Yesterday afternoon a young woman stood by the side of a road holding up a sign. It read “Gush Etzion”. Those two words summon up spittle-flecked rants about Zionist settlements from the anti-Israel left.
But for Dalia, it was just home. And then it wasn’t.
Dalia caught a ride to a bus stop on the way home from her job as a children’s occupational therapist. Her next stop was a shift at Yad Sarah, a volunteer organization for the elderly and disabled.
But before that could happen, a Muslim attacker did what songs, cartoons and posters distributed by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas encouraging “Car Jihad” had been telling him to do.
He ran her over with a Mazda van.
With the 26-year-old woman on the ground, the courageous Islamic Jihadist stabbed her as she lay dying. Then shouting Allahu Akbar, he began slashing at an unarmed man who had stopped to help. When the unarmed man fighting him off with his bare hands proved too much for the knife-wielding Jihadist, the killer fled, was wounded and taken into custody.
Dalia’s father, a volunteer with Magen David Adom, Israel’s Red Cross, heard that there had been an attack. He did what countless Israeli fathers and mothers began doing right after they heard the news.
He called his daughter. There was no answer.
Despite being only in her twenties, Dalia knew what was coming. This wasn’t her killer’s first act of terrorism and it wasn’t her first time as a victim of Islamic terrorism.
When she was seventeen years old, Dalia was attacked by a knife-wielding terrorist in the same place. But the terrorist didn’t have a van and there were armed men at the scene.
“I stood on February 28, 2006 at Gush Etzion Junction when a terrorist came and began to stab those standing at a hitchhiking station,” she would later write.
She described terrorists for whom prison life is “like a hotel”, who watch television, take courses and contact their lawyers. “Those who stab Jews have their rights and privileges. The injustice cries out to Heaven.”
“Punish and expel those who threaten us," Dalia wrote, “no matter the cost to them. They must pay the price for their terror. That is the only way the terrorism will end.”
As you read this, Dalia Lemkus will have already been buried. Her parents and her five brothers and sisters will have cried over her grave. Her killer will receive the best possible care in an Israeli hospital. The Palestinian Authority will use the foreign aid it receives from the United States and the European Union to pay him a salary for life. If he gets out, he will be entitled to everything from special housing to free medical care paid for by you, by me and by all of us.
Stabbing a young woman in the neck while she lay in the street made him a hero of Palestine. He has become a model of Muslim manhood, little boys in UNRWA schools will be taught about his great deed and encouraged to follow in his footsteps. And they will, just as he had followed the example of those great Muslim heroes who had murdered Jewish women and children in Hebron before he was born.
The educational system staffed by Hamas supporters and paid for by foreign aid does its work well. Some countries turn out future doctors and scientists. The Palestinian Authority turns out heroes who can nerve themselves up to take on a 26-year-old Jewish woman as long as they have a few thousand pounds of van or at least a butcher knife on their side. Not to mention Allah and the Koran.
Dalia’s killer may remain behind bars where Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch will complain that his smartphone isn’t fast enough, that his Coca Cola isn’t fizzy enough and that the clothes he shops for remotely with his family using the money that the Palestinian Authority pays to the families of its heroes don’t fit him correctly. But it’s also possible that he will be set free.
He was before.
Dalia’s killer had been in jail for terrorism before he was released. Releasing terrorists is how Israel demonstrates its goodwill toward terrorists.
This year, Obama forced Israel to free over a hundred convicted terrorists as a “gesture” just to get the Palestinian Authority terrorists to discuss continuing talks with Israel. Israel was being pressured into releasing terrorists in exchange for an opportunity to negotiate resuming negotiations. And Israel freed most of the terrorists until the PLO broke the deal and went to the UN.
Secretary of State John Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that it was Israel’s fault because it “didn’t release the Palestinian prisoners on the day they were supposed to be freed.”
The next time that Obama and Kerry force Israel to release terrorists for the opportunity to negotiate the possibility of negotiating with terrorists, Dalia’s killer may be shouting “Allahu Akbar” all over again. And if Israel doesn’t release him on the day that Obama and the PLO want him released, it will be blamed for not wanting peace. What better way is there to achieve peace than by freeing terrorists?
Dalia left her comments on talkbacks in which Israelis shout to be heard above the reassuring lies told by their media. Now she has been silenced. She will be buried in her native town of Tekoa where her body will rest unless the left and their Islamic partners succeed in forcing the expulsion of the thousand Jews of Tekoa, the living in the houses and the dead from the town cemetery.
The State Department, which rejects the existence of the living and dead Jews of Tekoa and wants them gone, responded to Dalia’s murder by urging both sides to show restraint.
The AP’s Matt Lee asked State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki whether she meant that Israelis should show restraint by standing still and allowing themselves to be stabbed.
“If you’re standing at a bus stop or something and someone runs a car into you or comes up and stabs you, I don’t know how to, I mean, those people aren’t, don’t need to exercise restraint, do they?”
Psaki laughed and refused to address the question. But it’s a question that ought to be addressed.
Israel is constantly ordered to show restraint. It is told that its response to Muslim terrorism is disproportionate. But when does proportionate restraint begin? Is it when a Muslim terrorist is running you over with a van and sinking his knife into your neck? Or is it only when the terrorist is down and you contemplate doing something about the men who sent him and will continue sending more like him?
Israel is generously allowed to fight back once the knife is at its neck. But once it breaks free, then it’s told to show restraint. Taking out the terrorist networks that send out men like this would be disproportionate. Refusing to release the killer of Dalia would show that Israel doesn’t want peace.
And no matter what Israel does, how much it sacrifices, how many young women it buries in its cemeteries after they have been run over, stabbed or blown up, no matter how many of their killers it releases, it is always guilty of not wanting peace badly enough.
Critics of Israel like Jeffrey Goldberg insist that its situation is not “sustainable”. And that’s true.
Struggling with an attacker who has a knife at your throat is not sustainable. Either he cuts your throat or you cut his throat. If every time you get enough breathing room to fight back, you try to negotiate with him, instead of doing to him what he’s trying to do to you, then eventually he will kill you.
Dalia survived her first attack. She didn’t survive her second attack. There are only so many second chances when someone wants to kill you. And if you are a non-Muslim in the Muslim world, then someone always wants to kill you.
The price of restraint is death. Negotiating with your killers lets them trade up from a knife to a van, from a stone to a rocket, from an outpost in Lebanon to fortresses within range of your major cities.
Dalia tried to warn Israelis. She tried to warn the world. Now her voice speaks from the grave. It is the voice of the dead. It is the voice of truth.
“They must pay the price for their terror. That is the only way the terrorism will end.”