Slaughter in the West Bank
March 15, 2011 8 Comments
Udi Fogel, 36; Ruth Fogel, 35; and their children, Yoav, 11; Elad, 4; and Hadas, three months, are dead. They were knifed to death in the West Bank.
The slaughter is heart-breaking. Even children. An infant. Up close murderous. Yes, there you are, you usurping Zionist infant, die.
The horrible catastrophe in Japan understandably commandeered the news. Our hearts are stretched. How do we feel the pain we must? We cannot.
Is what happened to the Fogel family, the slaughtered Fogel family, wrong? Does anyone with a particle of conscience doubt that what happened to the Fogel family is wrong? Is there any reaction conceivably appropriate other than grief and condemnation?
Hamas had this to say on the English part of its website:
Palestinian National Movement Hamas official Ezzat Al-Rashak said that the movement is not responsible for the murder of the five family members from the Itamar settlement.
Al-Rashak confirmed that harming children is not part of Hamas’ policy, nor is it the policy of the resistance factions.
He also confirmed that the possibility that the incident was carried out by settlers for criminal motives should not be ruled out.
No grief, no condemnation, but could be that a Jew knifed a Jewish baby to death “for criminal motives.”
And peace is elusive. A Palestinian state is elusive. How easy, how obvious, how necessary a Palestinian state — but this?
It gets worse.
Five Zionist usurpers were killed the morning of Saturday, 12 March 2011, in a knife-stabbing carried out by a Palestinian in the usurper (settlement) of Itamar east of the city of Nablus.
Our correspondent in Nablus reported that a Palestinian mujahid was able to break into the usurper (settlement) of “Itamar” south of Nablus in the occupied (West) Bank, and stabbed five Zionist usurpers.
Zionist media sources said that “A Palestinian broke into the usurper (settlement) between the hours of 9:30 – 11:00 PM, and killed five usurpers from one family while they were sleeping.” They confirmed that the perpetrator of the act was able to escape. …
Eye-witnesses informed our correspondents that Zionist airplanes, powerful forces from the military and police, and ambulances rushed to the scene and transported the wounded and slain, while occupation forces spread throughout the vicinity of the village of Awarta, and fired dozens of flares. …
Also, the al-Qassam Brigades were able to execute a series of operations in August of last year, which were named “Stream of Fire,” by which the mujahideen of al-Qassam were able to kill four Zionists. Intelligence officials from both the military and Abbas’s militias in the West Bank were confounded by these operations, and worked with all diligence to try to discover the perpetrators.
Let us make no mistake going forward. The Fogels are dead and Hamas is a resolute and despicable enemy of peace — never mind of peace, of rudimentary human decency.
I do not minimize the suffering of the Palestinian people. I do not deny that Israel has at times abused its power and visited injustice and indignity on the Palestinian people. I devoutly wish a homeland for the Palestinian people. But I am certain that Palestinians have no hope of homeland, justice or dignity — even from their own people — as long as Hamas commands the allegiance it does. The litmus test for peace is this: do you condemn Hamas? Where there is hesitation to do so, there will be perpetual obstacles to peace.
The Israeli government’s decision to respond to the killings by announcing that it would build hundreds of new apartment units inside the major West Bank settlement blocs is the tit-for-tat dynamic we’ve come to expect. Is it wise? Is it Middle Eastern? Two different answers. Both explain why there is no peace.
The Israeli government’s decision is a steely determination to ensure that no atrocity lacks a price tag. And there is a credible basis for that philosophy. Osama bin Laden mocked the weakness of the West and was emboldened in his terrorist ambitions by our withdrawals from Lebanon and Somalia.
But there is a difference. There is no power ambiguity in the West Bank. Israel has it. Undertaking more settlements, as a “penalty,” simply reinforces the Palestinian narrative that the design is incremental encroachment. One despicable Palestinian murderer — let us even say one despicably celebrated Palestinian murderer — is not justification for doing the thing that Palestinians hate the most.
But I digress. The Fogels are dead. How people respond to that gut-wrenching reality tells me very much about the prospects for peace.