Every day I sit and write the news. I write about the who, what, where, when, and why’s of what is happening around Israel. For the last two weeks my team and I have been covering the events surrounding the kidnappings of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel by Hamas terrorists.
For two weeks, every word I wrote about the missing boys was just news. My brain separated from my emotions, it was my job to report the latest events regarding the search and rescue operations to find the boys. While secretly in my heart I prayed that the boys would be found alive, a small part of me prepared for the worst as every new article I wrote shed no new light as to whether the boys were alive or dead.
Last night, while enjoying dinner with my family, safe in the comfort of my home surrounded by those I love, I received an emergency alert that the bodies of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali had been found half buried in a field near Hebron. Looking up at my family, I realized that it was up to me to break the tragic news. While the entire nation poured out its heart to bring back the boys safely to the comfort of their own homes, God had other plans.
As I sat at the computer typing up a breaking news article and realizing that it was upon my shoulders yet again to break the news, but to thousands others, with each letter I typed I felt like a small part of myself was being ripped away. While I never knew Eyal, Gilad and Naftali, my soul knew them and their deaths are a personal and national tragedy.
Last night, in a statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he referred to the murderers as “human animals.” When I read what the prime minister said, it struck me as slightly odd but I could not put my finger on as to why. Only when discussing this morning the tragic events with my mother did it come to light.
The terrorists who killed Eyal, Gilad and Naftali are not “human animals.”
The terrorists who killed Eyal, Gilad and Naftali have absolutely no right to be compared on the same level as animals.
You see, animals are greater than these excuses for men. It is a total insult to put these pathetic human beings on equal footing with the animal kingdom.
Animals kill in order to survive. When they are hungry, they hunt and therefore kill their prey. Animals do not kill for fun or for some perceived higher purpose.
What these terrorists did has no label, no description. These murderers have no concept of the value of human life. For them, life is expendable. Whether it means blowing themselves up and taking others along with their suicide or killing innocent youth like Eyal, Gilad and Naftali, the terrorists know exactly how to strike at the heart of Israel.
Israel has a golden opportunity to really pay back those who have ripped apart the nation. Palestinian leadership knows what’s coming. Mahmoud Abbas was on the phone with world leaders hours after the discovery of the dead bodies, begging them to restrain Israel. Hamas has voiced it usual rhetoric that it will not stand for any action against its jihadist forces as they continue to shoot rockets upon Israel.
Israeli leadership is divided as to how how to respond but one things is clear – respond they will.
There should be no more negotiating with people who have set their total existence, their life’s goal on the complete annihilation of the Jewish people and the Jewish state. There should be no more pleasing the international community who have absolutely no clue what it means to live under constant threat each day.
I would love to see members of the UN, EU, US and other world powers live in southern Israel for one week while rockets rain down each day from terrorists in Gaza. Let them feel what it means to have to run to a bomb shelter in five seconds or risk dying.
I want these people to internalize what it means to send your child off to school each day and have a small voice in the back of your mind, your heart, question whether you will see them at the end of the day. Will my child be kidnapped or blown up by terrorists today? No parent should ever have to ask that of themselves.
No parent should ever have to bury their own child.
The time for words has passed. The time for action is now. As Rabbi Hillel so famously asked, “V’im Lo Achshav, Eimatai?” – If not now, when?
The moment for Israel to act with dignity and stand up for itself on the world stage has arrived. With a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, we must honor the memories of Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali and make clear to the terrorists that there is no more messing with Israel.