Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Animal has been Caught

Once we were considered lower than humans; once we were humiliated, stripped naked and persecuted. Once, they considered us animals when really, all we ever wanted was to live, to raise our children, support our communities. And still, the Nazis came into our synagogues, our homes, our schools. Still they persecuted us, beat us, gassed us, burned us, murdered us. I will call them Nazis; I will not call them animals. 
Once they crusaded through our villages, burned synagogues and homes, beat and murdered people. My grandmother was caught in a synagogue set afire by hatred. She survived, though the peasants, crusaders, and others would have wanted her and so many other Jews through the millennium to die. I will call them many things, but even there I do not use the term animal.
Once they closed their hearts and their countries to my people. At best, they refused us entry and so we wandered elsewhere. At worst, we died a thousand deaths because of their inhumanity, their silence and still though I would question their humanity, I will not call them animals.
I am very careful with words...or at least I try to be. I lose my temper; I get sarcastic, but mostly, I try to weigh my words and consider the implications of how I refer to someone. Some words come easily to me, perhaps at times, too easily. But others almost never escape my mind to the keyboard.
I am very quick to call someone an idiot (and laughed when the Times of Israel supposedly refused to publish an article I wrote because I called Obama's spokesman an idiot). For all that I use words to express my feelings, there are some words I hold deep inside. I am very slow to use the word Nazi. I am even slower to use the word "animal" in relation to something that a human does.
The word slips out when the attack is particularly brutal. When two cousins infiltrated a Jewish village named Itamar and murdered two parents and three children...including three-month-old little Hadas, then the word came out. I don't remember if I left it or if I changed it and I can't even say I regret it. When a young Palestinian slithered out of the bushes and attacked Dafna Meir, the word came out. In front of her the entrance to her home as she painted the front door. A woman who dedicated her life to her family and to helping others as a nurse...what other word would describe her brutal death?
Now I use the word again - without shame, but with anger. Without regret, but with such pain. My son works two jobs to support himself and his wife and save for a future which they hope will include a home in our city. His second job pays little more than minimum wage, but he has built a bond of many years with the people there and so he finds the time, each week, to work at the mall in Maale Adumim. Once he was a security guard at the gates of the mall; now he is on the move, from point to point within the mall, from door to door, walking among the shoppers, alwayss watching. He has risen to a position of responsibility for those few hours, for the overall schedule and security.
He wasn't there on Thursday night at 1:00 a.m. when an Arab worker approached a guard from behind and smashed an axe into the 48-year-old's head. Like most malls in Israel, our mall has security cameras and they caught everything. What the Arab did to Tzvika (please Pray for Tzvika) with each blow, long after Tzvika was down. I won't detail the injuries - they are both brutal and barbaric.
Tzvika was not armed; he was attacked with the equivalent of an axe, repeatedly, without mercy. Blows to the head to disable him and then more blows simply meant to kill and butcher someone who always greeted shoppers with kindness. With extreme cruelty, Tzvika was attacked and then left to bleed out and, the terrorist assumed, die where he fell.. In the video, which I have not watched but which some of my friends have, the Arab is seen calmly taking out his camera and videotaping the results of his work. This is not a human being with a soul and a conscious. This was not a being with a heart and compassion for others.
In cold-blood, he attacked an unarmed man from behind and continued the attack long after Tzvika represented any kind of threat. The Arab then stole the keys and let himself out and disappeared into the night, like the animal that he is.
Yes, there you go. I've said it. He is an animal, this Palestinian would-be murderer. This cowardly, sniveling snake that slithered out of my city having devastated a man, a family, a city.
It was not "the occupation," that spurred the killer on. It was hatred, pure and simple. It was brutal. It was barbaric. It was wrong that the videotape was published. Tzvika's family should never see it...and I pray to God they never do.
But maybe the rest of the world outside of Israel SHOULD see what our enemies are capable of?What hope is there for peace when such barbarism exists in a culture, a society that tries to fool the world regularly into believing they want peace? Is there any doubt that they harbor these animals, that they will celebrate the attack on Tzvika, and pay this cowardly animal's family a reward? They've done it before. Iran will now use the billions of dollars the US released into their greedy hands to pay these killers and their families.
On the bright side, after an intense manhunt, the Israeli police have arrested the terrorist. He didn't even have the guts to die in what the Palestinians would have called a martyred and glorious death.
Let this Palestinian animal be imprisoned for the rest of his miserable life, put in solitude and not allowed to ever touch his family again. Tzvika is no less ours than Yitzchak Rabin, whose murderer remains in prison. Tzvika is still alive, but that is not to this animal's credit. He did all he could do to murder Tzvika and only the strength of Tzvika's soul and an amazing and dedicated team of doctors are managing to keep Tzvika alive.
I won't describe the attack. If you come across the video, I urge you NOT to watch it. I will tell you that, as you can see in the video, Saadi Ali Abu Hamed, 21, who was captured a short time ago, is seen using his phone to videotape his brutal attack.
Twenty-one years old. The body of a human being but the soul of an animal...or perhaps, as many are quick to remind me, not even an animal. Few animals kill merely for the joy of killing.
Whatever Saadi Ali Abu Hamed is, I hope he will be convicted and left to rot in prison and I hope and pray that Tzvika will recover and be reunited with his family.
There are few fast and firm rules in life. Treating others with respect is one of them. I don't always succeed but I try. This Abu Hamed's actions redefine the definitions of cold-blooded and cowardly and prove something that we really did not need proven - sometimes human beings have been raised without the essence of what makes us human...when this happens, all that is left is the animal.
Please pray for the full and speedy recovery of Tzvika ben Batya...even though, based on his injuries, it is doubtful he will ever fully recover. But let him live - give him life...and help him to learn to cope with what was done to him. From the agony of these past days, please God, let good shine through. A city is united and praying for him, even a country. We must find the good even in the is our way.
And please God, avenge every drop of Tzvika's blood that was left smeared on the walls and floor of a place we go for fun, for food, for entertainment.
The animal has been caught; the animal will be caged. Now we must deal with the people and the culture that raised the animal into what he is and enabled him to do what he did. The animal has been caught.


sherri said...

Paula, please tell me why security guards do not have weapons on them. real question.

A Soldier's Mother said...


My son does have a weapon. Why this security guard was allowed to be alone in a locked mall with Arab workers without a idea. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. But like many things in life, it probably comes down to economics. They have to pay for a gun, they have to pay for training with the gun. They believed it was no big deal. After all, there were no "people" in the mall at that hour...they worry about the big things and didn't think it would happen like this. I'm sure (actually I know) that things will now change in the mall. All I can hope is that it is not too late for Tzvika. I hope he will recover fully and be able to return to work. I can only pray that will be the case.

Lynne Marton said...


I am still crying.....I want to extend a refuah shlemah to Tzvika. I will keep him, and his family in my prayers.

I saw that the video was posted, but I just could not bring myself to click to watch it - and after your brief description, I know I won't ever watch.

As for that barbarian terrorist, he has earned his place where all terrorists end up and I hope he gets there sooner rather than later. Im ezrat Hashem, it will be - and I have no problem wishing that. The terrorist regime in Iran that educates, indoctrinates and sends these individuals out to slaughter the innocents in Israel, will be paying this terrorist's family handsomely for this attack. May they all rot in the hell they are creating - with all their blood money!!!!

sherri said...

Whenever i went to the mall, none of the guards carried guns-not at the entrances nor at the co-op shop. this isn't an isolated case..unless things have changed in the last year when i haven't been.

Anonymous said...

I would use a different word from 'animal': I would say, Possessed. Inhabited by an evil spirit; an evil spirit invoked upon the possessed one from his childhood by those around him, but also most likely willingly invited and hosted by the possessed.

I pray for you and your family. I will pray for Tzvika's recovery and for the recovery of all who have been attacked and wounded during this latest intensification of murderous Jihad.

Other commenters have asked why the guard was not armed. After this attack, men doing that kind of job *should* be armed; and they should also never be on patrol alone. Had he had a companion, it would have been harder to surprise him. In the long run, an investment in better security would surely pay off. Cutting costs by having one unarmed guard rather than two *armed* guards is false economy when you are in a nation that is being warred upon by a Fifth Column that is animated by something that is at least as ugly as the Thuggee Cult of old India.

And speaking of animals: this guard could have done not only with a human companion but with an animal companion... Infidel Man's Best Friend, the dog. A large well-trained dog trotting gently at his side might have made a difference. I understand that when the IDF went in on the ground in Gaza some years ago each team had a well-trained K9 to sniff out what might be lurking in dark corners or waiting to pop up out of concealed tunnel openings.

Ideal security team? - two guys, armed, *with a nice big well-trained dog*. Expensive? Not as expensive as the months or years of rehabilitation Tzvika will need, if he miraculously pulls through, and not as expensive as the loss of custom if people stay away from the mall because they are afraid.

A Soldier's Mother said...

Sherri - many of the guards are armed...but not all. Both my sons worked there as security guards - both were given guns. One stopped working there, returned the company gun and got one of his own; second son still works there - and is always armed.

Netivotgirl said...

You tell it just like it is with such beautiful eloquence Paula R. Stern.Kudos on another extremely serious, meaningful and moving post.

Anonymous said...

As terrible as this is, and it is horrific, this article does little to help change the situation, instead it incites hatred and fear towards people of a certain religion.
Your comment "Why this security guard was allowed to be alone in a locked mall with Arab workers without a idea.", just amplifies the ignorance that is so rampant in today's world. Not all Arabs are terrorists the same way I am sure that you would agree not all jews are saints. To ask why he would be in a mall by himself with Arab workers is just racist, and another example of what is missing in this country - tolerance and equality.
I in no way condone what happened, and I too hope that Saadi Ali Abu Hamed rots in a dark cell by himself, furthermore I wish that he lives a very long time in that dark rotten cell. But this does not mean that he represents all of the Arab people. He represents a minority (yes, they are a minority) that feel the need to take issues into their own hand. Do not judge a whole group by the action of a few.
My thoughts are with Tzvika and his family and wish him a full and speedy recovery, but my prayers are for this nation (the nation of Israel as a whole - not just the Jewish nation), that we can learn tolerance and educate ou
rselves so that this never happens again!

A Soldier's Mother said...

Dear say that my comment that the guard never should have been locked in the mall without Arab workers without a gun is racist and yet...he lies in the hospital in very critical condition, attacked by one of those workers. Seems to me, the proof of the accusation is right there.

Are all Arabs terrorists? Absolutely not.

You say that only a minority are terrorists, as represented by this Saadi Ali Abu Hamed and I'll agree with you even there...and yet.

Does it matter of 1% wanted to kill the unarmed guard or if 10% or 25% or even 80% wanted to kill Tsvika. It only took one, now didn't it?

So, it would seem if we say that 5% are terrorists? Less? Give me a number? Whatever number you give, the bottom line is locking up an unarmed Jew in a mall with an armed minority, which ultimately is what happened, ends in the same place - Tzvika's blood all over the floor while the Arab beat him mercilessly.

You say that my article "incites hatred and fear towards people of a certain religion."

But interestingly enough, your agenda sneaks out with the comment that Abu Hamed is part of a "minority...that feel the need to take issues into their own hand." No, actually, what Abu Hamed felt like doing was murdering a Jew - unless you are now going to tell me that his attack on Tzvika was just against some random folks in a deli...or a guard booth.

I thank you for your prayers for the land and people of Israel. I would urge you, however, to remember, that I offer words. Abu Hamed and hundreds of others Arabs have offered us axes, knives, firebombs, boulders and rocks, guns and explosives.

You want us to learn tolerance and educate ourselves so that this never happens again? Go for it - but please begin not with the victim but with the attacker. Go to Abu Hamed's family, his neighbors, etc. and get them to condemn this horrible, barbaric attack...start with the attackers because I promise you, the victims - the Jews who have offered peace again and again, will fall in line very quickly if you manage to stop the real hatred and intolerance - such as what came pouring out of Abu Hamed as he attempted to axe Tzvika to death...

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