Friday, March 07, 2008

When adults take pride in kids' deaths

It is sad enough when a young man of 20 walks into a school and shoots its students, apparently as retribution against a military act which was a retribution against rockets which were ...

But it is truly hope-killing when the inhabitants of a city celebrate this act as "martyrdom".

Yes, I am talking about the recent shootings in Jerusalem.

for those who still haven't heard about it:
The attacker walked through the Mercaz Harav seminary's main gate Thursday night and entered the library, where witnesses said some 80 students were gathered. He opened fire with an assault rifle and a pistol, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. The gunman was shot and killed on the scene.

Israeli officials said the victims were between ages 15 and 19 except one, who was 26. They identified one of the victims as 16-year-old Avraham David Moses, an American citizen whose parents moved to Israel in the 1990s. The State Department confirmed an American was killed and another wounded in the attack, but gave no other details .

The attack came on the heels of an Israeli offensive on Gaza that Palestinian officials say killed more than 120. The campaign targeted militants who have been barraging southern Israel with rockets. Four Israelis have also been killed in fighting since last week.
The family of Alaa Abu Dheim, a 25-year-old from east Jerusalem, said he had carried out the attack on the seminary, a prestigious center of Jewish studies identified with the leadership of the Jewish settlement movement in the West Bank.

They said he was not a member of a militant group and described him as intensely religious. He had planned to get married in the summer, the family said.

Abu Dheim had been transfixed in recent days by the news of bloodshed in Gaza, said his sister, Iman Abu Dheim.

"He told me he wasn't able to sleep because of the grief," she said.

Abu Dheim's family set up a mourning tent outside their home and hung green Hamas flags along with one yellow flag of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Family members said several relatives had already been taken for questioning by Israeli police.


Some Israeli lawmakers called for breaking off peace talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' moderate, West Bank-based government. But an Israeli official said the negotiations would continue.

Israel will push ahead with talks "so as not to punish moderate Palestinians for actions by people who are not just our enemies but theirs as well," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the government had yet to make an official announcement.

Perhaps the saddest part is the result of this:
Jewish seminarians gathered outside the library and screamed for revenge, shouting, "Death to Arabs," while in Hamas-controlled Gaza thousands of Palestinians celebrated in the streets.

gah! when will it stop!? I know there are no quick-fix solutions to so many years of animosity, but maybe a way out is to send kids to a different kind of Sunday school, one which teaches things like this.
In front of each child sits a little lamp shade.

"Remember how we talked about how religions are a lot like lamp shades?" she asks the group. "They may look different, they may be different colors or sit in different rooms, but they all have the light of God inside of them."

With hopes for a more peaceful world,
disgusted and outraged,


  1. Anonymous12:51 AM

    "Perhaps the saddest part is the result of this:"

    Are you kidding? The saddest part is the murder of 8 innocent students! What the hell are you thinking? I hope you clarify your position.

  2. @anon: Thanks for your comment. My position is that the fact that neither side is going to halt the animosity is sadder than the fact that this incident happened, because more such incidents will happen if the animosity continues.

    In my mind, multiple incidents involving death of innocents is indeed sadder than one such incident [assuming one can even measure sadness arising out of such heinous acts].

  3. For thousands of year, people have been fighting wars for Gold, women, and land. Unfortunately, there is a new and more dangerous cause - religion. It is hard to believe in a God that inspires religion.

  4. No doubt this is a cowardly act [opening fire on innocent children] that needs to be condemned!
    But what about Israeli forces using disproportionate forces? UN has repeatedly condemned Israel's use of armored tanks against civilian populations, use of cluster bombs in Lebanon on residential areas and destroying apartment buildings in Palestine on mere suspicion of a terrorist holed up inside.
    Unfortunately western media doesn't like reporting those cowardly acts with equal enthusiasm...

  5. @sharad: I deliberately chose to omit the Israeli incursion bit, because sadly, there is a long chain of such sad acts, from both sides.

    My sadness is from the fact that situations have degraded so much that now the common folk also do not see anything bad in the death of kids.

    Not offering solutions, just sharing my grief, shock, and [somewhat] hopelessness.