Today the bodies of Israeli teenagers Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel were discovered in the village of Halhul in the West Bank. They had been bound and executed. They had been dead for some time, and investigators believe they were murdered shortly after they were kidnapped.
I have had to view many a homicide victim over the past six years. I have had to inform families – mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings, spouses – that their loved ones are never coming home. I have a good idea what the IDF soldiers are going through right now. I have never had that visit from my colleagues to tell me that a member of my family has died, so I can’t say that I know what they are dealing with. I know, however, that it is an indescribable pain. The sights and sounds of a family mourning a lost child is almost unbearable.
According to the timeline of events, Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali were on their way home from Yeshiva (Jewish seminary) when they were taken by force. One of the boys called the emergency line and was able to tell police that they had been kidnapped; the line then went dead. They weren’t heard from again. Millions of Jews and supporters the world over held vigil to pray and hope for their safe return. Today, that hope was shattered. Naftali Frenkel was a dual US-Israeli citizen.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looked genuinely exhausted and expressed a sadness that few politicians have ever conveyed when he spoke to the press about the news. He vowed to bring the killers to justice. Two Hamas operatives have been missing since the kidnapping. There has been no word on what action Israel will take.
President Obama said, “The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms this senseless act of terror against innocent youth.”
I am tired of hearing the word “senseless” used to describe terrorism. It isn’t senseless. This attack, like all the others before it carried out against innocent Israelis, was not meaningless. We know exactly what these attacks are about. It is about unbridled, uncontrolled hatred against Jews. What for? Jews no longer “know their place.” We refuse to be dhimmis anymore. We won’t stare at the ground out of respect when an Arab passes by. We won’t pay taxes for being the lowest of low infidels. Jews established a homeland in a region we’ve had a presence in for over three millennia and have the nerve to defend it.
There is nothing about this that isn’t simple to explain. To continue to refer to such acts as “senseless” is akin to burying one’s head in the sand. This was an act of pure hatred, one that is sadly familiar to Jews. I am sad to admit this, but even as I prayed desperately for the safe return of the three missing boys, I knew how it would end. It always ends the same way. Palestinian jihadists only know hatred and death.
Golda Meir said, “we will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.” It is heartbreaking to wonder if she knew how things would turn in Israel’s history.