Op-Ed: The Pain - and the Anger
Paula R. SternPaula R. Stern is the Founder and Documentation Manager of WritePoint,...
Prime Minister David Cameron is deeply saddened. Deeply saddened - doesn't come close to what I am feeling.
The Security Council condemns. And if Obama had bothered to interrupt his vacation, it likely would not have made a difference. The boys were murdered shortly after the kidnappings. I can only pray that the families find comfort in this. They were found bound together, I can only pray they were never separated and at least had each other.
I am a bundle of tears and anger. One moment, the tears win out. The next, the anger burns so brightly. I want...I want to hurt them so badly - for the psychological torture they once again inflicted on Israel and on these three precious families. For the pain they have caused these precious families. For changing three families forever. For breaking the hearts of three mothers, if not their souls. I want to flatten their homes, their cities, their world. I want to curse their god, in whose name they say they acted. Endless are the things my brain can think of in these agonizing hours.
We will cry, we will mourn. We, unlike them, don't kill innocents; we don't wage war on children. We are not cowards. We don't hide behind our women and children. We don't - they do.
We are the Jewish people, yes, chosen by God because we accepted His Torah, His laws. We accepted that we do not murder. We do not steal. We do not harm the innocent. We live according to our honor and for all that the world judges us by double standards, we live up to our need to be a holy people. We are holy. We are united.
But we will not allow them to attack our children, our babies, and walk away unharmed. We are not the Jews of the 18th century, the 14th century.
We have reclaimed OUR land; that's right - OUR land. Ours - by right, by might, by history, by every law known to God and man and yes, even by the twisted meanderings of a culture that is sick enough to be celebrating and yelling "allah akbar".
I try to push the anger away, but then the crippling sadness returns. I'm better with the anger; at least then my eyes are not pouring out tears. But along with the anger and the tears, I have to say one thing. To those who think otherwise, right now, I need to explain - no prayer is wasted. All of Israel prayed these 18 days - it was not wasted.
There are tragedies in life I cannot understand. I don't understand this one. It does not change the essence of my faith in God. There is a plan...we don't know it; we don't have to. But I promise you, there is a plan and hard as it is to accept this was part of it. God did not murder these boys; but God (and Israel) will punish them.
Tonight and tomorrow, this week and this month and this year and beyond, we will mourn for Eyal, for Gilad, for Naftali.
The familis will never be alone with their pain and from the love of a nation, they will draw what comfort they can. The mothers each have other children who need them - they will rise up to this because of all that we learned of them for 18 days, we saw strength. Their families need them now. They will help their families, and we will help them.
And we will curse the culture that birthed these killers. That too is our right. This is a culture that celebrates the death of a child, three children. Naftali will never play ping pong again. Eyal will not sing at his friend's wedding. What will his sisters do without Gilad?
I thought of so many messages.
The first was to the killers - congratulations, I wanted to tell them. You successfully murdered three children. What brave men you are, what heroes you are. Your mothers are proud of you. For that I pity you most. With mothers like that, no wonder you grew into the twisted animals you are.
They think you are heroes; they think you are brave. It doesn't really take much bravery to murder three children, but you'll have to be very brave now because the most successful and brave men, the real heroes in this world, our sons, will be hunting you now. You won't last long. It may take a week, a few weeks, it might even take months. You'll live these last days, weeks, or months hiding like the sniveling cowards you are.
There will be true justice. Perhaps it will take 18 days before you are caught, one day for each of the days you made these families and these nations suffer. But whether man's justice takes days or weeks or months or years, God's justice is eternal. When you meet God; then you will understand. Then and only then, will you pay the price for what you have done. Gilad, Naftali and Eyal are with God now, in a better place, loved and cherished. Your future, God knows.
I hope, I pray, I beg our soldiers to kill you in the firefight that will come. And so the next message is to Israel's soldiers. Please, please find a way. I don't care what the world says now - let them die. We have no death penalty in Israel; the only one we have ever put to death in 66 years is Adolf Eichmann for crimes against the Jewish people.
So please, find a way, this time, let them die. Don't bring them to "justice", to Israel's courts. They'll be convicted and sentenced to life in prison - where their wives will come visit and they'll breed more children in hate. They'll study in prison and get a university degree and they'll watch the World Cup. And then some stupid Israeli leader will release them for another kidnapped victim...or worse, the bodies of the kidnapped victims.
In those seconds when the battle rages, may your aim be true. The world will condemn us no matter what we do - better they condemn us for the deaths of these murderers, than they condemn us for throwing them in jail and then when the murderers declare a hunger strike, demand that we release them. In those seconds, when you have them in range, end it. For Naftali. For Eyal. For Gilad. For their mothers. For Israel. End it.
And the final message is to the Israeli government. We are watching you. We need to believe in you now. You know the anger and the pain of Jewish blood being taken this way. Act now. Do something - stop this from happening again.