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Our Murdered Baby

Our Murdered Baby

Infanticide shakes Israel to the core. The world lets it pass unnoticed.


A 10-month-old baby girl, on the playground, her head placed in the sniper’s scope, shot dead in her father’s arms.

This cowardly, beastly act tore a hole in every Jewish heart. The pain was compounded by the drama of Shalhevet’s mother, crouched for hours on the floor of the playground, not allowing the burial society to touch her dead baby.

All of Israel is shaken. Why? Because this is not about targeting settlers. It is about targeting Jews. All Jews. I am reminded of the words of PLO secretary general Marwan Barguti, who calmly told MBC Saudi television why the PLO would justify a 1995 attack that killed 21 people at a bus stop at Netanya: "This is an area that we have yet to liberate."

So this week, as we were still quivering from the murder of 10-month-old Shalhevet, the news struck of a terrorist bomb in Jerusalem's busy Talpiot industrial and shopping area.

A few hours later, another suicide bomb, this time in the capital's French Hill neighborhood.

One day later, teenagers dead in Kfar Saba. And more bombs found in Netanya and Petach Tikvah.

The attacks were barely touched by the foreign press. When Palestinians fired shots this week at my neighbor's house in suburban Modi’in, the incident was not reported by the media, anywhere.

Does anyone care?

That Shalhevet’s murder was not the top international headline, I could understand -- had the media not a few months ago made the unfortunate death of a Palestinian boy, caught in crossfire, top news for many weeks. That incident left a lot of questions unanswered, the most important being what was he and his father doing in the heart of crossfire shooting, and how the media came to be perfectly placed to photograph it.

After this week’s suicide bombings, the Associated Press headline read: "Palestinian Militants Strike Twice” (March 27, 2001). Is it appropriate to call suicide bombers as “militants?” The U.S. State Department lists Hamas as a "terrorist organization." Why doesn't the Associated Press?

Whitewashing “terrorists” promotes their violent methods.

The day of Shalhevet’s murder, speaking at the opening meeting of the Arab League summit in Jordan, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the world has every right to criticize Israel for occupying Arab land and for its "excessively harsh response" to the Palestinian uprising.

Annan uttered not one word critical of the Palestinian terrorism and street violence.

Meanwhile in Hebron, in the aftermath of Shalhevet’s murder, the IDF general in charge of the area, Amnon Cohen, was not available, because he was still mourning the murder of his father, Baruch Cohen from Efrat, gunned down by Palestinians on the road last week.

Scores of Jews have been killed by Palestinians in recent months, and about 500 Jews are victims since Oslo began. But the murder of Shalhevet was the hardest to bear. What kinds of beasts target a baby girl with sniper fire? Is there any cause that could justify such cruelty? And in Hebron of all places -- city of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Leah. Like Shalhevet, didn’t our greatest ancestors take their first steps and speak their first words there?

For us, Shalhevet’s murder reveals a stark reality. Our hopes for peace, for the next generation, have been drowned in the brutal hatred fomented by the Palestinian leaders and their media.

As Nobel laureate Elie Wisel recently said of Arafat: “I accuse him of murdering the hopes of an entire generation. His and ours.”

Shalhevet’s murder is bewildering. The great Rabbi Yizrael Zev Gustman once said of himself that “it is impossible to depress me or humiliate me.” Why? Because Rabbi Gustman was holding his only son in his arms when the Nazis shot his son dead. Nothing, Rabbi Gustman said, could ever match that horrible feeling.

So although Arab terrorists make no distinction between killing of a grandmother in Netanya, a new immigrant at the bus stop in Holon, or a teenager on the Internet, the body of this 10-month-old baby is still the heaviest one to carry to the grave.

With thanks to Harvey Tannenbaum

March 27, 2001

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Visitor Comments: 68

(67) Kathleen Ann Dahnke Nottestad, October 7, 2015 6:32 PM

God is always with us! ALWAYS!!

I am so sorry for your many loses but a precious baby - how unjust can humans be. it seems like human is a word that does Not connect with those who kill for sport. When the Holocoast happened - read where some wondered if God was napping - this bothered me - but I to think those living out this unbelievable happening must have believed he -GOD would have somehow interceded - just recently I've decided maybe there is an alternate world that is inhabited by those God loving individuals who have been so disturbingly taken from us and are now carring on a life where JUSTICE exsist on all levels. My God is a loving caring kind hearted God and I believe somewhere somehow God has righted all the wrong that has been delivered to all his children who try to be decent human beings - I can choose to believe an alternate world created in the image of our world but inhabited by good hearted individuals who have passed and now have the opportunity to continue doing good in a world where it would be appreciated and rewarded by all man kind. This alternate world makes much more sense than God watching or napping. I believe somehow someway God has righted all the wrongs - I believe in a kind and caring loving God who is ALWAYS there for those who believe, and attempt to live their life following his 10 commandments and following The Golden Rule. SO: Please God bless Israel and the USA and all that are dedicated to making our world a place where all can live side by side no matter what color of the rainbow.

(66) Anonymous, October 24, 2014 6:28 PM

Just a Mom's humble opinion

Death is so painful and so many people can walk away easily. The world is not understandable. I ask so oftn, how can so many people be so hard? I have no answer. I am not young any more I should get this by now. Maybe I don't want to get it. There is no excuse for being so uncaring. But I have been told for more than 50 years to let it go. I am sensitive, as I always thought a good Jew and good person should be!!
If the world was just a little bit softer....

(65) Eugene Mazzilli, October 23, 2014 5:16 PM

Pray for Hashem to come!

So sad, so repulsive that these things continue in our society. It seems that all of humanity has gone mad and cannot decipher good from evil. I have been to too many funerals to count and I hate them more and more. The stories that you hear are just unbelievable and trying to understand the reasoning behind all of this madness is incomprehensible. But I have to do my part and offer my prayers for the dead and offer some consolation to the families. All of us must pray every day and ask Hashem for forgiveness. Forgiveness for the evildoers and forgiveness for us who carry the hatred in our hearts. We must love one another as God loves us and pray for the forgiveness of man and ask,"Hashem, why do you delay?" I know that I may ask Hashem for help and wait for it to arrive. When it finally arrives, I notice, it didn't come right then and there, but it came when I was most in need. Hashem is never late He is always on time. When Hashem comes, and it will be soon, all of the evil in the world will be destroyed and we who are judged good, will arise with him into heaven, including those of us that will have passed by then. So cleanse your heart and ask forgiveness, especially for yourselves. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will comfort you and bring you into everlasting life. Hashem, we cry unto thee. Hear our prayer.

(64) Brura, March 30, 2011 11:20 PM

Isn't it so obvious that Israel and the Jewish people DON"T CONTROL THE MEDIA> All the horrific murders would come to light and people in their right minds would know the truth. Somehow remarks I made for this article went to the article/video of Tamar Fogel, and brave and correct is she that knows to build, then evacuate builds strife. I am so upset that I am impotent in the stoppage of these terrible murders. It is the Human race and we should want peace. Too many, I feel, have lost their humanity. If they haven't lost it entirely, they are bit by bit. More than a shame... it is a gigantic and painful sin to hate this much as to murder a 10 month old being held by the father. Life can change in an instant and a joy of peace can turn to hatred in a flash... of a cowardly sniper's bullet aimed at a baby. All of this has to stop or Hashem, being quite clear in stating via Tanakh that the earth will not be destroyed by water again. That leaves many ways that our beloved Hashem, praised be He, can and will destroy and sometimes I think that it would be best.

(63) Robert Goldstein, September 26, 2001 12:00 AM

Murdered Baby

Absolutely Sickening

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