It has been five years since the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers near the Gush. Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel were kidnapped and murdered for one great unforgivable infraction. They were Jews. I wrote the piece below five years ago and shared it with very few people. On this occasion I reread the words and with the passage of time I now see that the words were correct then and maybe more correct now, harsh as they are. Since the writing, we have seen Israel caught up in some very difficult cycles of violence. Hammas receives arms into Gaza. Upon rearming, missiles are launched into Israel. After enough missiles are launched, Israel responds with airstrikes. With further provocation, a “limited” ground assault is eventually conducted into Gaza by Israeli soldiers. A few soldiers are killed in the process but with major gains against Hammas weapons centers the mission is declared a “success” and the troops withdraw. During the following year of relative “quiet”, Hammas rearms with new and improved missiles, with greater range. Ben Gurion airport is forced to close for several days when a missile comes dangerously close and is shot down by the iron dome. Once again, a ground assault is necessary. A few more Israeli soldiers are killed but “calm“ is restored and the troops are withdrawn.
By now it has become “normal” for air raid sirens to be heard in Ashdod and Ashkelon as the Hammas missiles get more and more sophisticated. Yet, we plod along sacrificing “a few” soldiers every couple years to temporarily quiet the missile attacks. We are politically afraid to do what must be done. What will the world say? So we make the conscious decision to sacrifice more civilians to missile attacks and more soldiers to restore temporary order. That is immoral. It is relatively easy to make such decisions when you don’t have to look in the eyes of a mother who is going to lose her son in the next attack. Could any of us tell her “it is worth it”? Of course not but since we don’t know which mothers that will be, somehow the decision is easier, though still immoral. Do we really need to wait for iron dome to miss or to be overwhelmed by one to many missiles fired into a major population center to act. Wouldn’t it be better to prevent the next round of deaths? Haven’t we seen that accepting missiles being shot into Sderot has only led to them being fired into larger more central cities?
Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel. We remember you. We remember why you were kidnapped and murdered. We have learned something from. Your deaths were not in vain. Can we speak those words?
Our Three Sons
There is so much to say. How we all cry and how we all feel. Much time will appropriately be spent on these subjects over the coming weeks. And then, it will fade. We will be lulled into accepting the kidnapping and murder of our children – just as we have been lulled into accepting bombs being lobbed into our cities and terrorists blowing up our people on buses and supermarkets. The world will call for “restraint” and in an irrational attempt to placate those who we believe are our friends, we will listen. We may drop some bombs of our own, we may arrest a few hundred conspirators (only to be exchanged for a future kidnapping victim), we may even build more settlements, but in the end we will accept it.
Perhaps because we understand that killing a thousand people will not bring these 3 back, perhaps because we are created B'zelem Elokim and we fundamentally understand that killing is wrong, perhaps because it is just what we have become accustomed to doing. Friends, WE HAVE LOST OUR WAY AND OUR MINDS!!!!! Dating back to Avraham Aveinu we have fought wars and killed people because it was necessary to do so. Yes, sometimes it is necessary. Indeed, there is a Mitzvah in our Torah to kill out Amalek because of the particular brand of evil that they represent.
The United States killed millions when it dropped H bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – in response to attacks exclusively on military targets. It is only with the IQ cleansing of the present day left that those decisions have recently been called into question. Nevertheless, I myself would find it impossible to kill thousands in “retaliation”. First, because I do not understand the word. We have learned all too painfully over time that our responses to not deter others. There are too many willing to take their place. And retaliation demeans the event that has occurred. Three young boys will never go home again. They will never hug their parents, they will never marry, they will never have children. They have been cut off. Please, allow that to sink in for a moment. Dropping bombs on Hammas headquarters or arresting militants cannot change the gravity of the tragedy.
Rather, I offer what I believe is the only rational conclusion. I do not for one second expect my suggestion to come to fruition – after all I have written articles on how to solve the shidduch crisis, the tuition crisis, the teen crisis and many more all so that our leaders can largely scoff and shrug them off while paying no more than lip service to the problem. Nevertheless, as a Rabbi, an attorney and an historian, I do believe in the “power of the pen.” I won't lie either – I find the writing somewhat therapeutic in dealing with my own grief and sorrow.
First, we should proclaim a three day National period of mourning to be observed by all of Israel and indeed all Jews around the world. Our three children deserve no less. These three days should be spent with extra Torah learning and acts of Chesed. Next, a proclamation should be issued that Israel is annexing all lands captured in 1967 and expelling all Arabs from them who are not Israeli citizens. During the three days of mourning, All Egged and Dan buses will be singularly devoted to offering free transport to a choice of four bordering Arab States – Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. .Occupants may gather as much as they can during the three days of mourning and gain transport on the bus of their choice. At the end of the three days, all Arab villages and neighborhoods will be plowed over. Period. When the neighboring countries refuse to let them in, then the U.N and the United States and all the other do gooders can bring in food, shelter and whatever humanitarian relief they feel is appropriate to the border sites. WE CAN DEFEND OUR BORDERS FROM HATE AND CONDEMNATION. WE CANOT DEFEND OURSELVES WHEN OUR ENEMIES LIVE WITH US AT EVERY STREET CORNER, JUNCTION AND NEIGHBERHOOD.
Aside from the obvious strategic benefits, it prevents us from becoming what Golda Meir warned years ago. It prevents us from acting like our enemies. We will not kill. WE WILL EXPELL TO PRODUCE DEFENDABLE BORDERS. It is the only way. Will be condemned? Surely. We were condemned by the U.N. after saving our hijacked citizens in Entebbe for violating Ugandan sovereignty. Wake up people. We cannot conduct foreign policy because we want to be loved. IT WILL NOT HAPPEN. Rather, we must act with the oath that every Israeli soldier takes when they are sworn in....to protect the lives of Jews anywhere in the world. It is the only way.
 Einstein defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.
 I already here the cries of the left over how harsh this is but I remind you in America, we force sex offenders to register because we recognize that they represent a danger to their neighbors, yet we tolerate murderers and those who support them to live right next door to us...it is unfathomable.
 I remind everyone that we plowed over our own cities and displaced our own people in a quest for peace in Gush Katif. We should show our sworn enemies the same compassion.