This War is Taking Our Best

Israel needs to accept that it’s not the victim of terrorist crime, but rather that it is at war and needs a winning strategy

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Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin from Neriyah were killed last week by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, the military arm of Fatah, the “moderate” faction of “moderate” Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. 

But this well-planned killing of Jews was not a crime. Eitam and Naama were not murdered by savage, blood-thirsty sub-humans. This pre-meditated attack was carried out by people who are at war against Israel’s very existence, a fact that is well masked by what is presented as a legitimate “fight for freedom” against the Israeli occupation of the “Palestinian state” whose flag now flies at UN Headquarters.

This attack was carried out just hours after Abbas’ “speech of lies” at the UN, where he once again wrapped his hate for Israel in rhetoric palatable for the gullible West. The support of the countries of the world, he said, is needed for the sake of truth, freedom and lawfulness. A Palestinian state, he continued, will be “the greatest contribution to peacemaking in the Holy Land.” 

It is for good reason that following this speech, Islam expert Mordechai Kedar labeled Abbas a soldier in a “‘political Jihad’ whose goal is the establishment of Muslim State No. 58 on the ruins of the one and only Jewish State.” The doctrine of Islamic Jihad, continued Kedar in stating the obvious, “mandates the inclusion of an element of deceit, and Mahmoud Abbas is a master of deception.”

The disheartening part of it all is that almost every Israeli, from President Rivlin to the fish merchant at Ben Yehuda market, continues to use terms taken from the criminal vocabulary, and Israel continues to fight this jihad as if it were some sort of criminal activity. 

It is notable that the first to arrive at the scene of the killing of Rabbi Eitam and his wife was the forensic unit of the Israeli police. Similarly, Israeli media continues to describe murderous rock and Molotov cocktail attackers as “youths,” “activists,” “militants” or “human animals.”

But the killing of a young rabbi destined for greatness and of his lovely wife is a chilling reminder that Israel is at war, a war that for some reason tends to consume her very best. In a moving Facebook post Aharon Rose mourns his friend: “We lose our very best; the greatest among the next generation leadership of religious Zionism was murdered.” A man of “great genius of noble spirit” he calls him. A gaze at Eitam’s blog shows just how accurate this description is, and how urgent it is for us Israelis to wake up to the fact that the Henkins are casualties of war, and not victims of heinous crime.


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