A Line Has Been Crossed Although I’m ready for sleep, I cannot. Despite my need for rest, I can tell it will not come. There is an urgency I must address first. Indeed, I feel as if my office and its desk have become a sort of emergency room.
Earlier tonight I scoured Danville for heart-shaped sunglasses for my younger daughter. Futility reigned; after more than half a dozen stores, I found one pair, the last in our city. Or so it seems.
Tomorrow I will mail them to my daughter in Jerusalem. Along with that I will include her tallit (prayer shawl) and her tefillin (phylacteries), essential accouterments for her, a committed Jewess.
What I won’t be sending her is a gas mask; Israeli officials have begun dispensing those in anticipation of a chemical weapons attack by Syria. Nor will I discuss where she must go to find safety in the event of missiles from Iran or, much closer, from Egypt and/or Lebanon. [please see: Egypt Moves Closer to Iran, Moves Forces Close to IsraelMichael Widlanski — August 20, 2012
At the opposite end of Jerusalem from her sister, my older daughter lives with her husband. Less than two weeks ago, he donated a kidney to save the life of a 20-year-old friend. To me, my son-in-law is a hero to whom my daughter is his perfectly matched angel.
She plans to be a nurse someday after studying at a Hebrew university. As a graduate, she will help anyone, Arab or Jew. Her heart, like that of her spouse, is expansive and kind; what nurturers they are!
Every day I fight the urge to go there to guard them. I imagine myself as a Clint Eastwood character keeping them from harm. They would tell me I worry too much; Hashem will protect them. “Still,” they would say, “come visit us.”
Of course, I want to. Also, I want to believe that unifying bridges can be built to enhance cooperation with Arab/Muslim countries. And I want to believe that good-hearted Palestinians will want to be good neighbors.
Unfortunately, my confidence wanes. Martyrdom and jihad have supplanted peace and friendship when it comes to Muslim intentions regarding their Jewish neighbors. A recent interview that appeared on Palestinian TV causes me to take seriously the pathological behavior of Allah-dependent Palestinians and their Muslim brothers from other Mideast countries.
My innocent and loving daughters, my Israeli companions, and Israelis in general are in their crosshairs. When you read what follows, I’m sure you will understand why I want to hand deliver the package and myself in person to my daughters. God help us all.
MONDAY, AUGUST 20, 2012
"It was great... you could sense everybody was happy... I had hoped for a larger toll"
This Ongoing War..
20 August '12..
Please spend two minutes and 46 seconds in watching the edited extract of a television interview with the woman who planned and executed a massacre of innocent civilians, most of them children, eleven years ago. Following the killings, she went to her place of work which happens to have been a television studio, and calmly read the evening news bulletin, starting with a report of the massacre that she herself had perpetrated some hours earlier.
After an intense criminal investigation, she was arrested less than two months later and charged with the murders of fifteen people, along with a host of other felonies. She was convicted and sentenced to sixteen terms of life imprisonment. But as a result of cynical political deal, she was freed (not pardoned) and released to the land of her birth where she has become a celebrity. Her recent wedding to her cousin, another unjustly freed murderer, received live television coverage and broad media attention. Not only a celebrity but a hero.
Watch how the woman's face radiates the joy that comes from recounting how the death toll grew steadily in the hour or so that she spent fleeing the scene via public transport, unhindered by the police. Absorb the message of how members of the public, unaware the murderer was seated beside them, expressed happiness at the deaths of anonymous children.
Imagine the feelings of the families of the innocents murdered by a person like this as they see her achievements celebrated and honored, as they listen to the prideful boasting of an unrepentant killer whose only regret is that she did not manage to kill more. She has confessed over and again since being allowed out of captivity. There can be absolutely no doubt that her deeds are an inspiration to countless others seeking the glory and vindication that her society has delivered to her.
The video, which went to air in July and has just been translated and edited by MEMRI, is here.
Ahlam Tamimi lives in complete and unfettered freedom in the Kingdom of Jordan from where she has traveled several times in the ten months since her release to such places as Tunisia, Lebanon and Qatar. She has a television program of her own that is broadcast by satellite throughout the Arabic-speaking world. She married her cousin in June.
Among the fifteen people murdered by her on August 9, 2001 is our daughter Malki who was fifteen years old. A sixteenth victim, the young mother of a two year old child, has remained in a vegetative state since being injured in the attack.
What should a civilized society do in the wake of this woman's story?
B. Koplen 8/21/12