Not long after the holiday of Simchat Torah, with Jews all over the world celebrating the end of the high holidays, the Nation was struck with yet another tragedy. In Judaism’s holiest city—which happens to be just mere minutes from where I grew up—an Arab terrorist took it upon himself to do what he could to be proclaimed as a “hero” of his people. He decided not to attack soldiers, a military base, or anything of the sort; he made it his mission to instill fear and kill as many Jews as possible.
After Abdel Rahman Al-Shaludi viciously plowed his car into a crowded light-rail stop near Jerusalem’s Ammunition Hill, people rushed the scene in horror as they saw several lay motionless on the street. One of those victims was 3-month-old girl, Chaya Zissel Brau, who was pronounced dead shortly after medics arrived on the scene.
The next day, Al-Shaludi’s dream of being hailed as a hero came true. The Palestinian Authority (Fatah), hailed by John Kerry as a “peace partner,” announced on their official Facebook page “The Silwan branch of Fatah honors the heroic martyr Abdel Rahman Al-Shaludi, who executed the Jerusalem operation which led to the running over of settlers in the occupied city of Jerusalem.”
If the murder of an innocent three-month-old is what puts tears in your eyes, the response by his government should make your blood boil.
Woefully, the response by our community cannot best be described as anything better than outrageous and enabling. After we first heard of Chaya’s murder at the hands of a brutal murderer, J Street U (J street’s campus branch) blamed the murder on homes being built in “East Jerusalem.” Not long after that, the initial headline of the Associated Press report on the matter read: “Israeli Police Shoot Palestinian Man in East Jerusalem,” talking about the force needed to subdue the terrorist. Not long after, the U.S State department condemned the building of Jewish homes in East Jerusalem while failing to condemn the Palestinian Authority’s response.
The Jewish community should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to happen while staying silent.
The idea that the brutal murder and celebration of the 3-month-old child is acceptable because a few Jewish homes were allowed to be built is blatantly disgusting. Moreover, the fact that international leaders, as well as leaders of NGOs, continue to imply that the murder of a Jew is justified due to the building of Jewish homes should spark outrage among the nation that has been exiled and kicked out of their home too many times. If you believe that the presence of a Jew in Judea and Samaria is an obstacle to peace, even though I can assure you that the existence of my grandparents where they currently reside is not the reason for war, you should nevertheless be outraged at people using those homes as justification for Jew-hating murder.
In this case, it really does not matter if you think that Jewish settlements should be built beyond the Green Line. It is also irrelevant if you are a supporter of Barack Obama and his foreign policy. It matters not if you are a liberal, a conservative, or what synagogue you go to. It even does not matter if you think that we should have a Jewish state in the Middle East.
When there are celebrations in Arab neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria after the murder of an innocent three-month-old, when there are streets and town squares named after those that have done the same in the past, and if national leaders are calling for the same to be done in the future— any response short of complete outrage on the part of the Jewish community epitomizes lack of moral clarity.