The past three weeks have seen an increasingly brutal series of Palestinian terrorist attacks against innocent Israeli Jews, but much of the international community either does not know or seem to care.
Toddlers have been wounded, parents murdered in front of their children and Jewish holy sites desecrated, but the conscience of the world has not been pricked. Not one lousy bit.
In the past week alone, 13 Jewish kids became orphans, their lives forever altered by the cruelty and savagery of our foes. A nine-year old was forced to stand by the freshly dug graves of his parents and recite Kaddish, an experience that no Jewish child should ever have to endure.
Yet few outside Israel seem aware of what is happening, and fewer still are shedding tears. It is time for this to change, and for pro-Israel activists worldwide to spread a simple yet powerful message. In the parlance of Twitter, it is this: #JewishLivesMatter.
We shouldn’t have to do this. We shouldn’t have to convince the media or anyone else of something so basic, a value so obvious and fundamental to being human that it staggers the mind that it needs to be articulated or verbalized.
This past Saturday night, Palestinian terrorist Mohannad Halabi attacked 22-year-old Aharon Banita and his wife and children as they walked through Jerusalem’s Old City during Succot. Halabi stabbed Banita to death and wounded his spouse and two-year-old child, before proceeding to murder Rabbi Nehemiah Lavi, who had heard the commotion and emerged from his apartment to try and stop the bloodshed.
Palestinian shopkeepers saw what was happening and refused to intervene. Instead, according to Banita’s widow, they spat upon her as she cried for help. When police arrived on the scene, they shot and killed Halabi as he attacked them.
The following day, in its World Digest section, The Washington Post headlined an Associated Press story about the incident as follows: “Palestinian is killed after fatal attack.”
Yes, you read that correctly.
Knowing full well that many readers only glance at the headlines without reading the story, the paper’s editors disgracefully decided to disregard the victims completely, instead providing a false and distorted view of what occurred.
The implicit message behind the Washington Post’s callous choice of words is as unmistakable as it is offensive: Jewish lives don’t matter. When the lives of two Jews are cruelly snuffed out by a Palestinian terrorist, they simply don’t warrant wasting the extra ink needed to include them in a large-type headline.
But it is not just the mainstream press that engages in this ugly and gruesome game. The problem goes much deeper and is far more troublesome than that.
Indeed, the insensitivity toward the value of Jewish life was on full display on Tuesday, when UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon went out of his way to condemn the killing of Palestinian terrorists while failing to mention or even acknowledge their Israeli victims.
Ban said he was “profoundly alarmed by the growing number of deadly incidents in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem.”
He then referred to the death of four Palestinians, including three terrorists killed after perpetrating attacks against Israelis, and said the following: “The secretary general condemns the killings and looks to the government of Israel to conduct a prompt and transparent investigation into the incidents, including whether the use of force was proportional.”
Ban did not utter one word – not a single syllable – about the Jews who were killed. Incredibly, he came to the defense of the murderers, demanding an investigation into their deaths, while completely ignoring those whom they killed.
What can one say in the face of such moral obtuseness? It beggars belief that the world’s top diplomat, the man charged with the mandate of preserving international peace and security, would denounce the killing of murderers but not that of their victims.
This is far beyond the standard fare of anti-Israel bias or anti-Zionist animosity. It signifies a deeper loathing, an aversion to Jews which degrades and dehumanizes them to a point that recalls some of the darkest chapters of recent history.
It is an intuitive anti-Semitism that is at work, one that speaks volumes about those who cannot muster the minimal moral courage needed to decry the murder of innocent Jews.
We cannot remain silent. We dare not turn taciturn and allow this to pass unnoticed. Let’s raise our voices and shout from the roof-tops, flood social-media and storm the fortresses of ignorance and anti-Jewish bigotry.
Seventy years after Auschwitz it should not need to be said, but apparently it still does: Jewish lives matter too. It is time we remind the world of this simple and unassailable truth.
Use the hashtag #JewishLivesMatter and spread this message at every opportunity.
In the days of antiquity, the Jewish people gave the world ethical monotheism and the basis for morality.
In our times, it would appear that we need to do so again.
Reprinted with author’s permission from The Jerusalem Post