Friday, October 02, 2015

02-Oct-15: Google the name of the young Israeli parents murdered in their car last night...

After the attack [Image Source]
Understanding the mindset of Israelis on the morning after a murder-by-shooting attack on an anonymous vehicle traveling one of the roads of the Samarian hills doesn't come easy to certain sorts of onlookers.

Those for instance who responded within minutes to the cold-blooded killings on Thursday night by casually, thoughtlessly, coldly dismissing the victims as "colonists" in the way that one especially loathsome commentator, an Arab with a vile track-record of similar publicly-expressed hatefulness did.

And as did another, the self-possessed privileged son of an American family with Jewish roots (whose father has for years been one of Hilary Clinton's closest advisers) and who recently was awarded the special 'honor' of being banned by the speaker of the German federal parliament from trying again to enter the Bundestag; in Germany they have an acute sensitivity to, and relatively little patience for, boorish anti-Jewish extremism of the kind he practices.

Outside Israel, the fact of the murder is barely known. The usual reason - very little interest by news channels in reporting it. We assume this will change if and when some act perceived as retaliatory can be identified and blamed on Israelis.

Meanwhile, having just Googled the name of the murdered couple - Henkin, an unusually distinguished family - it's terribly sad, but not at all surprising to anyone aware of how these things work that almost no non-Israeli news sites come up. Here's an archived copy of the search result as at 10:00 am, Friday morning. It speaks for itself. Or perhaps better to say it weeps.

Google News search result for "Henkin"
We don't know the Henkin family personally, though their extremely positive reputation goes before them. But while we doubt many people outside Jewish circles are going to notice or care, we want to point out that they are not going to lead riots in the streets of Arab towns. They will not be calling for murderous attacks on the parents of Palestinian Arab children. It's unlikely they will summing up ancient curses or bad-mouthing those who give succor and support to the killers. Burning rubber tyres in public squares is not going to be on their minds.

As with so very, very many Jews and Israelis who have endured the unspeakably destructive intrusion of hateful, extreme violence into their lives, they are going to be looking to connect their tragedy to positive actions, likely in the realm of education.

This is going to be hard for the likes of the hideous "activists" we mentioned above to understand. Nonetheless, it's a rock-solid reality of Jewish values and Jewish life.

Such Jewish responses don't relieve the bottomless pain or the sense of total irrecoverable loss. They don't heal the sense of injustice and grief. They surely don't bring back those stolen lives. But engaging in them allows us to look ourselves in the mirror in the aftermath of unthinkable catastrophes like the carefully calculated one that last night that created four new orphans and say to ourselves: Thankfully, we're nothing like the people who did this, or those who provide them with cover and shelter. We never have been. We never will be. There is neither symmetry nor two sides of a coin.

May the memories of the Henkins be a blessing, and a source of inspiration for more positive acts of goodness, kindness and light.

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