An 18 month-old Muslim child was murdered on the West Bank. Allegedly (for now) by Jewish/Israeli extremists. His name was Ali Dawabshe. His father, Saad, and mother, Reham, might yet die from their injuries, too.
Six people were stabbed at a gay-rights rally in Jerusalem by an “ultra-Orthodox” assailant. One 16-year-old young woman later died. Her name was Shira Banki.
I have always wanted the Muslim world to speak out against its own terrorists. Or at least, their terrorism.
Today, I must speak out against ours.
To cause the death of innocent, unprotected civilians — or even of non-combatant soldiers — is murder. Let us not call it anything else.
The world is silent at the death of Jews, because they don’t call it “murder.” Instead, it becomes wrapped in high-sounding rhetoric, in which the killer becomes a “hero”; a “martyr.”
Such silence demeans life itself.
We, as Jews, must not — must never — do the same.
Those who kill are not “martyrs.” They are not “ultra-Orthodox.”
They are murderers.
What’s more, they are cowards. They will always prefer to fight against someone who can’t fight them back. Even if it means their own eventual death.
That, I think, is what the world misses: These “terrorists,” like all bullies, are fundamentally weak people who will do anything for a sense of personal power. I have met people who talk this game. People who talk gladly about murdering or blowing things up. I don’t argue with them because underneath, it’s not about “right or wrong” for them. It’s about grand-standing. No discussion or conversation about it is acceptable to them (other than to agree with them). They speak with force, as if such intensity justifies them. Disagree with them once and you find yourself in a blazing argument.
I stay away from them as much as possible.
Murder is murder.
It is not “Orthodox.” It is not “Jewish” in any sense of the word that I have ever been taught or understood.
Murder is murder.
I reject it, without in any way denying Israel’s right to exist within secure borders.
I also believe that now is the essential time to reject this culturally, before it becomes a “normal” option in Israeli or Jewish life.
I am proud, though, of those in Israel who protest such murders:
We should each find a way to do the same. A peaceful way.