are true, our mind’s next option is to be certain that our beliefs are false. The last resort, and option that is to avoided at all costs, is the grey area in the middle. That place where our doubt and our yearning for certainty are at loggerheads. We don’t want to be in that place.

Yet, that is where life happens. The place of contradiction and confusion is where all the action is. We want to reject it so badly and be certain of everything being true on one side or if not, everything is a lie, for sure. But it just isn’t that way at all and we need to embrace that. We are not going to understand everything. It’s a limitation of being a physical being with limited resources. We can’t really be certain of anything which means that the best we can do is to expect a clash of feelings and thoughts.

What do we do with these conflicting ideas rattling in our brain? What do we do when our heart says one thing and our mind says another? What do we do when we want to be mad at God but we also want God to make it all better? Indeed, what do we do?

A Legacy of Achdus

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

My thoughts today are with the families of Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel. My heart goes out to them. There are no words that can adequately express the magnitude of national grief the Jewish world feels right now. That grief is universal. It doesn’t matter where you stand in your religiosity. It doesn’t even matter if you are entirely secular… or even a non-believer. We are all one people today. As we have been since these three  young souls were kidnapped.

Inevitably when tragedies like this happen there is a sudden burst of Achdus. Tragedies unite. I recall the exact same thing happened a few years ago when eight Yeshiva students were massacred in Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav, a Religious Zionist Yeshiva named for Rav Kook.

There was no left. There was no right. There was just the Jewish people suffering pain. This is the same pain we all feel today as Israel buries these three young victims of terror. I expect there to be a massive attendance at the combined funeral. Prime Minster Netanyahu has already said he will attend. It would not surprise me if one or more of the Charedi rabbinic leaders attended too, if they are physically able to. One may recall That Rav Elayshiv attended the funeral of the 8 murdered Merkaz HaRav boys.

There has been a lot of public reaction to these murders by prominent Jewish organizations: The Agudah, the OU, Young Israel, and the Wiesenthal Center just to name a few. There is also a lot of discussion about how we should view this event and how the Jewish nation should respond to this if at all. But that is not my issue today. I leave that to others.

My issue is what will happen to the Achdus we have just been a part of. There has been a lot of talk about the unity that this brought about. Rav Chaim Kanievsky said the following – quoted in Matzav:

When his grandson told him the news, Rav Chaim was devastated. He remained silent for a while. He then remarked that the “boys were zocheh to tremendous merits with the chizuk, hisorerus and kabbalos that were undertaking because of them.” Rav Chaim repeated several times that “this is a very big zechus.”

Rav Chaim added that “all the tefillos were not for naught,” because no tefillah goes unheard or to waste.

May the achdus generated by the weeks of communal chizuk and kabbalos continue to unite Klal Yisroel and be a zechus for the ultimate yeshuah b’karov.

Coming from one of the biggest Charedi rabbinic leaders in Israel that is quite a statement. Remember that these boys were Religious Zionist Yeshiva students.

I wish I could be as optimistic about the future. But I’m afraid experience has taught me otherwise. Once these young boys are buried, we will all go back to our own personal agendas. And the angry rhetoric will resume. Achdus will end as quickly as it began. Other Hashkafos will be denigrated and vilified – one side against the other.  The name calling will resume. Words like Amalek and parasite will rear their ugly heads again. I’m sure of it.

And this saddens me. We had one shining moment where we were all one – albeit in tragedy. Why can’t we just continue that? Why must we all think ill of the other? Why can’t there be more of us judging the other side favorably? We all see the problems with the other side. But we all have our own problems too. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all recognized that? Why must the other side be de-legitimized and vilified?

Why must we look down at a Hashkafa that is not our own? This is not to say that our disagreements should be forgotten or ignored.  When one has sincere convictions we ought to defend them vigorously. But that same passion that accompanies it all too often spills over into venomous hatred of those on the other side. It ought not to be that way. Believing in our Hashkafos passionately need not mean we must vilify those with whom we disagree..

Destroy Arab Terrorism! No Mercy!

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Now the media is full of questions about not only what will the government do as a reaction to the brutal murder of the three teenagers  Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gil-Ad Sha’ar, HaYa”D, but what is the best way to prevent more Arab terrorism.

My mind keeps going back to a time over thirty years ago, when my youngest was a baby and re-hospitalized due to a very serious infection that was also in his bloodOsteomyelitisinfection of the bone. At the time I had received the diagnosis, after taking my baby back to the hospital because his leg was red and swollen, he was just over two weeks old. The doctor explained that that my son would have to receive at least six weeks of IV (that’s in the vein) antibiotics which would require hospitalization. I was warned that even after there were no superficial signs of infection or even when all tests came clean, we would have to continue the regime.

Apparently the sort of bacteria that was threatening his life was known to hide in the body without showing/causing symptoms. That was the most crucial time to destroy it, and that’s why although he seemed, and probably was, perfectly healthy after only a couple of weeks of the powerful antibiotics, he needed to complete the full amount.

And thank the Good Lord and the tools He gave to the modern medical profession, my son fully recovered.

Why is this story crowding all else from my mind today?

I have no doubt that if we don’t do absolutely everything in our power to totally destroy the Arab terrorist structure, status etc., the Hamas and its ally the Fatah, and ban and banish every single NGO, foreign emissary, volunteer, United Nations international organizations et al, the terrorists will keep on returning. The State of Israel must also re-sentence each and every convicted terrorist and give them the death penalty. Jail conditions must also change to minimal services and no more than that.

If we don’t do everything in our power to destroy Arab terrorism we will suffer even more. Each attack will be more dangerous and audacious than the previous one.

Visit Shiloh Musings.  / Batya Medad

One of the Murdered Boys Put Up a Fight, Source Says

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

One of the three boys kidnapped by Arab terrorists on June 12 gave a good accounting of himself and put up a fight before he was murdered, a source said.

The source is involved in the forensic identification process of three bodies found in a field near Halhul Monday evening and said one of the boys fought back against his attackers.

The source told the Walla! news site that forensic evidence being gathered at the Abu Kabir Institute shows that one of the teens put up “meaningful resistance” against the kidnappers.

The boys were abducted by terrorists while hitchhiking home from their yeshiva for the Sabbath, at a routine hitching stop in Gush Etzion. An IDF source told the news site that after the Arab terrorists grabbed the boys near the Jewish community of Alon Shevut, the vehicle they were traveling in headed west and then made a U-turn to go south towards Hevron.

Within minutes, at about 10:25 p.m., one of the boys called the “100″ police hotline, whispering into the cell phone, “I’ve been kidnapped. We’ve been kidnapped!” He then went silent, perhaps fearing his captors would discover he was using the phone. Shortly after the call was made, shots were fired and the phone went dead, a little more than two minutes later.

It is likely the terrorists decided to cut their losses and run. They had no way of knowing that police had bumbled the call, leaving open a window of more than five hours before anyone in supervision or above would even take the call seriously, let alone bother to follow it up. (At least four senior police officers have been dismissed as a result of that decision.)

Instead, the kidnappers likely believed that police would soon be on their tail – and decided to end all doubts, murdering the boys and escaping with their own lives intact.

Within hours of starting their search, security forces found a burned-out vehicle, a rifle and bullet casings near the Palestinian Authority Arab village of Dura, slightly south of Hevron – a hotbed of Hamas terrorists, among others. It’s been searched repeatedly by IDF soldiers in the past 19 days.

But no kidnapped boys were found; no bodies and no perpetrators. The terrorists took just enough time to hurriedly transport and bury their victims’ bodies in a shallow cave that is barely visible in a farmer’s stony field, alongside the PA Arab village of Halhul — another classic ‘terrorist central’ stronghold.

Thanks to the determination and unending energy of tens of thousands of IDF soldiers, and the intensive efforts of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) agents, searchers were led in the direction of that field Monday afternoon.

Despite fierce resistance from surrounding villagers who clearly knew what was concealed there, at last the searchers reached their first objective in Operation Brother’s Keeper, and found the sad evidence they were looking for.

Let the memory of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’ar not fade, let their blood not have flowed in vain.

May their memories be for a blessing and may God avenge their blood.

May the soldiers of the IDF and the agents of the Shin Bet find success in the next phase of Operation Brother’s Keeper as they continue their hunt for the murders of our boys.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/one-of-the-murdered-boys-put-up-a-fight-source-says/2014/07/01/

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