‘Uneaten Birthday Cakes Next to Pools of Blood’
An Israeli parliamentarian who arrived on the scene of Wednesday night’s Palestinian terrorist attack at an upscale outdoor mall in Tel Aviv summed up in a phrase what terrorism is all about.
“Uneaten birthday cakes next to pools of blood,” is how Likud MK Amir Ohana described what he first encountered in the immediate aftermath of the shooting spree at the Max Brenner chocolate shop/café in the outdoor Sarona mall, committed by two relatives from the village of Yatta near Hebron.
No matter how precise the details of such attacks Israelis experience on a regular basis – and despite the accuracy of eyewitness accounts of fear felt, screams heard and killing observed – it is rare for words to capture carnage so well.
Yes, “uneaten birthday cakes next to pools of blood” tells us everything we need to know about the setting itself and its significance in the twisted, brainwashed minds of young people in the Palestinian Authority. It is precisely what the two young men who brought makeshift assault rifles with them to an eatery on a summer’s eve had envisioned. It was exactly their goal to slaughter Jews, some of whom would be out and about in flip-flops, merely enjoying respite from the oppressive heat of the day, and others dressed to the nines, celebrating personal milestones.
Indeed, “uneaten birthday cakes next to pools of blood” says it all. It is a reminder of the funerals that will devastate entire families for the rest of their lives; the months of physical rehabilitation and post-trauma awaiting those in induced comas; and the tears of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters praying at bedsides.
“You never get used to it,” a surgeon from the Ichilov Medical Center, where the wounded – among them one of the two terrorists – are being treated.
The rest of us in Israel, meanwhile, will be treated by the international community to reprimands about the need for peace, just as we are already being bombarded on local talk shows with the urgency for “an agreement with the Palestinians.” Like the terrorist attacks themselves, these pronouncements are repeated virtually without let-up.
The difference this time is the addition of the discussion about how Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s new defense minister, who assumed his role only 10 days ago, is going to meet the challenge, particularly as a proponent of the death penalty for terrorists, which the Jewish state does not have. Natch.
This is something the Arabs in Judea, Samaria, east Jerusalem and Gaza are keenly aware of, along with the knowledge that if they engage in particularly gruesome violence, they will be hailed as heroes by their society and leaders. Those who are killed while murdering Jews can look forward not only to paradise in the after-life, but being martyrs after whom sports arenas, cultural events and streets are named.
Thankfully, Lieberman – whose alleged first order of business over the weekend was to strike terrorist bases in Syria — did not talk politics. Instead, he gave a brief press conference at the scene of the attack with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Netanyahu had literally just landed in Tel Aviv from a two-and-a-half-day trip to Russia, ostensibly to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of full diplomatic relations with Moscow, but really to cement growing ties with President Vladimir Putin. This is the sad but necessary upshot of the Obama administration’s attitude towards Israel in particular and the Middle East in general.
Netanyahu understands that he has to have an alternative ally on whom to rely when it comes to safeguarding Israel from the dangers posed by the civil war in Syria, chief among them Iran’s presence and Palestinian proxy Hezbollah. Oh, and there’s ISIS, too, which is also increasing its foothold in the Sinai, along Israel’s southern border, adjacent to Gaza. You know, where Hamas continues to build tunnels through which to smuggle weapons and kidnap and kill Israelis.
For his part, Putin is only too happy to oblige, and replace the United States as the world’s superpower, a status his country lost when the Soviet Union fell 26 years ago. And the Palestinian “problem” was no more connected to that past event than it is to today’s global reality. It is simply a convenient excuse employed to hold Israel accountable and responsible for all ills. It is the politically correct contemporary antisemitic outlook, according to which Jews control the world.
What a hoot. We can’t even eat our birthday cakes at a chocolate bar without pools of our blood being spilled.
Ruthie Blum is the managing editor of The Algemeiner.