The horror in Israel continues, and this week it reached new levels of inhumanity in the very personal attacks on innocent women.
Dafna Meir, a devoted nurse in her 30s and mother of six, was knifed to death in her home, trying to prevent the lone attacker from harming her children. (See story on page 24.) A day later a pregnant mother was stabbed in the chest while working at a used clothing charity store.
Part of the outrage in Israel is over the lack of significant outrage outside of Israel.
Where is the media coverage? Has the world become hardened by the frequency and brutality of Mideast terrorists? Does the fact that the recent stabbings took place in West Bank communities make the bloodshed more tolerable? Are Jewish lives worth less than those of others?
These questions are asked in the face of so little indignation being expressed as the Palestinian “lone wolf” attacks have gone on for four months. Initially they were attributed to the false reports that Israel sought to prevent Muslims from praying at Al Aksa mosque in the Old City. But that excuse is long forgotten. Now it seems that young Palestinians — a 16-year-old boy was arrested for Dafna Meir’s murder — are going after the most vulnerable Jews they can find, like pregnant women or those home taking care of children.
“Unfortunately our enemy will write about these attacks as acts of Palestinian courage and resistance,” wrote Sherri Mandell, the mother of Koby Mandell; he was 13 when he and a friend playing hooky from school were battered to death in a cave near their home in Tekoa in 2001. She noted that the effort “to destroy the Jewish people … will only bring further Palestinian suffering.”
Mandell and her husband, Seth, turned a tragic experience into a mitzvah, creating The Koby Mandell Foundation, which provides a camp and therapeutic programs to those who have suffered the loss of loved ones to terrorism.
But not everyone has the faith and resilience of the Mandells. Many Israelis are turning inward, feeling that their victimhood is not being validated. Others insist that it is better to eschew victimhood in defending Israeli society with vigilance.
In the meantime, each of us should do whatever he or she can, publicly and/or privately, to let our brothers and sisters in Israel know how much we care.