Monday, November 11, 2002
The news from Israel is terrible. The murders at Kibbutz Metzer were as predictable as they were horrifying. Salient facts:
* Two children, aged 4 and 5, and their mother were murdered by a gunman firing at point-blank range. Two others were murdered as he fled the kibbutz. He entered the kibbutz in order to murder innocents, as many as possible.
* The kibbutz was known as one of the leaders in promoting real, on-the ground cooperation between Jews and Arabs. Arab village elders from the neighboring village came spontaneously to show their support for the kibbutz.
* The kibbutz is, needless to say, inside the Green Line. The terrorist had to crawl under the security fence to get there.
* Ironically, the kibbutz had led the effort first to get the fence built and then to make sure that it was built on a line that did not interfere with Arab villagers trying to harvest their olive crop. (Indeed, the kibbutz leaders at one point argued that it would be better to have no fence than for the fence to interfere with the livelihood of the Arab villagers.)
* The terrorist is from the Al Aqsa brigades, which are controlled by Fatah, which is controlled by Arafat.
* Fatah has, since the attacks, deplored them, calling them a "mistake" because they didn't know that the kibbutz was inside the Green Line. (Remember, the terrorist had to crawl under the fence supposedly separating pre-67 Israel from the territories in order to get at the kibbutz.)
* The kibbutz leaders have, in general, maintained a firm stance in favor of peace and coexistence, and in favor of an Israeli withdrawal from the territories.
These kibbutzniks, are heroes, people of pure heart who put their values into practice on the ground, and took the risks for it. They are not arguing for peace and coexistence in Santa Monica, or even in Tel Aviv. They are living peace and coexistence on what were once and are again the front lines of Israel's war for acceptance in the Middle East. And that is precisely why Arafat and his terrorists wanted them dead.
The evildoers will not be satisfied until every Jew on earth is murdered in her bed. But first they will kill those who would live in peace with them.