Today is Friday, June 27, 2014. This is day fifteen since three Jewish boys were kidnapped. Two of the boys are just sixteen years old. One is nineteen. They are students. They are civilians. They are our children.
In Israel, we unite. We unite to pray. We ask G-d to bring home our boys—safe.
Since the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was exchanged for more than a thousand convicted Jew-killers (in October 2011), Muslims have been clamouring for more kidnappings. Their reasoning is simple. Jews are suckers. They (the Jews) love their children so much, they’d free convicted Jew-killers just to get one of them back.
When the United States asked Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas to open ‘peace talks’ with Israel (July 31, 2013 – April 29, 2014), Abbas said he’d agree to do that only if Israel freed more convicted Jew-killers. Israel agreed.
Israel said it would release 104 Muslims who had been in Israeli prisons since before the 1993 Oslo Accords. These were serious offenders serving long terms for violent crimes against Jews and the state of Israel. Israel said it would divide this group into four releases. But it would stop any scheduled release if Abbas proved to be acting against peace, not for it.
On March 28, 2014, Israel made an offer. Since the purpose of the prisoner releases were to keep the peace talks going, Israel would not release the final group of 26 convicts if Abbas refused to extend the peace talks beyond their April 29 deadline (“Israel shuns Palestinian prisoner deal”, Al Jazeera, March 28, 2014). Israel wanted another six months of talks. To entice Abbas to continue talking, Israel announced that it would release another 400 prisoners. All Abbas had to do was say yes to an extension (“Israel puts off prisoner releases unless peace talks continue”, Deutsch Welle, March 29, 2014).
Abbas rejected the offer. He said he would continue talks only if—among other things—Israel released an additional 1,000 prisoners--whom Abbas would identify by name (ibid). Israel said, no.
Approximately three weeks later—and one week before the official end of the ‘peace talks’—Hamas and Abbas (Fatah) announced that they had formally reconciled. They would create a ‘unity government’. This agreement, coming as it did within the ‘peace talk’ timetable, suggested to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Abbas was more interested in peace with the virulently anti-Jew Hamas than with Israel.
The peace talks died. The final 26 prisoners were not released.
Since then, Muslim internet sites have called for more kidnappings. They want more kidnapping in order to force Israel to free more Muslim prisoners. In the last year alone, Muslims have attempted at least 23 kidnappings. They all failed.
Now three Jewish boys have been kidnapped. Jews pray for their safety. Jews pray for their return.
Muslims don’t join those prayers. Instead, Muslim-oriented internet sites celebrate the kidnapping (“Social Media Campaigns Glorify Kidnapping of the Three Israeli Teens”, blog.adl.org, June 18, 2014).
They celebrate by promoting a three-finger hand-sign. Hold up three fingers, smile for the camera, and show your support for the kidnapping (ibid). The three fingers represent the kidnapped boys. Your smile represents your support for the kidnapping.
Some Muslim sites have morphed the boys into the Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, whose kidnapping got 1,027 terrorists out of Israel’s prisons. They call the three boys, ‘the three Shalits’. The message seems clear: as with the one Shalit, these three will get our ‘national heroes’ released.
The Muslim continues to celebrate the kidnapping (ibid). He understands the benefits of kidnapping a Jew. He wants those benefits.
He wants Jews kidnapped. He wants his national heroes (terrorists) freed.
The Muslim knows how to treat such a kidnapping. He denies it. Fatah-Hamas official Riya al-Malki claims that Israel has fabricated the entire story (“PA Unity FM Accuses Israel of Fabricating the Abduction”, Arutz Sheva, June 20, 2014).
The kidnapping is not a kidnapping. It’s a Jewish plot. The real victim here is the Muslim, not the Jew: the kidnapping never happened; Jews are kidnapping ‘Palestinians’, not the other way around (“4 Palestinians Killed, Hundreds Kidnapped”, Al Jazeera, June 22, 2014); the Jews have kidnapped the entire Palestinian society (“After the celebration: Kidnapping and assaulting an entire nation”, Mondoweiss, June 21, 2014); Israel has invaded the West Bank (ibid); the kidnapping of the Jews was only a pretext to inflict ‘collective punishment upon the ‘Palestinian people’ (“PA accuses Israel of ‘collective punishment’ in West Bank”, Arutz Sheva, June 19, 2014).
Today, as we continue to pray for our three boys, Mahmoud Abbas makes an offer: he says he will resume peace talks—if Israel frees terrorists (“Abbas: Free Terrorists and We'll Resume Talks”, Arutz Sheva, June 27, 2014).
Perhaps Israel should respond: Abbas, we will resume peace talks with you—if you release our three boys, alive and well.
Will Israel have the courage to do that?