By Paula R. Stern
On May 8, 2001, a Palestinian brutally beat to death two 13-year old boys exploring a cave – Koby Mandell and Yosef Ishran.
On August 9, 2001, a Palestinian walked into a pizzeria in Jerusalem with a guitar case loaded with explosives and blew himself up, killing 15 people, including 7 children and a pregnant woman. One victim is still unconscious.
On Octobr 7, 2004 32 people were murdered in two Sinai hotel resort hotels by Palestinian terrorists who knew that Israelis frequented the hotels. Among the dead, two brothers – Gilad, aged 11, and little Lior, aged 3.
On December 5, 2005, Palestinian terrorists attempted to enter a mall in Netanya but blew up themselves and 5 others at the entrance.
On March 6, 2008, Rosh Chodesh Adar, eight students of the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva were murdered by terrorists who entered the school and opened fire.
On March 11, 2011, two Palestinian cousins entered the home of Ruti and Udi Fogel. He murdered the couple and killed three of their children, including four year old Elad, whom they stabbed in the heart, and little Hadas, who was only four months old when they butchered her.
On October 22, 2014, Chaya Zissel Braun, only three months old, and Karen Mosquera were murdered in a ramming attack at the Ammunition Hill train station.
Last week, early Friday morning, a 21-year-old terrorist living in El Azariya – a neighborhood in Jerusalem, left his place of employment (a deli in the mall in Maale Adumim), and used an axe to attempt to murder a Jewish guard. The guard has a name, a family. He is Tzvika Cohen. He is 48 years old. He is married to a devoted wife who is staying by his side, praying for his recovery. He has four children including an 8 year old and a 12 year old who is supposed to be celebrating his bar mitzvah in just a few weeks. He has a community that has rallied together to raise thousands of dollars to try to help the family but what they really need is not something we can give them – they need Tzvika, healthy and whole.
Two days ago, Arab snipers opened fire on a children’s playground. Thankfully, there were no injuries.
Last night, an Arab mob ambushed two soldiers who had taken a wrong turn. The soldiers were able to escape the mob and were finally extricated safely by a massive force of soldiers rushing in to get them. Their jeep was torched and destroyed.
Yes, I’m sure it’s because of the “occupation”…because sheesh, whenever I’m angry and think the world is being unfair, whether I am right or wrong, the first thing I do is pull out my rifle and fire at a playground with children in it, or pick up an axe and start stabbing a father of four children from behind, start up my car and ram it into innocent people. If I see people lost in my neighborhood, of course, I burn their vehicle.
It must be because of the “occupation”, right? The “occupation” that began in 1967, right?
Well, think again. It was happening before 1967. If it wasn’t, why did Palestinians attack a house and murder a woman and her two children in 1953?
Why did they open fire on a synagogue in Shafir in 1956, killing three children and a youth counselor?
Why did they murder a member of Kibbutz Beit Guvrin in 1957, and another from Kibbutz Bonen in 1958, and another from Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan in 1959?
And why did they shoot two hikers near Masada in 1959?
Could it be that it was not because of the 1967 “occupation” but because of the 1948 creation of the State of Israel?
Think again. It wasn’t only since 1948. It was happening before that, and if you don’t think so, explain why they murdered 67 people in Hevron, including their peaceful longtime neighbors, 46 yeshiva students and teachers in 1929?
And why did they loot, rape and murder Jews in 1834, in the city of Safed, because…because…because they could?
Perhaps it is only in the land of Israel where Muslims feel threatened and therefore attack Jews?
Well, that was an interesting idea, but history shows you are wrong…
What of the Allahdad incident in Mashhad, Iran in 1839, when Jews were forced to convert to Islam? Or the destruction of Torah scrolls and the burning of a synagogue in Meshed, also in 1839. There, too, the Jews were forced to convert. And there was another massacre in 1867 in Barfurush – all outside the land of Israel, disconnected except for the fact that the hatred was the same and the victims were of the same religion.
In 1465, Arab mobs in Morocco slaughtered thousands of Jews, leaving only 11 alive. What happened in 1066 wasn’t because of the “occupation,” just as it wasn’t because of the “occupation” in 1966 and it isn’t because of the “occupation” in 2016. And, on 1066, Muslims murdered an estimated 4,000 Jews in one day. One day…and no “occupation.”
So, here we have a quick review of a just a few of the man instances covering over 1,000 years of attacks on Jews, killing even more than we are experiencing today, innocent Jews who died at the hands of Muslims.
Is it REALLY because of the “occupation?”
Are you ready for the truth?
What happened in 1066 wasn’t because of the “occupation,” just as it wasn’t because of the “occupation” in 1966 and it isn’t because of the “occupation” in 2016. Tzvika is in the hospital, fighting for his life for one reason. Those children were nearly murdered for one reason. My friend’s car was nearly hit with a boulder thrown at her as she made her way home last night, for one reason.
Then, in 1066 and then, in 1966, and now, in 2016 – there is one and only one reason.
We are Jews. We believe. We live our lives dedicated to our beliefs – in one God, in one land for this one people. And the hatred that drove the Cossacks to burn my grandmother’s synagogue in the Ukraine, and the hatred that drove the Nazis to murder my husband’s grandparents and my great-grandmother and great aunts and all of my father’s family that remained in Russia, and the hatred of the Arabs today, and the hatred we see in France and Germany and England and in the United States – none of it ever had anything to do with “occupation.”
We owe it to ourselves, to our children and grandchildren, and to Tzvika, to be honest.
It is not about the “occupation.”