Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Killings in Itamar

3/17/2011—I just saw a picture of the murder scene of the Fogel family on the front page of The Jewish Chronicle’s March 17 issue. The killings occurred on March 4 in the Jewish settlement of Itamar. I don’t remember hearing about the murders of 5 members of the family in cold blood, the parents and three children, ages 11, 4 and a baby of 3 months. According to the Chronicle, responsibility for the killings was claimed by the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades of Imad Mughniyeh.

It is difficult to imagine someone thinking there is some kind of justification for the murder of children. It is just not the kind of thinking that can make sense.

I know that a lot of killing goes on between Israel and the Palestinians. Rockets are launched into Israel, although apparently not many recently. Military operations by the Israeli army kill civilians, including children.

But normal people, even in the midst of violent conflict, don’t butcher babies.

Naturally settlers were quick to cash in on the murders, using them to call for more construction in the occupied territories. And the government was quick to respond. Palestinian officials both in the West Bank and Gaza condemned the killings but wanted to draw attention to the larger context of Israeli occupation. It is very depressing and disheartening.

Just don’t blame Islam. I don’t care where you look in the Qur’an, you won’t find a justification for the murder of children.

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