With breasts full of milk, I sat down to nurse my newborn baby on Friday night. The beautiful candles were aglow, the house was clean, and the fresh smell of challah wafted through the house. My oldest asked to join his friends for the traditional Bnei Akiva festivities in preparation for Purim. My six year old was asleep on the couch. My other children were safely tucked into bed, dreaming about the Shabbat adventures they would enjoy tomorrow.
I am Ruth Fogel.
The only difference is that I, for whatever reason that only HaShem can understand, awoke Saturday morning.
and Ruth did not.
Use any excuse that you want. They were settlers, they were living on “occupied” land…but for every excuse you throw out, I’ll show you an Israeli, a Jew, who was killed inside the Green Line simply for being a Jew and an Israeli….or a Jew who was attacked in London, Paris, Rome or San Francisco simply for being a Jew.
It’s not about lines.
It’s about the entire country – and they want us out of it.
We may be sitting here, right on the edge of Jerusalem, protecting the most holy city in the world. And we may be on land that some call disputed. But the bottom line is that what we are is Israeli Jews.
And that is seen as unacceptable.
They are handing out candy in the streets in Gaza, in the West Bank…they are celebrating slashing the throat of a newborn baby girl…they are celebrating stabbing a 3 year old boy through the heart.
Palestinians from President Mahmoud Abba’s Fatah faction, our “moderate” “peace” partners, have just named a town square after a leader of the 1978 bus hijacking in which 35 Israelis were killed.
The ceremony, in Al-Bireh, a town near the Palestinian city of Ramallah, was held at exactly the same moment that 30,000 people gathered to mourn the Fogel family and to bury them in Jerusalem.
“We stand here in praise of our martyrs and in loyalty to all of the martyrs of the national movement,” Fatah member Sabri Seidam said at the unveiling of a plaque showing Dalal al-Mughrabi cradling a rifle against a backdrop map of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Mughrabi and a group of gunmen killed 35 Israelis that day.
I am Ruth Fogel.
But so are you.
You may not be a religious Jew. You may not have six children, including an infant nestling at your breast.
But if you believe that Israel has a right to exist, and you believe that the Jewish people have a right to a homeland, then you are Ruth Fogel.
And your simple existence makes someone want to kill you and your children.
It’s not about the settlements.
It’s about all of Israel and about having the right to live here in peace, on the land that we’ve been given and that we’ve won through blood soaked tears, sweat and history.
And we aren’t leaving.
But we sure as hell are being asked to pay the price.
0 thoughts on “I am Ruth Fogel…”
Well said, as usual. I just wish that all of your posts could be as uplifting as the past one – may we only know happiness in the future.
Yashar Koach! We are all Ruth Fogel! And we are all here to stay to bring meaning to their short lives.
May we live to see the days when Jews and non-Jews alike can live between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River in peace.
May we see the end of blood-soaked tears and sweat. The end of murder and violence.
devarim hayotzim min halev nichnasim el halev. How true are your words. We are all ruth fogel
I agree very well said
My sadness is mingled with rage. The International Herald-Tribune reported the tragedy on page 10, with a photo that should have moved a stone to tears. The headline; Israel to build new homes in territories (I paraphrase.) The tiny caption said something like "family of settlers killed in West Bank community" and the article said nothing of the ages of the children and notmuch about the circumstances.
Granted it happened at the same time as the huge – but no less horrifying events in Japan – but there is no malice in the natural upheaval. There was nothing but malice in the horror at Itamar. And the world looked away. Nothing changes.
My heart turns over at the thought of a twelve-year-old girl finding her family like that.
It indeed is sad. Not only for the Jews but also for the others who have been misguided/deceived by the one who does nothing but to steal, kill and destroy. May God forgive them.