Defense/Security 8:56 AM 4/17/2014
Defense/Security 11:41 AM 4/17/2014
Inside Israel 12:40 PM 4/17/2014
The Jay Shapiro Hour
Paula R. Stern is CEO and founder of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company offering documentation services and training seminars. She made aliyah in 1993 when her oldest son was 6 years old. In March 2007, her son Elie entered the Artillery Division of the Israeli army and Paula began writing about her experiences as A Soldier’s Mother. The blog continues as Elie begins Reserve Duty and her son Shmulik is now a soldier. She recently opened a publishing house, helping other authors fulfill their dream to publish.
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Today it is four years since that horrible day when Palestinians infiltrated into our land, attacked and killed our soldiers, and dragged Gilad off.
Sometimes, you become overwhelmed by the sadness, by the futility of fighting against the wind. Sometimes, you know there is nothing you as a single person can do to change even this small thing. Sometimes, you want to do it all...and know there is nothing that can be done at your level.
I am not a leader of a country, not even of my own home. I am not a politician who can sway crowds with a speech or rock countries with my demands. I am a mother whose heart cries today for another mother. I salute Aviva Shalit, her courage, her strength. I pray for her son every day and today, more than any other.
When words fail, perhaps all that is left are pictures. Today it is four years since that horrible day when Palestinians infiltrated into our land, attacked and killed our soldiers, and dragged Gilad off. Four years without a mother's hug, a mother's soothing voice. Four years. I have watched my son enter the army...grow, develop...and come out safe. All that I ever begged of God during that time. I have seen my second son enter the army and I am watching him grow, praying desperately for his safety.
All I can give Gilad today is my prayers for him. Be safe, be healthy, may you know the world over today people are praying for you, sending their love and hope and most of all, may you come home soon.
The only thing that has changed since this video was made...is that another year has passed. Another year, without Gilad:
Today, I write of my anger, my confusion, my concerns, and perhaps above all else, my inability to understand the simple formula that runs this world. It is no longer politically correct to hate Jews. At least that much we have accomplished since Hitler rules the hearts and minds of Germany and in so doing, led our people to the brink of disaster and the world into the valleys of war.
Today, those same people who once hated the Jews, understand they cannot go around with the same old lies. They don't work. And so, born of the old hatred, there is a new one. They hate Israel. Israel is, suddenly, all things evil. More evil than Iran, more sinister than Syria. More violent than Sudan, Sri Lanka. More tyrannical than the Russians. We are most likely the single most hated nation in the world. It would be humorous, given our size, if it were not so sick. More, it likely borders on insanity when given how many times we have sent our sons and daughters to foreign shores to help others. Haiti, Kenya, Turkey, Indonesia. We did not question the religions or nationalities of those who needed our help. Nor, sadly, did we question their humanity.
We risked our lives to save theirs. We donated while their rich Arab brethren sat on their hands and counted their obscene oil dollars.
We flew to Turkey - as with other places, the first to arrive. We risked our lives to save theirs. We donated while their rich Arab brethren sat on their hands and counted their obscene oil dollars. We were there to pull them from the rubble. Perhaps it is we that are insane.
Now, a new flotilla is forming and I wonder how dumb we will be this time. As always, Lebanon is quick to taunt. This time, they are sending only women, they say and as if this is some sick child's game, dare to play the "what, are you afraid of girls?" card. As I said, it would be funny if it were not so serious.
So, let me take a moment and introduce you to some of the women of Islam. Some women who believed that in murder there is salvation; in terror, there is martyrdom. These, perhaps, are similar to those that will go on the flotilla. As the men of the Mavi Marmara prayed for their 72 virgins in heaven, these women will pray to that same illusion.
Actually, according to a study in 2006, it was found that while the men are praying for their virgins, most female suicide bombers are praying for atonements for their sins. Whatever their past sins, they are nothing compared with the sin they committed in those last moments of their lives. In any case, you will shortly hear more about the women's flotilla, and when you do, please think of these women (and the nameless others that have been and most likely will be...in the name of Islam):
You will shortly hear more about the women's flotilla, and when you do, please think of these women.
• Hanadi Jaradat murdered 20 people and wounded over 60 in the Maxim restaurant in Haifa in October 2003. She carefully positioned herself between two tables filled with people to maximize the damage she would cause. Among the 20 murdered people were 3 generations of 2 entire families, including two young children and a baby.
• On January 17, 2002, the Israeli teenager Ofir Rahum was kidnapped and murdered with the help of Amna'a Mouna, a journalist and Fatah activist from Ramallah.
• On August 9, 2001 a suicide attack took place in the Sbarro restaurant in the heart of Jerusalem. The suicide terrorist was brought there by Ahlam Tamimi, also a journalist, originally from Jordan and living in Ramallah. She was also involved in gathering operational intelligence prior to the attack. In addition, Ahlam was responsible for planting a bomb concealed in a beer can in a Jerusalem supermarket on July 30, 2001. To this day, as she sits in an Israeli jail, she is not repentant and has said she only wishes she had succeeded in killing more. She is one of 1,000 being demanded by the Palestinians in exchange for Gilad Shalit.
• On August 3, 2001 an attempt was made by Iman Asha, a Nablus woman, to plant a booby-trapped package in the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station.
• On August 31, 2001 a booby-trapped package carried by Abir Hamdan, a resident of Nablus, exploded during her journey from Tulkarm to Nablus, apparently as a result of a 'work accident' during preparations for carrying out an attack on a restaurant in Hadera.
• An academic and a nurse by profession, Wafa Idris was divorced without children due to her being barren, and previously worked at the Red Crescent Society. To save herself the shame of being unable to have children, Wafa blew herself up while managing to murder two people and wound 90 wounded in on Jaffa Road in Jerusalem (Jan 27, 2002).
• Ayat al-Akhras, was 18-years-old when her two brothers took her to Jerusalem to kill herself. She murdered two people wounded 22 others as she approached a supermarket in Jerusalem's Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood on March 29, 2002.
There are many, many others - you too can Google and find the names and atrocities. All I want to explain is that when you hear Lebanon is sending a boatload of women to Gaza, remember that it won't be Mother Theresa on those boats. It could easily be yet another Hanadi Jaradat or Wafa Idris. Because sometimes, perhaps most of the time, certainly too often, women are as ready as the men to murder in the name of Islam.