Two brothers were killed in a horrific terrorist attack. No, it’s not the two brothers who were mowed down by a Palestinian in a car-ramming attack. Those two brothers were 6 and 8 years old. The two brothers killed this weekend managed to reach the ages of 21 and 19 before another Palestinian shot them to death.
If you are feeling a sense of anger or hatred after a simple opening paragraph like that, then you are feeling a fraction of the anger, pain, and desire for revenge that the hundreds of Israelis who descended upon the town where the attack occurred, Huwara, felt. They took out their anger on the residents and property of that town, killing one Palestinian and burning homes and cars.
This is 100% unacceptable, and every one of those people should be arrested and tried to the fullest extent of the law. Regardless of how anyone feels about an injustice or an evil that has occurred, there is no excuse for vigilantism and terror against others. It was unacceptable in the United States in the summer of 2020, and it’s unacceptable in this situation as well. There are two aspects of this story, however, that are galling when looked at.
First is the reaction from the normal Jew-haters, both in America and abroad. Ilhan Omar, one of the most Jew-hating members of Congress in American history, gave the same response to this as she would have to the building of a water fountain in Efrat. “This comes against the backdrop of massive settlement expansion and de facto annexation of the West Bank by the most rightwing Israeli government in history—moves that would erase any hope for a two-state solution,” she said. “The U.S. must seek full accountability for any violations of international law, and ensure that our own U.S. tax dollars are not funding human rights violations.” Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian American, has remained questionably silent on this so far. This means she is likely garnering support for a broader condemnation of Israel and greater demands for sanctions against the lone Jewish State.
Neither of these people, nor any others, gave an ounce of compassion to the two brothers who were killed. They also did not worry about the glaring hypocrisy of condemning rioting in Huwara while condoning it in Minneapolis, Waukesha, Atlanta, or any other of the dozens of cities that suffered similar fates in 2020. The egregious part of this is that they only have one goal in mind: the complete destruction of the state of Israel. Since they’ve been a broken record on steps that they wish for America to take towards that goal, they have no more cards to play. It is hilariously tragic that they actually have a legitimate condemnation to make, yet it sounds vapid and hollow because of all the previous times they’ve cried wolf.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was delighted with this raid, because he has yet another excuse to attack Israel (if he needed one.) “We hold the Israeli government fully responsible,” he added, claiming that the settlers had taken their cue from “the positions of some ministers in this extreme right-wing Israeli government.” Abbas called on Israel to - you guessed it - halt settlement expansion. It doesn’t matter what the beginning of the sentence is, the end of it is always the same.
The other aspect that is galling comes from the inverse side of this tragedy: those who condone the actions of the Israelis. While it is understandable that the instinctive desire for revenge is somewhat satiated by acts such as these, supporters of Israel must be better than our enemies. As infuriating as that is, Israelis need to contain their anger and refocus it as they had been doing for so long - electing a government that will conduct targeted strikes on the terrorist leaders.
That is exactly what the Netanyahu government has been doing, and they should increase the scope and severity of these strikes. The raid on Nablus was a good start in showing the Palestinian Authority that Israel will not sit idly by while citizens under PA control commit acts of terror. Remember, while the Israeli government and people largely condemned the actions of these settlers, Palestinians celebrate when a terrorist strikes. Candy is handed out to children, fireworks are let off, and streets are named after the “martyrs.” Money is given to the families of terrorists by the Palestinian Authority. The only thing these settlers are getting from Israel is a court date.
Being on the right side is painfully frustrating, especially when your enemies do not have the same restraint. Palestinian terrorists have no qualms killing children, yet Israelis must restrain the passion of their citizens lest an innocent life is taken. Palestinian terrorists would have a month of celebration if they torched an Israeli town, while Israel is in a period of reflection and mourning after the actions of a few. While it seems unfair, understanding that this is wrong is a small part of the fight that each one of us should do - all the while supporting the men and women of the IDF while they do their jobs.
By Moshe Hill