Avraham_David_Mozes.jpgYochai Lipschitz, 18, of Jerusalem;

Yonatan Yitzchak Eldar, 16, of Shiloh;

Yonadav Chaim Hirschfeld, 19, of Kochav Hashahar;

Neriah Cohen, 15, of Jerusalem;

Roey Roth, 18, of Elkana;

Segev Pniel Avihayil, 15, of Neveh Daniel;

Avraham David Moses, 16, of Efrat (see pic);

Maharata Trunoch, 26, of Ashdod.

There are also three who are severely wounded and were in critical condition earlier.

The Mercaz Harav yeshiva is at the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood near the entrance to Jerusalem. I was near there when I last visited Israel and saw it. The Israeli police tells us the terrorist was an Arab resident of east Jerusalem who has residence status in Israel. He doesn’t seem to live too far from his target.

The Israelis have become quite good at stopping attacks that aren’t coming by rocket. They have stemmed the tide of terror attacks significantly over the past several years. I think it’s much harder for them when the terrorists come from inside Israel and/or the Green Line, like this murderer.

This yeshiva is named after Avraham Hacohen Kook, who can justly be called the father of religious Zionism as we know it today. His son, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Hacohen Kook, ran the yeshiva for decades. The terrorist knew what he was targeting, and I would guess that beyond terror the motive was to create further dissent among Israelis and perhaps even get the settlers who are on the fringes to take violent action – anything to sow fear and violence in order to undermine the chances for calm and peace.

In other words, like everything else in the Palestinian arsenal, this is a sophisticated attack with multiple angles of attack on Israel. These pigs do not target soldiers, although they could. That, in itself, justifies every single targeted attack on Palestinian leaders, terrorists and fighters. I hope Israel doesn’t over-react to this attack at this famous yeshiva, but instead continues methodically to hit Hamas and their buddies hard.

In the meantime, a number of families are in mourning tonight, having lost their sons to the brutal insanity of those who hate Israel and Jewish Israelis in particular. To those who think this is something new or a retaliation for something Israel did, just know that these attacks were going on in 1916 and 1920 – long before there was an Israel and when Jews were still a small minority on this land. More than anything, it were these attacks, culminating in the 1948 attacks by the Arab armies and Palestinian militias, that have given strength to the Yishuv and then to Israel. Israel wouldn’t be around today if it weren’t for the Arab violence against the Jews living in Mandatory Palestine. The checkpoints that so disrupt Palestinian lives are the result of terror attacks within Israel emanating from the West Bank. The closure of Gaza with all its implications for the Gazans has come about because of their incessant rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. The land that was lost by the Arabs in 1967 was lost because of their preparations to attack Israel, and in the case of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, because of Jordan’s attack on Israel after being warned not to attack. There are countless examples.

Palestinians should remember: every time they attack, they cause pain and grief, but they ultimately strengthen Israel and weaken themselves. It would be so much better if they strove for peace.

I’ll conclude with a poem by Rav Kook. I think it is appropriate for today’s events.

Thirsting for God

Expanses divine my soul craves.
Confine me not in cages,
Or substance or of spirit.
I am love-sick –
I thirst, I thirst for God,
as a deer for water brooks.
Alas, who can describe my pain,
Who will be a violin to express the songs of my grief,
I am bound to the world,

All creatures, all people are my friends,
Many parts of my soul
Are intertwined with them,
But how can I share with them my Light?

UPDATE: It is being reported that it’s possible the terrorist was a driver for this yeshiva.

UPDATE 2: from Steve. Some students remain hospitalized in serious to critical condition and a call has gone out to the general public to pray for the recovery of:

Naftali ben Gila (son of Gila) from Sderot
Yonatan ben Avital
Shimon ben Tirza
Nadav ben Hadas
Reuven ben Naomi
Elchanan ben Zehava

UPDATE 3: the story of the IDF officer, a graduate of this yeshiva himself, who had just bathed his kids when he heard the gunfire. He ran out with his gun, traced the shooting noise to the yeshiva, pushed by the useless police officers outside the building who told him not to enter (!!!!!!) and then snuck up on the terrorist and killed him.

About the author

themiddle

28 Comments

  • Chazak u Baruch Middle,

    Well put and deservedly so.
    The umach-shmos who did this are amongst us apparently.

    What do we do to deal with this?

    Everything we have done up to this point doesn’t seem to work.
    We were really hit hard with this. Too many karbonot.

    I am begining to realize what part of the issue is.
    There must be something in youre mind that says,

    “It would be so much better if they strove for peace.”

    You did say that….

    As sick as it is,
    part of what happened isn’t new.
    You are right. What you are describing is
    an important perspective in historical context.

  • Thanks for sharing this post and poem. When you hear of a tragedy, some people run to CNN or BBC or jpost.com. I ran to jewlicious, since I knew there would be a heartfelt meaningful posting. thanks

  • Some students remain hospitalized in serious to critical condition and a call has gone out to the general public to pray for the recovery of:

    Naftali ben Gila (son of Gila) from Sderot
    Yonatan ben Avital
    Shimon ben Tirza
    Nadav ben Hadas
    Reuven ben Naomi
    Elchanan ben Zehava

  • Only 8 dead Jews? That’s what, 109 less dead than what the IDF murdered in the Gaza Concentration Camp last weekend.

    Payback is a bitch isn’t it?

  • I have to say, “Bob”, that I have grown very weary of the easily delivered anonymous hate that is constantly spewed forth on virtually every forum that I visit concerning Israel and Jews. The cowardice that is manifest in this pathetic anonymity astounds me.

    Obviously I am anonymous here, also. The difference is that I mourn the loss of life and you apparently do not.

    Your argument of moral equivalency is not only stale but thoroughly corrupt. It is an argument that is used far to often and always applied illogically.

  • MH, “Bob” isn’t anonymous, he provided a real email address and is posting from a known and real business.

    I’m sure “Bob” isn’t listening to you anyway. He’s busy trying to drum up Nazi metaphors.

    Hey Bob, this attack wasn’t “payback.” You didn’t read my post carefully. This attack was initiated by the Palestinians for political reasons just like their other terror attacks. There isn’t a “cycle” here, because if the Palestinians stopped their violence tomorrow, the Israelis would not fight them any more. You should be spending your energy trying to convince the Palestinians to run their territories properly and with a vision to help their people instead of building up armies. Then, Gaza wouldn’t be this hideous, closed-off area because the Israelis and the Egyptians would have reason to trust, trade and work with the Palestinians.

    It’s up to you, Bob, to change this decades-old stupidity on the part of the Palestinians and bring them to reason. You can do it! You can change everything if you stop excusing the supposed victim and demand just and reasonable behavior from them.

    Say hi to the Hamas leaders for me.

  • TM – thanks for the post and insight. You say “Bob” emailed from a real business. Any insight on where that business may be and what kind of business it does?

  • Best case scenario– the Kennedy School of Government.

    Bob, think of it as a win-win. That’s over a hundred Gazans Hamas has offered up for martyrdom this week alone.

  • I can imagine, with the economy the way it is, a lot of small financial advisers have plenty of time on their hands to sit around trolling the web in the middle of the work day.

  • “I hope Israel doesn’t over-react to this attack at this famous yeshiva, but instead continues methodically to hit Hamas and their buddies hard.”

    Readers can determine for themselves how successful Israel’s “not over-reacting” policy has been.

  • That’s Adam Hyman, a visiting Kahanist. Tell us, Adam, what would you do to solve the situation? Please make it a realistic scenario.

  • Middle:

    The perp was not a “Palestinian” – unless Israeli Arabs living in Jerusalem are now considered “Palestinians”. The guy was able to do what he did because he, as an Israeli, had free run of “his” capital city – Jerusalem.

    So this immediately undercuts a lot of the anti-Israel grievance theater.

    There were even reports that this guy had been a bus driver for the high school – which is why he knew his way around the yeshiva complex. In typical cowardly Pali fashion, he targeted the unarmed teenagers instead of the older guys in the main yeshiva, one of whom eventually shot him.

  • (TM, you appear really insecure when you personally insult me – rather than addressing my argument.)

    There’s a lot to say about what Israel should do. So I’ll write about one issue:

    DESTROYING THE TERRORISTS SUPPORT BASE.

    Israel should destroy the terrorists support base, rather than “methodically hit Hamas”. Destroying the enemy’s support base has been used successfully against drug cartels in Latin America, Communists in Greece and Malaysia and partisans in WW2 Russia.

    Sharon was very right to try to eradicate popular support for terrorists. Israel is making a huge mistake in trying to fight the terrorists themselves. There’s too great a supply of potential terrorists.

    Israel has lots of Palestinians in prison. Israel should deduct those costs from the remittances it gives to the Palestinian administration. That would start getting the Palestinian people to realize that terrorism adversely affects them.

    Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iran openly support terrorists, and most Arab countries incite militant groups and ordinary Arabs against Israel, all the while proclaiming their readiness for accommodation, though the extent of their meddling is difficult to prove. Even when facts are available, they cannot be revealed for security reasons. Evidence obtained illegally is inadmissible in any case. Israel, therefore, should drop the pretense of legality and act efficiently instead. A war against terror means striking people who support terror without hesitation and formalities, wherever they are, not only in defenseless Palestine but anywhere. That idea is not altogether new, since Israel chased the P.L.O. all the way to Tunisia. The innovation would be to attack not only weak states but rich ones as well. Such action might not lead to reprisals or prolonged conflicts; no Arab army would stand a chance in a confrontation with Israel. Israel may even benefit from war since her army is stronger than her enemies’ and could demilitarize them. Arab countries would likely be glad to retract their support, financial or otherwise, for terrorists who are a headache for their hosts.

    There are obviously a lot of other things Israel should do. I just wrote about one issue, that I think would be a good place to start.

    Agree? Disagree? Your thoughts?

  • In the states we haven’t really talked about the massacre.

    This is one of the few commentaries I have heard on the matter in the states but it is quite powerful.



  • No TM, just respond to the ideas.

    Not whether I’m a nut job, loonie, kahanist, idiot, moron or anything else.

    And if you’re going to call my comment “the stupidest you’ve ever read”, which could be how you feel… then at LEAST explain what you disagree with in it.

  • “Destroying the enemy’s support base”

    So Israel should attack Iran and hope that will do something? Should they send more leaflets to the Palestinian public? Should they make life miserable for the Palestinian public or should they shower them with goods and gifts to make their lives easier? Should they kill Hamas supporters who are not Hamas, like their families? How do you destroy the terrorists’ support base?

    Deducting prisoner costs is quaint but probably illegal. If it were legal, chances are it wouldn’t help very much thanks to the EU subsidies and UNWRA help. Besides, Israel withholds taxes from the PA already and nothing has changed.

    Apparently you think that Israel can attack anybody and everybody. Not only attack them, but do so with impunity. That is a ridiculous position to take and totally irresponsible. What would you rather have, a low level conflict with rockets that cause terror and some deaths and injuries or war after war where you lose hundreds of soldiers, pay a fortune to keep them going, disable civilian life within Israel and invite thousands of rockets to be launched at your civilians for months on end?

    Don’t you get it? Israel is the small country here and the underdog. Stop believing the Arab propaganda to the contrary. If Syria and Hizbullah started launching rockets at Israel, they would shut the country down from the northern border to Tel Aviv. They will do so for a long time and you will have to fight them far more effectively than Israel fought Hizbullah. Yes, Israel is stronger, but if you know anything about the ’73 War with Syria, you know their army isn’t going to run away and leave their boots behind.

    So go ahead and play your fantasy attack games. Fortunately the Israeli leadership of the moment isn’t as keen as you to embark on adventures that could cost lives, money and the potential existence of the state.

  • Thanks TM – nice post!

    1. I think the only reason that Syria, Lebanon et al. haven’t attacked Israel again is because they know they would lose.

    2. The minute the Arabs think they have a reasonable chance, they’ll attack Israel.

    Therefore:

    3. The only way that Israel can prevent war and destruction by the Arabs is by maintaining their current position, of being militarily superior.

    Do you agree with the above statements?

    Palestinians – Short term:

    On the issue of Palestinian terrorism, and “Destroying the support base”. Israel must make repercussions for terrorism severe enough that it drives home two points:

    1. Hamas isn’t going to win.
    2. The only result of Palestinian terrorism will be a much harder life for Palestinian people.

    Palestinians – Long term:

    A long term permanent solution is needed. This is the most difficult part…. but it needs to be worked on ASAP.

    The PA isn’t going to help. Abbas is just like Arafat, and wants to keep the conflict going. So Israel will have to do it themselves.

  • It seems to me that the problem goes further then all this. It is the vile and violent death culture of Hamas, fatah, Hezbolah etc…. any success be it diplomatic or military without dealing with this constant generation of hate will be short lived indeed. The way the children of these terrorist infrastructures are educated since the Intifatas going back to 87 or so ensures constant renewal of hostility. This is a point I wish to make. How have we dealt with this so far? Does anybody know how to deal with this? I can’t see any long term solution without going to the source of the problems.

  • TM: “I think it’s much harder for them when the terrorists come from inside the Green Line, like this murderer.”

    He didn’t come from inside the Green Line, he was from E. Jerusalem.

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