""God picks the most beautiful flowers for his garden," said the mother of 16-year-old Avraham David Mozes.
- Yohai Lifshitz, 18, of Jerusalem
- Yehonatan Yitzhak Alder, 16, of Shilo
- Yehonadav Haim Hirshfeld, 19, of Kochav Hashahar
- Neria Cohen, 15, of Jerusalem
- Roy Rot, 18, of Elkana
- Segev Peniel Avihail, 15, of Neveh Daniel
- Avraham David Mozes, 16, of Efrat
- Doron Mahareta, 26, of Ashdod
Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav is the spiritual center of Religious Zionism.
A reader ...............
I am shocked, and so angry.
Merkaz was the Yeshiva where I came to study many years ago, as a foreign student, an eager youngster on a spiritual quest, thirsty for knowledge of my people and heritage. I came to know the yeshivah's character and commitment, its cholent and charm, as well as its study halls and hallways now drenched in blood.
I had the privilege of my studies there taking place in 1967, during the lead-up to the Six Day war. The campus became a ghost town as virtually all the Israelis, comprising 95% of the student body, went to their army units, leaving only the dozen or so foreign lads (including yours truly) who all volunteered as a team and worked as the 'orderlies' at the nearby old Shaare Zedek hospital, where many of the wounded were later brought as the fighting developed. I'll never forget the experience of those weeks, nor the inspiring ambience of that particular yeshivah environment.
I'm telling you, the lads of Merkaz, even today 40 years later, are among the crème-de-la-crème of today's Israeli youth and the backbone of its Jewish future. That they were chosen as the target of this attack is perhaps the surest proof of this.
Today I cry and mourn, and seek to refortify my soul, along with the families and friends of those slaughtered and maimed in yesterday’s massacre. As the saying goes, this day will live in infamy for decades to come, but the sleeping giant it has aroused must be harnessed and directed appropriately.
At root, it is the leadership – primarily Israeli, but also American and European -- that is to blame for what has happened. Olmert and his team -- including the self-serving Shas party who have been, and still are, in a position to force a change in governance – have become a cabinet and government of enablers, not the disablers they should be, when it comes to terror. Together, they have allowed things in Israel to worsen day by day, bullet by bullet, rocket by rocket, when every justification, obligation and opportunity for taking decisive action has repeatedly presented itself but been rejected by them. Even a cursory analysis will show that Israeli’s pusillanimity has contributed not only to the increase in terror within Israel but to the palpable increase in anti-semitism elsewhere.
The Condappeasing Bush administration, and the Europeans, must also be called to account for providing funds and for putting their “arms” around the fake Palestinian enterprise, when that encouragement and those funds, arms and training have knowingly been used to launch and support aggression against Israel instead of peace. It is the height of hypocrisy for them now to be tut-tutting their 'regrets,' sending their “condi-olences,” and mouthing their 'condi-emnations'. The only meaningful "condemnation" is a strong “Jewish nation.” Women in Green has it right in saying that the response to eight deaths should be eight new settlements.
The massacre itself is painful enough. But to see Gazans and their brainwashed children actually jumping for joy at this tragedy takes one to a place beyond pain. Just imagine - they are actually celebrating a calamity, inflicted by their cohort, on the cream of Israeli youth and everything it stands for.
It is high time that those who commit such evil be taught an unequivocal lesson, be made to understand and remember for the next 40 years that it does not and will not pay to pursue this path. Regrettably, it is unlikely that the present governments – of Israel, the US or Europe – will have the integrity or the clarity of vision and purpose needed to conceive and convey such a lesson. Instead, they will most likely take quarter-measures, or less. Witness, even before the blood of the fallen had had time to congeal, Israeli and American “spokespersons” were already intoning the mantra that “this must not be allowed to derail the peace process!”
The very opposite should be the approach.
By failing to respond appropriately, by failing to take heed, by failing to reach and implement the obvious conclusions, they will thus communicate -- yet again -- the message that killing Jews is OK. The fallout of that failure will affect not only Israel and Jews everywhere, but will just as surely come home to roost on their own doorsteps too. By then, however, it may be too late to turn their tide.
Photo credit: Avi Ohayon, Government Press Office.
UPDATE: I hear a new hezbo group is taking credit for the mass murder and I am not buying it. It's all the same thing, all the same people, all the same religious dogma. Not buying it some new kid in town. It's the same old sick, depraved pox on humanity.
Gazan Arabs celebrate the murder of children
UPDATE: More on the Israeli Arab murderer: (hat tip Mara)
But here's something I didn't know:
"Nearly half of them are Palestinians who have received a permit to stay in Israel and an Israeli identity card on the backdrop of their marriage to an Israeli Arab, and terror groups seek to recruit them due to their access to Israeli targets."