BBC sticks in the knife - again

It was not enough that a beautiful 23 year old was killed by bloodthirsty young murderers. The BBC murdered her again.

Paula R. Stern

OpEds רס"ר הדס מלכא
רס"ר הדס מלכא

I've heard many times that some victims are victimized twice - first by whatever crime was done to them and the second time by either the media or the justice system seeking to render a verdict on those that committed the crime. This is often especially true in abuse cases where, for some reason, lawyers believe the best way to make their client appear innocent is to make the victim look guilty.

And this is especially true in the media when it comes to Israel. There, for some reason, the media believes the best way to serve the Palestinian cause is to make it appear that the violence inflicted by their "client" is somehow justified. And so, in seemingly "balanced" headlines, they manipulate words and often facts to make it appear that Israel is guilty.

On Friday afternoon, just as Israel was settling down to a peaceful and much anticipated Sabbath, three Palestinian terrorists attacked and murdered a young Israeli woman. That's not what the media will tell you, but it is, ultimately, the simplest and greatest truth.

They will tell you that the Palestinians were 18 and 19 years old, almost children really. They will suggest that these children were killed by armed and trained soldiers - as if their cowardice was bravery, their attack an honorable expression of resistance against an "occupier."

What they won't tell you is that these "boys" were raised in a culture that glorifies death, martyrdom and violence. They will tell you that the woman who was murdered was a policewoman. She actually wasn't. She was a border guard, which in Israel is a soldier within the ranks of a unit that roughly falls under the police, but she is no different than any other soldier, no different than my sons. If 19 is a boy, isn't 23 really not much more than a girl? If they attacked, even if the policewoman/border guard was armed, does that mean the attack is acceptable?

The media will focus on their deaths rather than the fact that they, unlike Hadas Malka, had a choice. On Friday, they could have chosen to live, to worship at the third holiest place according to their religion. They did not choose life on Friday because it is pretty obvious if you attack a soldier of Israel, you're most likely going to end up dead. They did. But regardless of the odds, the choice is in their hands - except for the fact that they were educated, mis-educated, to choose death and not life, darkness and not light. These three men attacked Hadas - with a gun and with knives, and she did what she was trained to do. She fought back. Three of theirs died; one of ours was murdered.

For those of us who keep the Shabbat, it was only some 25 hours after Hadas had been murdered, that we began to understand that in those moments when we welcome the Sabbath, when we close our eyes and light the candles, when we turn to our husbands and children and wish them a peaceful Shabbat, Hadas was dying. The pain of that thought rips through my heart.

I was looking forward to a weekend alone with my husband of almost 34 years, so looking forward to it. I set the table early Friday afternoon and smiled each time I passed it. I warmed the challah bread, just as we like it - with garlic spread inside the braided loaf.

It was a perfect and private Shabbat for a couple blessed with children and grandchildren. We walked, we talked, we ate slowly and simply enjoyed the time. Until after the Sabbath ended and we started hearing about an attack on Friday, one Israeli dead. One young Israeli border guard. Female. Hadas.

הדס מלכא הי"ד
צילום: מג"ב

There is such life in her eyes, in her smile. There is such pain in seeing her beauty, now that it has been destroyed by hatred. She protected the streets of Jerusalem and I'm pretty sure I've seen her on my way to or from the office. I often greet the soldiers, wish them a good day. I've been approached by groups of female border guards and asked directions or simply smile at them, and they smile back. In pride, I've taken pictures of them...I'm afraid to look to see if Hadas is one of them.

There is such anger at these Palestinians and the culture that raised them to hate. And, if that was not bad enough, the death of this beautiful young woman, along comes the evil BBC, ever determined to slur and slander and destroy the decency that was Hadas. Her bravery meets the cowardice of the Palestinians and the black hearts of the BBC.

"Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing in Jerusalem" - and the picture of Hadas there with her weapon.


Readers would not be blamed where they to assume that the Palestinians had been stabbed to death; that they were the innocent ones. No less disgusting than the cases where lawyers suggest that what a woman wears merits whether she  will be attacked; no more abhorrent than the lawyers who suggest a child somehow caused a pedophile to assault her.

We could, perhaps, forgive BBC if this was a one-off mistake made in the "heat of the moment." If the need to get the story out some how caused an initial misunderstanding. But it happens almost every time. Palestinians die in a ramming attack. They were ones doing the ramming, you morons.

Palestinians died in a stabbing attack? No, stupid. THEY were the ones who were stabbing. Later, when people screamed at the unfairness, they quietly changed the heading, but what matter, raped once by the attacker and once by the lawyer, does it really matter if in his closing argument, the lawyer takes the time to clarify that he is not making insinuating comments about the victim? Does it really matter if hours after the attack, BBC figures they should try to aim for a heading that is a bit more honest?

So the anger at this Palestinians remains - what brave "men" you are, you sniveling cowards! It took three of you to murder a 23-year-old woman, beautiful and kind and courageous. And look at you BBC, you fell right into their trap yet again. More, you helped build it, sanction it, condone it.

No, BBC, I have no hope you will change. We have faced enemies like you for centuries. You never change. You were the witnesses who closed your doors when the Cossacks came and drove their horses into the Jews in the streets of your villages; you were the Germans who shuttered their windows as they burned Jewish books in 1938 and to ward off the stench of the crematoria in the later years. You were the blind who did not see the crimes committed against innocents; the deaf who did not hear the suffering of others.

You have been and will always be the most vile, the most disgusting. Like snakes, you live in the dirt and there you will remain.

Hadas is the myrtle tree, a strong and fragrant plant that is used for medicinal purposes to fight pain; and Malka, which means queen. Hadas Malka.

We ended Shabbat only to begin a week of mourning.

We will bury Hadas Malka and in returning her body to the land from which it was born, we will bury a piece of ourselves, as we always do. We will take her memory into the future. We will never forget her. Her name will live on because that's what we do. We do not build memorials to terrorists, but to people like Hadas Malka.

As I have often said in the past - I would rather live in a nation that mourns for Hadas, than one that celebrates the deaths of three misguided, cursed and miserable teenagers who thought the way to God and glory was with a knife and a gun in their hands. I would rather be crying today, than celebrating in one of their miserable villages.

At the end of the day, it is not BBC or those Palestinians that will be remembered within the collective memory of our people. It will be beautiful Hadas, a symbol of the beauty of our land. She loved her people and was determined to serve this land. Her parents are in mourning today and we mourn with them.

But we are a people who worship life and not death. What the Palestinians fail to understand is that a people who sends their children to commit suicide and worship death, ultimately will get what it wants; as will the people of light and life.

May the memory of Hadas Malka be blessed and may those who celebrate the lives and deaths of those who murdered her forever be condemned to the darkness they crave.