(February 19, 2015 / JNS)
Parents in Israel are in mourning over the death of their child at the hands of Palestinian terrorists. You most probably didn’t read about the attack that took the life of 4-year-old Adele Biton, or if you did, you have forgotten about it because it happened two years ago.
In March 2013, Adele (who died Feb. 17, 2015) was in a car with her mother and two sisters, on the way home from a visit to her grandmother, when the vehicle was hit by stones thrown as it traveled on Route 5, which connects Tel Aviv and Ariel.
Following the attack, Adele was sent to Rabin Medical Center, where she was taken straight into surgery to treat her serious head wounds.
According to the New York Times, Adele died from “a severe bout of pneumonia that relatives said was complicated by her neurological trauma.”
The rock-throwing terrorists are in Israeli custody. They should now be charged with murder.
My daughter Alisa died, too, of a head wound. She suffered hers in a 1995 attack near the Israeli community of Kfar Darom when her bus was bombed. She was 20 years old.
I was with her when she died, I held her hand, and whispered in her ear that “everything will be all right, daddy was here.” But it wasn’t all right. She had been operated on, too, when she was admitted to Soroka Medical Center, but the damage to her brain was great. She was not breathing on her own, and the doctors and a rabbi determined that she was dead. I had to let go of her hand, they told me.
Some will have the nerve to say that rock throwing is not serious. That it’s nothing more than teens or young men letting off steam over their frustrations arising from the “occupation.” Civility does not allow me to use the two-word phrase that most likely comes to your mind, as it does to mine.
Take for instance, the cases of Esther Ohana and Chava Wechsberg.
In 1983, Esther, 20, was on her way to her wedding rehearsal when the car in which she was riding was attacked by rocks, near Hebron. One struck Esther in the head, killing her.
Eleven year-old Chava was a passenger in car traveling in the Gush Etzion region in 1993, when Arab rock-throwers attacked the vehicle, causing it to crash. Chava was killed.
And there are more such Jewish victims. There was the 2011 murder-by-stoning of Asher Palmer and his 11-month-old son, Yonatan. Ali Sa’ada and his friend Waal al-Arjeh, a member of the Palestinian Authority security forces, carried out that attack in September 2011. They decided to throw rocks from a moving car at an Israeli car traveling in the opposite direction, because the combined speed of the vehicles would significantly increase the damage they could do.
Rock-throwing is not non-violent, despite what New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman and some of his colleagues have written. In an April 2012 column, Friedman endorsed what he called “nonviolent resistance by Palestinians”—and then listed boycotts, hunger strikes, and rock-throwing as examples of such “resistance.” It’s not unarmed resistance. It’s not a “hobby,” a word which conjures up images of playing chess or collecting baseball cards. It’s attempted murder. And in the case of Adele Biton, it’s murder.
For seven days, the Biton family will sit shiva for their daughter. Friends, neighbors, and those who do not know them personally will come to sit with them. They will not be celebrating the martyrdom of a child, they will be mourning for their incalculable loss. They will remember the times they held Adele’s hands and told her everything would be all right. And they will bear it as have so many other parents, with rededication to their core beliefs and steadfastness of resolve, that Adele’s short life not be chalked up to a harmless “resistance.”
New Jersey-based attorney Stephen M. Flatow is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is a candidate on the Religious Zionist slate (www.VoteTorah.org) in the World Zionist Congress elections.