This week’s terror attack in a Jerusalem synagogue evoked a 300-word unsigned editorial from the New York Times.
Seemingly, this was a straightforward case: two terrorists with a gun, axes, and knives entered the synagogue and proceeded to butcher peaceful, unarmed worshippers. But for the Times, nothing involving Israel is straightforward.
Yes, the Times called the attack a “bloody rampage” and said Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas “has a duty to make the moral case that such brutality and inhumanity can only bring shame upon the Palestinian people” (which, by the way, he’s never going to do).
But the Times also called the attack
a tragedy for all Israelis and Palestinians. The two communities appeared increasingly locked in a cycle of hatred and hopelessness, where chances for stability, much less permanent peace, seem nearly impossible.
… it also is part of an alarming wave of violence fueled by a dispute over a holy site in the Old City known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.
The drift of that could not be clearer: both sides are at fault, both evincing “hatred” and “violence” that make peace “nearly impossible.”
But is that really true?
The attack on the synagogue immediately killed four Jews, three of them rabbis; a fifth person—an Israeli Druze policeman who fought the terrorists—died the following day.
In addition to those five, six other people have been killed by Palestinian terror since October 22: a three-month-old Israeli girl and an Ecuadorian woman in a car-ramming attack, an Israeli Druze border patrolman and a 17-year-old Israeli youth in another car-ramming attack, an off-duty Israeli soldier in a stabbing attack, and an Israeli woman in a car-ramming/stabbing attack.
Another Israeli, Rabbi Yehuda Glick, survived an attempt to shoot him to death by a Palestinian terrorist. And three other soldiers were injured in another car-ramming incident that now also turns out to have been a terror attack.
Now, in those five weeks, how many Palestinians have been killed or injured in terror attacks? The answer, of course, is none. The only Palestinians killed in the “conflict” have been those shot by Israeli policemen or soldiers during or after attacks.
By this standard, the United States and ISIS have been “locked in a cycle of hatred” and violence. Innocent Americans have been killed by ISIS; ISIS members have been killed in U.S. air strikes. It’s the same thing, isn’t it?
If you go back to last July 2, you’ll find a brutal murder by three Israelis of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy named Muhammad Abu Khdeir (supposed “revenge” for the earlier killing of three Israeli youths by Hamas members). The Israeli perpetrators of that crime, which shocked and horrified the whole country, are now in jail awaiting trial. The leader of the three was an individual so aberrant that he had earlier threatened to murder his one-month-old daughter.
Anyone who keeps track at all of this “conflict” knows the situation is very different on the Palestinian side, where murderers of Israelis—any Israelis—are systematically honored, glorified, and if possible, remunerated.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, behind the haze of disinformation and distortions of the New York Times and other big media, a sad but heartwarming event occurred in Israel.
Zidan Sayif, the 30-year-old Druze policeman who along with two other policemen fought the synagogue terrorists on Tuesday, paid for doing so with his life, and is survived by a wife and five-month-old daughter, was buried in the Druze village of Yanuh-Jat in northern Israel. The thousands in attendance included Druze notables and the Israeli president, internal security minister, police commissioner, and other officials.
And they also included hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Israeli Jews. The synagogue attacked on Tuesday was ultra-Orthodox. Although ultra-Orthodox Jews tend to be insular, they came out in appreciation of Zidan Sayif’s heroism as he and his fellow officers prevented what could have been a much larger massacre.
At the funeral, ultra-Orthodox Member of Knesset Eli Yishai said:
We all weep alongside the family. We are here to pay our last respects to a great hero who gave his life. . . . Your memory is forever engraved in our hearts.
Risha Segal, an ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem resident, had earlier posted online:
We are calling for widespread solidarity throughout Israel, with an emphasis on gratitude. We will not be ungrateful and will show our thanks for those who sacrificed their lives for us. This is one of the most important principles in Judaism.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Sayif’s father on Wednesday and said:
Your son’s bravery prevented many victims. On behalf of the citizens of Israel I want to offer my condolences for his death while fulfilling his duty. It is precisely at this time that you must raise your heads high with pride and know that the death of your son was not in vain. Thanks to him many citizens can now continue their lives.
And Sheikh Moafaq Tarif, spiritual leader of the Israeli Druze community, had this to say at the funeral:
The entire Druze community lowers its head together with the families of the victims of the terrible massacre in Jerusalem, and we hope for safer, quieter days ahead. We must take our covenant of blood and turn it into a covenant of life. We are a peace-seeking people, and our sons serve this state and the entire public, and we will continue to do so.
The Palestinian Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza, too, could live peacefully with the Jews of Israel and other peace-loving peoples of the Middle East. They could work out their differences with Israel without ramming, shooting, hacking, and stabbing men, women, and children. Realizing that, though, seems beyond the ken of the New York Times.
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