On Friday, July 14, 2017, two Israeli policemen
were shot and killed while on duty at the Lion’s Gate entrance
to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel.
The international media already seems to have forgotten.
International headlines are blasting
about the fact that Israel installed metal detectors
while ignoring the reason for them.
The guns to shoot the policeman in the back
were hidden in their supposedly holy sanctuary.
On Wednesday, July 19, I joined a group
organized by OneFamily to visit the grieving families.
We left the hills of Jerusalem,
went past green fields,
many filled with bales of hay,
and row after row of banana trees.
Driving to northern Israel
we passed a Texas supermarket and traveled
on roads that reminded me of the hills of West Virginia.
Along the way we passed the town of Maalot-Tarshiha
and this sign which made me think of the
Maalot Massacre and terrorists killing Jews in their homes,
then murdering 22 more children on a school trip.
we arrived at the entrance of Horfeish,
with its large Israeli and Druze flags.
Next to them were posters with black memorial ribbons
around the faces of the two murdered policemen.
On the wall over the male mourners
was a photo of Kamil Shnaan,
while his mother in the women’s section
clutched her murdered son’s photo.
The Druze women were dressed in black with white scarves,
and received hundreds who came to pay their condolences.
Among the visitors were a group
of senior bikers, the Zion Riders.
Not sure what the young boys were thinking,
when one of them revved up his Harley-Davidson to leave.
Little was spoken, for what is there to say
to a woman who has just lost her youngest son?
Then back in the bus,
as we drove down the winding road
there was a majestic view of the Kinneret.
Israel has so many beautiful spots,
but we were on our way to next grieving family.
The father of murdered policeman, Haiel Sitawe,
was upstairs with the men and stood to receive his visitors.
The women downstairs wanted no photos taken.
Large wedding portraits of Haiel were placed
along the wall behind the row of grieving women.
His widow was beautiful as any model, though so pale and sad.
Haiel will not get to see his baby son grow up,
who will only know his father’s smile from photos.
The world may have a short memory,
but Jewish people have a long memory and will not forget.
Before I could get this blog posted,
we have moved on to a new tragedy.
Friday night in Halamish,
a terrorist knocked on the door of the Salomon family
who were expecting guests for their Shalom Zachor,
a special party to celebrate the birth of a new baby boy.
Instead the door was opened to a knife-wielding murderer.
No, it has nothing to do with metal detectors,
there were none for Muslims (or most of rest of us)
back in 1974, for Maalot Massacre,
or for the Fogel Family Massacre six years ago.
These are not clashes, but cold-blooded murderers,
mostly young men incited by the hateful, lying Arab media
and egged on in their echo-chamber of hate
to strike and kill innocents.
I hope to share “nice days” from now on,
but do not count on it,
Hamas and Abbas are counting on terror in order to
to distract from their problems,
and so far it is working for them.
The Jerusalem streets are quieter than usual,
it is summer and people are away,
hoping it stays that way. Quiet. but not too quiet.