Slaughter in the West Bank

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.

On the Arabic part of its website, Hamas carried the following article:

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.

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8 Responses to Slaughter in the West Bank

  1. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    I am sick over this. It did not go unnoticed even with the news of Japan. The article by Hamas coldheartedly manages to avoid speaking about the human lives taken. It’s about executing a “series of operations,” rather than executing innocent civilians. Executing, murdering. It is what it is and to couch it in terms of their larger struggle by calling them “usurpers” only makes them look more like murdering machines. I support a free Palestinian state, too, but let Israel defend its people. I can’t believe and won’t believe that Palestinians as a majority support murder. Is there any possibility in the future that a more rational group of Palestinians will say, “Enough.”

  2. William says:

    Udi Fogel, 36; Ruth Fogel, 35; and their children, Yoav, 11; Elad, 4; and Hadas, three months.

    We need to always remember the Fogels.

  3. I heard about this on the Mark Levin show on my way home from work. Absolutely disgusting.

    Man, the difference between the English part and the Arabic part is light years apart.

    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.

    Absolutely.

    I will admit that I sort of understand where the Palestinian Hamas apologists are coming from. It’s the charity, social services Hamas provides. I look at Hamas as an octopus. You may be drawn in by their charitable arms. Once you are sucked in, you will see that its very core, it is a terrorist group.

  4. Moshe Sharon says:

    An Arab from Gaza and a self-confessed member of Hamas once asked me, “How can we have peace?” I though it was a strange question coming from a terrorist. When I asked him if he was ready to recognize Israel’s right to exist, he answered, “There is no such country as ‘Israel’; there is only Palestine, my country.” That’s why negotiating peace with Hamas or any other Arab faction is a fool’s errand. In this man’s mind, Israel’s right to exist is not an issue because there is no Israel; there is just a large, well-armed group of space-occupying Jewish squatters, who deserve death. Furthermore, every U.S. president keeps saying the same mantra, “They [Palestinian Authority] must recognize Israel’s right to exist.” Correction; they must first recognize that Israel exists. Actually, somebody forgot to tell all of the politicians that we Jews don’t need their permission to exist as a nation; G-d gave that to us at Mount Sinai. http://soulfulthought.blogspot.com

  5. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Thank you, Moshe for sharing that. It’s a perspective I wasn’t aware of but the difference you state is significant. Israel exists. It does. And all politicians need to get that.

  6. Paul Grubbs says:

    “Is there is any possibility that Palestinians will say enough is enough?”

    Everyone needs to give our president a chance. If BO were allowed enough time to talk to people on both sides of the issue, to explain the importance of civility, to bow down to the proper authorities, and to properly apologize for American atrocities then we would all have a Merry Christmas! Check- We would all have Happy Holidays. There is just not enough talk.

  7. Pingback: Hamas, Zionists, and the Word “Never” | spinnyliberal

  8. rautakyy says:

    This comes a bit late, but I just found your blog. The murder of children was absolutely wrong, but the fact that Hamas did not condemn it, was nothing in comparrison to the US not condemning the flight crew of Enola Gay. Hamas is a party at a war just like the Israel. It is an ongoing war and usually wars do not end before one party submits to the victory of the other party. That is what the warring parties expect from each other. It is not possible solution, since both are defending their own country and people on their own soil. There has to be a border between them that is not constantly contended. The safety wall is no such border, since palestinian workforce en masse has to cross it all the time, and since the israleli army and settlers constantly violate that line. The state of Israel should ivoke the Minbari solution.

    Hamas is also a religiously fanatic group. They will not simply give up and any retaliation against them and especially any collective punishment against the palestinian people is going to increase their popularity. They are the Geronimo for the palestinian nation. A symbol for resistace. Geronimo gained power since the old chiefs who had made peace whith the US government lost face among the apachees, as US government did not hold to their end of the bargains. One could claim Hamas is a criminal organization as well as terrorists, but what laws bind them? The laws their enemy has set on them? Would the US have abided if Japan had said nukes or bombing cities are against the laws of war?

    The sorry fact is, that in hindsight the Israeli state had a good chance of making peace whith the palestinians, when PLO was on the negotiating table, representing, if not all, the vast majority of palestinians at least. By undermining and breaking every treaty whith that “terrorist organization” Israel has invoked the radical islam on palestine. This they could not predict, but it would have been a good idea to take up an actual treaty acceptable to both parties when there were only two parties at the table. No, doubt the Hamas and Hizbollah would have conducted their own private wars against Israel inspite of those negotiation achievements, but if the palestinians as a people would have felt they recieved a cetain amount of respect from the Israelis, it would have been a beginning for peace. Israel acted from a position of power, like some colonial power and continues to do so. It is so sad, how the victims of most horrid act of racism in history, have ended up in building an apartheid state.

    The mindless acts of murder will only end, when people understand that killing more babies is not going to bring back the babies killed by the other side. Or is there a major difference in killing babies whith a knife or by bulldozing a house whith infants in it down? Does it make a difference if you are bombing a hospital from a helicopter gunship, or carrying a suicide bomb to a buss? To the dead infants no, but what about to the perpetrator?

    A fact is that there are too many who benefit from the current state of chaos. Israeli businesmen who may use the palestinians as “second rate” humans for their workforce. Palestinian thugs who enjoy the respect of “freedom fighter” and religious demagogues, while conducting their shady businesses on goods embargoed by Israel. Israeli and palestinian politicians who enjoy their power position by ivoking fear in their constituants. Politicians of neighbouring (and even further) islamic countries who enjoy the chance to represent solidarity to the palestinian cause, patriotism in stalwartness against Israel, while also collecting the same benefits as the israeli businesmen, by using the palestinian population and extorting them as a cheap workforce. Religious demagogues in the western countries, who rally ignorant people under their banners on some ancient scriptures, that should not hold any relevance in the current situation. Western politicians who invoke both the symphaty for the misstreatment of palestinians and the apologising for the holocaust. Arms manufacturers both in Israel and in western countries, who use this testfield to market their weapons, and fearfull nations are good customers. So, as you see there are too many too “important” people who enjoy too many benefits of the chaos, for the ordinary people of Israel or Palestine to get any chance for peace in the near future. The status quo is feeding itself.

    Still I have hope for peace. Israel being the democratic state whith overpowering military might, is however the one that holds all the keys of solution. Hamas is not going to solve this. To re enter the negotiations with a moderate palestinian group. To stop the settlers moving onto the Palestinian soil. To make amends and provide for the moderate palestinians to controll the terrorist organizations. To let the palestinian state to develope its infrastructure, and not to bomb it down frequently as a form of collective punishment. All it needs is the israeli politicians to have courage in the face of generations of fear among their own constituants.

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