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Our Murdered Baby

Our Murdered Baby

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

by

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

Published: March 27, 2001


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Visitor Comments: 64

(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

(62) Michal Gat, April 5, 2001 12:00 AM

a baby was injured yesterday

Hi,
there is another baby( fifteen months only) who was badly injured Yesterday in the south of Israel (Azmona).
they targeted him and his mother who was injured too.
they like to kill us and our babies,but
we shall over come .
I wanted so much peace and I thought that they deserve to have a country.
Now I doubt it.they wil not leave us in peace .
enough is enough.

(61) szabo joe, April 4, 2001 12:00 AM

I have a 10-month baby. In my eye the man who can kill a such baby not a human only a killer animal.And after this at the TV chanels in front of the word the palestin speakers talk about "the provocative israel military actions" . I deeply disapprove of this killer and disapprove of that nation whos "soldiers" permit theirselve to a such baby.This is a simply dirty murder.
A father from hungary.

(60) Koutayba, April 4, 2001 12:00 AM

2 side to the story, yours, mine and the right side.

It’s very unfortunite that kids are paying the most in this war. It’s also very unfortunate & sad the baby Shalhevet's was made the target. As it’s very unfortunate & sad how Mohammad Al-Dura was made the target as well.

If one must speak, one must be very honest and direct. Us Arabs are not terrorists. If you claim Arabs as terrorist, then you came very short in calling your own people. If Arabs are the terrorists, I can not understand how thousands of Arabs have been killed since Oslo began. Every time I read an article written by a American-Jew or by an Israeli-Jew it seem as if Palestine occupiy Israel and not the other way around.

I can add many points that relate to how Unfair you are being and how unfair your people are being and how Unfair your state that was based on terrorism since day on is being. When you call Arab terrorists is because you made every human suicide bomber ready today to strike back at those who Killed his/her family, stripped him/her from their home, dignity, pride, respect and the least human rights they had. You made those human suicide bombers. And never forget, when you Attack Arabs, you are attacking your own self. How many Israeli Arabs is there? Yet how many Arab Jews is there? Be fair. Be right. Millions deserve to return home. Just like you have the right to go back home at the end of the day. Palestinian has been stripped from that right.

Double standard prevails in this troubled world. Will just, durable and everlasting PEACE ever prevail in The Holy Land? Again let us pray for just and durable everlasting peace. In the meantime, don't expect to see peace and goodwill in the Holy Land any time soon.

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