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March 22, 2011 11:08 am

Calculated Reflections on Itamar

avatar by Josh Hasten

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Yoav Fogel, HY"D.

It’s been a little more than a week since the terror attack in the community of Itamar, Israel, in which five members of the same family were brutally slaughtered in their home.   I decided to wait a while before sharing my thoughts on this horrific incident in order to somewhat regain my composure and let what happened resonate.  Unfortunately for the victims’ families, just a week’s time hardly eases the pain, suffering, and feelings of loss.

While many were shocked by the Itamar attack, I was hardly surprised. As my last blog entry indicated, written just prior to the massacre,  the Fatah terror organization, Israel’s so-called “peace partner,” which claimed responsibility for the attack, has carried out thousands of attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers over the past twenty+ years.

While everyone knows that Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al-Qaeda are evil, Fatah, which acts as a Trojan horse, speaking about peace in English only to continue the incitement against Israel in Arabic, is constantly pardoned.  In fact, literally at the same time that Israel was busy burying the five members of the Fogel family, including their three young children, Fatah was naming a town square in honor of Dalal Mughrabi, the terrorist responsible for the 1978 infamous coastal road attack that cost 35 Israelis their lives.

Some may think that the murdering of Israeli children in Itamar was a novel act, but history proves otherwise. In ancient Egypt, the Pharaoh ordered that all male Jewish newborns be cast into the Nile since his astrologers forecasted that the redeemer of the enslaved Jewish people was set to come into the world.  In addition, the Nazis didn’t hesitate to throw Jewish babies in the air and shoot them on their way down as a sadistic way to get their kicks.  Most recently, Arab terrorists have murdered Israeli men, women, and yes – children, many times before.

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But something is different about the Itamar travesty.  Despite the fact that Jews living in areas acquired in a defensive war of survival in 1967 are erroneously viewed as obstacles to peace, and attacks against them are rationalized and justified by most of the world community, the Itamar attack represents a loss of innocence for those living as so-called “settlers.”

While the mainstream media only focuses on the violence associated with the Jews of Judea and Samaria and their Arab neighbors, what they omit is the fact that within these communities, life pre-Itamar was similar to what it was in America 100 years ago – peaceful and carefree.

People were leaving their doors open at all times, bicycles were never chained, and children felt safe to walk around until the late hours of the night.

Now however, that feeling of security, at least in the short-term, has eroded.

I know firsthand that kids old enough to understand about Itamar are (over a week later) still having trouble sleeping at night. Parents have obsessively started locking their doors, and overall the feelings of security have been tarnished.  Life may go back to that near-utopia someday, but for now, anxiety and fear in anticipation of another Itamar have taken over.

Some may therefore theorize that the terrorists accomplished their mission – scaring the masses, which is the true goal of terrorism. But I believe the terrorists have actually failed.

Some rationalize that the ultimate response to terrorism is to simply ‘move on’ with life as if nothing happened, because then the terrorists will know they haven’t caused a disturbance. I say just the opposite. Instead of moving on, we need to let the pain of Itamar sink in and burn. Not that our children, neighbors, and ourselves should remain permanently  traumatized, but instead of simply moving on, we must pause, reflect, and do everything in our power to make sure that Itamar doesn’t happen again.

That means from a defense perspective making sure our communities are safe and secure, but even more-so we as Israelis need to go on the offensive with our army and security forces and root out the terrorist infrastructure before they can attack again. Such action cannot take place in cooperation with the security forces made up of our so-called peace partners – Fatah/PA, since as I have explained ad nauseam that organization, disguised as a ‘moderate’ group, seeks the 100% destruction of the State of Israel.

I’ve heard many people including our own Prime Minister refer to the perpetrators of the Itamar attack as being “animals,” but I beg to differ.  An animal attacks other living creatures when it’s hungry, afraid, or makes an honest mistake. A shark doesn’t wake up in the morning and decide to take a bite out of a surfer.  His instinct tells him that the moving object in the water is either food, or is a threat, therefore he acts.  The attack in Itamar was a very human pre-mediated act, carried out by someone raised in a culture of incitement and hatred of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

Instead of simply moving on, it’s time to look in the mirror, understand what we see, and take action. Only then can we regain our lost innocence and prove that terror won’t deter us from living as Jews in all of the Land of Israel.

May G-d justly avenge the blood of the Itamar 5.

This article was written in their blessed memory.

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  • Emjo

    You’ve hit the nail on the head with this paragraph, Josh!
    “I’ve heard many people including our own Prime Minister refer to the perpetrators of the Itamar attack as being “animals,” but I beg to differ. An animal attacks other living creatures when it’s hungry, afraid, or makes an honest mistake. A shark doesn’t wake up in the morning and decide to take a bite out of a surfer. His instinct tells him that the moving object in the water is either food, or is a threat, therefore he acts. The attack in Itamar was a very human pre-mediated act, carried out by someone raised in a culture of incitement and hatred of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.”

  • The muted world response to this sends a chilling message: Jewish blood is cheap.
    Some people have said, “Well, in a week that included 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami, can we really expect people to notice a few people killed in Israel?” It called to mind for me, a quote from Mandatory Palestine, when a British diplomat shrugged off Jewish deaths at the hands of terrorist saying, “More people than that are killed every week in London, in traffic accidents.” An accident is very different from premeditated murder in cold blood. A death is *not* just a death.

  • ruth cohen

    i agree with all you say. how long our leadership sells us the messiah fatah while knowing full well that there is no difference between them and hamas. we are being led by those who have an interest in the destruction of the torah and our jewish way of life. nothing is a coincident here.
    we are under attack and the only real weapon we have is faith that hashem will avenge the blood of all the innocents.

  • Ronald Gray

    Powerful, intelligent and a meaningful measure of nechama to the family. May Ha’Shem give them strength.

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