I have no other country
even if my land is aflame
Just a word in Hebrew
pierces my veins and my soul -
With a painful body, with a hungry heart,
Here is my home.
Already, there are attempts to justify the brutal murders of 8 yeshiva students in Jerusalem. This blogger titled his post Murdered Israeli Settlers. This person, by calling the victims settlers, seeks to downplay the atrocity that occurred in Jerusalem. It is blaming the victims and not the murderer.
I have a question for the blogger: Do you think the murderer went and asked each of his victims where they lived before he shot them? These boys and young men were studying Torah when the bullets started spraying.
Every time an act of murder like this occurs, there is always the platitudes that it is the actions of the Israeli government, settlers, the wall, the security checks, ad nauseum, which have prompted the murderer to act.
No attention is giving to the hate that is taught in schools run by the Palestinian Authority. No attention is given to the television shows shown by the Palestinian Authority which tells Palestinian children that their highest aspiration should be to die as a suicide bomber.
No, to bloggers such as this person, the only blame should go to the victims.
From every quarter, Israel is asked to show restraint against the murder of her citizens and the constant bombardment of Sderot.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice paid a visit to Jerusalem with a message from the Palestinians - not those in Gaza, mind you, the Palestinian leadership based in Ramallah. Rice promised that the PA is willing to renew talks with Israel. Although talking peace with Mahmoud Abbas at the moment is probably about as effective as me humming a song in response to The Situation. While the South is under fire from the Gaza Strip, despite the complete removal of all the Jewish communities there two years ago, and a terrorist whom someone armed - (Hamas? Hizbullah?) - can go on a killing spree in Jerusalem, it seems to be a strange time to talk about more compromises.
The Israel disengagement from Gaza was supposed to lead to a better chance for peace. Two and a half years later, the Kassams are starting to reach Ashkelon and Ashdod. Israel is accused of "collective punishment" when passive means of protecting her citizens are used. When power to Gaza is cut off for a few hours, "collective punishment" is yelled. When checkpoints and a wall are built, "collective punishment" is yelled.
Too few say anything about the "collective punishment" that the citizens of Sderot face from the Kassams that are aimed at school children. These Kassams are aimed indiscriminately toward the civilians living in Sderot. They are being "collectively punished" for being Israeli citizens living in an Israeli town.
There is no justification for the Kassam rocket attacks and there was no justification for the brutal murders of 8 yeshiva students. All of these acts of murder and attempted murder were and are premeditated.
Each and every time new peace efforts are called for, the Palestinians respond with an increase in violence. It was seen with the Oslo Accords and now with President Bush's calls for peace talks. Both sides must want peace in order for it to be achieved.
As Liat Collins pointed out in her column, No Other Country:
If we had Canada as a neighbor, we wouldn't be at war either. We wouldn't have to find a way to respond to an ongoing missile and terror onslaught on our cities and towns.
In the meantime, Israelis Left, Right and Center can carry on singing in unison, if not in harmony: "Ein li eretz aheret... " - "I have no other country..." It contains a message for Hamas and Hizbullah: "Kan hu beiti," here is my home, or as they say in Arabic: "Hon beiti." Learn to live with it.