An entire nation stood mourning at the open graves of Gil-ad, Eyal and Naftali, united in grief, aching and stunned at the youthful glow and purity, the loving hopes of parents shattered in an instant by bestial murderers who took advantage of the innocent boys’ trust in them. The memory of the three will remain in our midst and the events of the past few weeks will accompany our nation in Israel and the Diaspora for a long, long time.
Accusing fingers are pointed at Hamas, and I believe that the Israeli government has proof of the movement’s involvement, or that of its members, in the despicable crime. Except that I do not only accuse Hamas, just as I would not accuse a poisonous viper for biting a child whose father brought the snake home and freed him to roam about at will inside it. The snake is not guilty because it is in his nature to bite. The father is the guilty party, and everyone understands that.
In the case of the boys, the guilty party is also whoever brought the snake inside the house and allowed him freedom to move around undisturbed.
The problem began in the eighties, when the Coordinator of Activities in the Territories decided to encourage and fund “Almajama Alaslami” – The Islamic Center – despite warnings he received from Gaza that this was not a social welfare agency but a particularly violent sector of the Muslim Brotherhood. Towards the end of 1987, when the first Intifada broke out, the “Almajama” founders of Hamas encouraged the violence.
The guilt continues on to 1993 when President Bill Clinton pressured Israel to allow 415 leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, all of whom had been banished to Lebanon after the kidnapping-murder of Border Police soldier Nissim Toledano, to return.
Just as guilty are the members of Israeli and world media who presented these terrorist leaders as unfortunates suffering from the inclement weather of Marj-a-Zohor, where they remained living in tents so as to appeal to the world’s mercy.
But the greatest guilt lies on the shoulders of those of us who thought, in 1993, that if they would bring back the PLO and arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat at its head to Israel, he would “take care of Hamas without the courts and without Betselem” (a reference to Yitzchak Rabin’s remark that Arafat would destroy Hamas without leftist NGO’s turning to the Supreme Court to limit his activities as they do to the IDF, ed.).