Beyond the Cusp

June 15, 2014

Kidnapped Israeli Teens Still Missing

As of the writing of this article the three young teens are still missing and presumed abducted. We finally know the names allowing us to humanize these latest young and innocent victims of terrorism. They are Gil-ad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrach; one of which has citizenship in the United States. Two of the students are enrolled with the Makor Chaim Yeshiva while the third is enrolled at the Shavey Hevron Yeshiva. This was a case where the IDF and Shin Bet were unable to decipher and gather together the million bits of data, surveillance and other intelligence information in order to prevent this tragic crime which has an entire nation in shock but still mobilized with millions gathering together in prayer in every corner and across the small width and entire length hoping that their actions can reach the heavens and move the earth and bring back these sons. According to an IDF Spokesperson said that since 2013, over sixty-four kidnapping attempts have been prevented by Israeli forces, but, as has been said repeatedly in our age, we only have to fail once and the terrorists win once and all out past successes become meaningless and all that matters is how did we miss the big one. The truth is that any successful terrorist strike, be it a kidnapping as we are living through in the immediate, be it a suicide bombing, be it a truck bomb, a bombed bus, a plane hijacking, or something beyond our ability to imagine just yesterday, the government and law enforcement are expected to prevent every last attack attempt. There will be weeks of second guessing in this instance as well, no matter the turnout. Already the first inklings of finger pointing have begun with reports that an initial phone call had been received around 10:25 PM where a youth’s voice whispered, “We’ve been abducted! We are being kidnapped,” and lasted approximately two minutes with noises in the background. The initial response to the call was that it was probably another of the numerous false alarms received regularly by police crisis or hotlines from Arabs who often attempt to overload these lines and the police with such calls hoping to overwhelm their systems. It took the brother of one of the abducted teens arriving at the station reporting his brother and friends missing to make the police aware that the call had been real.


Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that it is suspected with relative certainty that the abduction was the work of Hamas. He added that the Israeli government holds Mahmoud Abbas personally responsible for the wellbeing and safety of the three young men and their return to their families without unnecessary delays. Since Abbas just incorporated Hamas into the Palestinian governance and extended free movement within Judea and Samaria (West Bank) that this makes Abbas equally culpable as are the Hamas leadership and the actual abductors. There has been one piece of propaganda from the Palestinians which would be absolutely laughable if not for the fact that a large percentage of the world will believe it buying the fallacy swallowing it hook, line and sinker. Their contemptible deceit was that there was absolutely no possibility that any Palestinian could have played any part of the kidnapping as the teens were taken from within an area under Israeli governance and security and any Palestinian abduction could only occur if the Jewish teens were within Palestinian governed and security areas. The implication which they are attempting to sell is that because the world believes that Israel is an Apartheid state that the Palestinians are not permitted to enter the Israeli areas but the Jews have complete freedom of movement within all areas including those under Palestinian rule. Well, their claims could not be any further from the truth as I will fully exhibit shortly. The reality is that there are Palestinians who currently live within the Israeli governed and under Israeli security areas and work within Israel next to Israeli Jews, Israeli Christians, Israeli Arabs, Israeli Muslims, and Israelis of numerous other religions who reside within the Israeli controlled areas. On the other hand, no Jew is permitted to enter the Palestinian controlled areas and should any Jew wander into those areas their lives are very likely endangered and quite likely forfeit unless security personnel are able to return them to the Israeli controlled areas before the mob is able to corner them. The truth of the situation was made undeniably evident when two reservists made a wrong turn and ended driving into Ramallah before being stopped. They were arrested by Palestinian security personnel and placed in the station’s holding cell in the hopes that they would be able to return them before their fellow Palestinians citizens discovered their presence. That was not the result as the citizens of Ramallah found out and word spread rapidly and a crown gathered and grew demanding for the two Israelis to be turned over to them for their own satisfaction and revenge. These young reservists had done nothing to anybody but were being sentenced to death by a mob, a lynch mob. With the crowd having grown in size, the Palestinian police deserted their posts escaping out the back door of the station leaving the keys to the cell holding the two reservists on the desk in the office. The mob gained entrance to the station and tore the two Israeli apart with their bare hands while placing calls to the people, including their wives, allowing them to hear the dying screams of the victims of the mob’s rage. There was a picture taken of a Palestinian youth leaning out a window near where the holding cells were located with his hands stained with the Israeli’s blood while the crowd below hollered and yelled their exuberance and approval of the carnage. A graphic photograph exists of this scene and is graphic in nature and should not be viewed by youth or those who believe their sensitivities may be upset by such realistic and graphic horrific depictions. With all due warning; the photograph of the Palestinian youth displaying his blood-soaked hands as his personal trophy can be viewed here.


In the meanwhile, the prayers of a nation and a people continue to be offered and three families wait holding on to their hopes and attempting to subdue their growing fears. Time only makes these fears grow and spread from the small core of the immediate families to the whole of Israel, the larger family as we are all related by experiences extending back to ancient Egypt on to Mount Sinai and soon afterward back into these lands we call Israel and the West Bank, the ancient areas of Judea and Samaria, home to two of our ancestral tribes. Security forces and military assets have been dedicated to searching an increasing region refusing to accept defeat in this vital work. These Israelis are determined to find the abducted young men despite the potential for many obstructions or interferences which may result as residents sympathetic with Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad or simply anti-Jews who decide to heed the call from different Palestinian spokespersons who have called for all possible resistance and impedance that they are able of placing in the way to disrupt the search for the kidnapped youths. Such calls have been issued even on Palestinian media while a vile anti-Semitic cartoon which was posted on Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah Facebook page which can be seen here. There have been numerous reports of celebratory street festivities with women distributing sweet cakes and candies to people on the streets and much merrymaking and sounding of horns. The atmosphere resembles similar activities approving other successful terrorist acts such as suicide bombings, bus bombings, shootings, other abductions and also the terrorist strikes on September 11, 2001 in New York City, Washington DC and a field in Pennsylvania.


This situation is somber and many Israelis are trying as best they can to remain hopeful and continue to offer prayers and encouragement to each other all hoping as one people that their brothers are located and rescued alive, unhurt and in good health. Few have spoken of what actions might be best considered should these teenage boys not be returned alive and well or with alacrity as such thoughts are subdued as much as possible as such thoughts are foreign to most Jews during such challenging situations. We prefer to live in hope and pray for the best and push negative thoughts from our minds as long as hope remains. Should the results not be the best of possible alternatives, then we can entertain the options and choose the most advantageous and proper course going forward. No matter the results from the current events, there is one course which is guaranteed; the close introspection and scrutiny of all areas, actions, reactions and critiques of the ways that information was shared and followed through on once received and a complete review all with the aim of improving reactions times and refinement of procedures and the exchange of information and what conditions necessitate notification of higher or other units and security departments. There will probably be hearings to determine if proper and timely reactions were taken leading to determinations of where and how to improve security and protection in the future. Another discussion which must be deliberated is whether there is a need for additional mass transit such as busses or shared taxis introduced to the areas of Judea and Samaria where Israel has security responsibility thus negating the overwhelming need for youths to use hitchhiking as their primary means of transportation. It has been a known vulnerability that our youth must rely on hitchhiking in order to have access to shopping, recreation, attending services, and making the trip between home and schools be they Yeshivas or secular schools. There are numerous reasons behind the dearth of alternatives to hitchhiking such as trains and busses. There are no trains as building such infrastructure is expensive and with the state of politics in the world and the seemingly endless drive to force Israel from every millimeter of lands gained during the Six Day War makes investing in such expensive infrastructure as train lines impossible. It is obviously unreasonable to expect Israel to invest in rail lines in areas which there is a better than even chance that world pressures will force their surrender and the Israeli Jews now residing there being evicted to make the Palestinian state Jew free as Abbas has expressed as one of his red lines. Jordan also forced every Jews out from Judea and Samaria after they gained a hold on the areas of Judea and Samaria resulting from the war to destroy Israel after her birth in 1948 and held illegally and unrecognized by all nations, including every Arab nation, except Britain and Pakistan. On the other hand, bus routes could be reinstated allowing for regular service and greater accessibility. There are many problems with such plans and not all are political. The political comes from the necessity in some areas to have Palestinian permissions in order to allow busses to pass through the areas, a permission which would be impossible to attain as it has been requested before and even offered to provide bus service for the Palestinians along those routes but the offers were to no avail. The other difficulty which makes bus routes so rare is a security impediment. The problem became insurmountable during the Second Intifada when bus bombings became epidemic making continuing bus routes through the more dangerous areas monetarily prohibitive. Even the limited bus routes still being provided in Judea and Samaria are continued despite the threats of terrorist strikes as they are necessary to provide a means for employees to make their way to and from their employment and thus such bus routes are mostly restricted to such routes. How new and additional bus routes could be made secure and protected from any form of terrorist attack including from military such attacks using RPGs or anti-tank weaponry is the requirement that must be met in order to accomplish the task. The discussion will be serious and heated with some unfortunately taking these opportunities to make political points and try to place blame on those in parties with which they have differences as well as probable grandstanding by the likes as Ministers of the Knesset Zoabi and Tibi. But before everything becomes political, Israelis are as one people in prayer and hope for the safe return of our boys, or as it is stated so eloquently on Twitter, #BringBackOurBoys. The similarity between this Twitter campaign is close to the similar campaign for the abducted Nigerian young ladies which garnered even First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama and there are many here in Israel who would be impressed and appreciative if First Lady Michelle Obama were to choose to join the #BringBackOurBoys giving it the publicity just as she did for #BringBackOurGirls. I will even thank First Lady Michelle Obama in faith that she will be so driven to add her prestige and honor the Israeli families who are feeling the same horror from the same source, terrorist abducting their child, as the families in Nigeria. May all of these children be returned and find peace and a full life without any lasting damages and traumas from their horrific experiences. Amen.


Beyond the Cusp


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