The 4-year-old boy pictured was knifed to death in his home on Friday night because he was a Jew. His father Uri, mother Ruth, brother Yoav and 3-month-old sister Hadas were killed for the same reason.
Regarding the Israeli government’s decision to publish photos of the corpses as they were found at the murder scene, Yaron Fogel, Uri’s brother pleaded, “Do we need the confirmation of the world that a despicable murder happened here?”
The answer today, right now, is yes. And the reason is because we are having a lot of trouble facing reality. We are having a hard time keeping the truth uppermost in our minds. The point of looking at graphic images of brutally murdered children and their parents is to look at the blood and the stab wounds directly and to acknowledge that it happened and who is responsible. These five Jews were murdered in their beds, at home, on a Friday night. They were murdered because they are Jews and to the Palestinian killer(s), that fact and that fact alone meant Ruth, Uri, Yoav, Elad and Hadas deserved to die. Plain as it may seem, we have a hard time acknowledging these facts.
Let’s think of Yitzhak and Tali Ames for a moment. Having trouble remembering those names? In August, the Ameses were shot to death along with another couple by Hamas gunmen. It was the eve of the resumption of peace talks in Washington. The Ameses had six children, the youngest was 5. Just as with the Fogels, the Ameses were identified by the media as settlers who, in this case, were targeted to disrupt the “peace process.” Perhaps part of the terrorists’ calculation was to cause mayhem, but first and foremost the Palestinian killers shot down four adults and one baby in utero because they were Jews. These are the facts.
Consider what has happened since the attacks of Sept. 11 for confirmation of our collective refusal to look terror in the face. The New York Times official policy is to never publish photos of bodies falling from the Twin Towers. Such images have been deemed too grotesque or too horrible for the newspaper of record. Similarly, when soon after the attacks CBS broadcast a documentary about the events of that day made by two French brothers who had been profiling a Downtown firehouse, the soundtrack of the movie was scrubbed of the thumps and thuds of bodies falling to the ground outside the World Trade Center. The fact that dozens of people chose to leap to their deaths rather than burn alive was apparently too upsetting for television. It was supposedly more important to protect our sensibilities. But such protection is more like putting on blinders.
We need to be able to look at these terrorist atrocities in the face and recognize that evil men committed these acts of terror with a goal in mind: to kill their enemy.
The Jerusalem Post editorializes that publishing graphic images only serves the enemies of the Jews. “During the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead, graphic photos of war casualties sparked an outcry against Israel and probably contributed to the marked rise in anti-Semitic attacks around the world that coincided with the two military conflagrations,” the editors claim. But in the next sentence, the authors acknowledge that those photos were doctored and besides how can images of dead Jews incite anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hatred, when images of Arab victims of alleged Israeli aggression are what supposedly trigger anti-Semitism. By this logic, any image of any sort relating to Israel will incite anti-Semitism. The fact is that anti-Semitism incites anti-Semitism.
Look at Elad’s fist again. Remember his hand, his blood, the kippa. Elad was killed because he was a Jew. His parents and brother and sister were stabbed to death because the Palestinian assailant(s) managed to break into their house and not the house next door. Once inside they killed as many Jews as they found. By the same token, the victims of 9/11 were murdered because they were Americans (whether each one held a U.S. passport or not). The terrorists hate pure and simple, and they kill because they believe their hatred is justified. Murder and terror are the actualization of their ideology.
(Abby Wisse Schachter, a Pittsburgh-based political columnist, edits the New York Post’s politics blog Capitol Punishment, nypost.com/blogs/capitol, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)