Monday, February 26, 2007

A murder in Israel

Jihad's victims have a human face, something we forget far too often.

The man you see in the photos was an Israeli Jew by the name of Erez Levanon. He was murdered yesterday by two Palestinians just outside the gate of his hometown of Bat Ayin, 20 miles or so away from Hebron.

Levanon was a religious Jew who had kept a regular schedule of Torah studies, and spent one hour each day at a secluded wadi near his home to meditate in solitude.

The two murderers, Khader Abu Daya and Moussa Khalil, from the Arab village of Beit Omar have already been arrested and charged.

The pair confessed to the murder, and to planning it in advance for `nationalistic motives' other words, they simply wanted to find a Jew to kill, and they had noticed Levanon's habit of coming at dusk to meditate and pray. They laid in wait for Levanon, ambushed him, stabbed him to death, and then escaped, leaving his body near the wadi.

Levanon left a wife and three young children. His friend, Rabbi Michi Yossefi, noted that Levanon was murdered while praying at his usual spot and described him as .."an exemplary family man, who managed to reach a wonderful balance between his work and his home…he wasn't someone who stood out but a very modest man."

He was only 42.

Sha'ul Goldstein, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, went public and attacked the government policy of removing checkpoints in Judea and Samaria as gestures to Fatah head Mahmoud Abbas. Goldstein complained that the murder should force officials to reevaluate these policies, because the removal of those checkpoints is what allowed the killers to arrive in the area and escape quickly afterwards.

Had Erez Levanon been an Arab murdered by Jews, his death would have made front page headlines all over the world.

Being that he's a Jew, Erez Levanon's death will likely go down as just another statistic, just another `settler', just another part of the so-called `cycle of violence'. And the `Palestinians' will undoubtedly celebrate this as a holy act of `resistance' and push for the killers to be released as part of a `peace deal', just as they've done with the other murderers the Israelis have in custody.

Erez Levanon was murdered not because of anything he did, but because of whom he was. It could have been any of us.

All the negotiations and `peace proposals' that refuse to recognize and deal with the mindset that murdered him are a worthless waste of time and paper. For the Israeli government - or anyone else, for that matter - to remain in denial of that fact is a sacrilege to his memory.

HaShem Yimkom Domov. Z"l

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