I usually write about animal cruelty because, without a doubt, the incidences
of it are horrendous. I am ashamed of humans who feel no compunction or
guilt in shoving chickens into tight battery cages where they can't ever spread
their wings. They each have the space and size of a typewriter sheet of paper
they can call their own.
Imagine that a Catholic editor defended this type of cruel chicken-raising because
it was carried on in a New England monastery! Neither he nor the monks are
compassionate in my view. CAFOs are an abomination and there seems no one
who can dismantle them - government or compassionate church people whose
teachings should influence us to raise our farm animals humanely and compassionately.
However, this time I am writing about a human tragedy. Really, there are so many-
but this one is particularly gory and unthinkable. Whoever visited their cruelty on
this innocent Israeli family should blush in shame if they have even an ounce of
humanity in them.
Maybe someone has already posted this story of horror, but I just learned about it
today. My friend Mohammed brought me some magazines and among them was
the Philadelphia Trumpet (May/June 2011). Some of the feature titles were: "How
War in Libya Will End" and "Royal Wedding - What Makes it so Fascinating." Well,
truth be told, I've moved on re both topics and even "Will Japan Ever Be the Same?"
But "This Circle of Horror and River of Tears" by Joel Hilliker and Stephen Flurry
caught my attention as well as the funeral picture of the coffins of a father, a mother,
an 11-year old, a 3-year old, and 3-month old - all stabbed to death in cold blood.
On March 11 on a Friday evening, just after the Sabbath began, terrorists jumped
an Israel security fence in a West Bank town. They chose the Fogel home at random.
They found Udi Fogel, age 36 asleep in bed holding his 3-month old daughter Hadas.
They slit both of their throats.
When Ruth, Udi's wife came from the bathroom, they stabbed her to death. Moving
through the house, they found the bedroom with two of the Fogels' sons. Yoav, age 11,
was reading in bed and Elad, age 3, was sleeping. They stabbed Elad twice through
the heart and slashed Yoav's throat.
They missed finding two more Fogel boys - Roi, 6 years old, who was sleeping on the
living room couch and Yishai, 2 years old, asleep in another room.
Two hours after the terrorists had fled, Tamar the Fogels' 12 year-old daughter returned
home from a youth event. Finding the door locked, she managed to wake up Roi by
calling his name through the living room window.
No 12 year-old or for that matter anyone should see the blood-soaked horror she
witnessed when making her rounds of the house. She ran from the house screaming.
At the funeral, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau spoke to Tamar directly: "In one cruel hour, you
have become a little mother. You are now the mother of little Roi and Yishai and you
are only 12 years old."
At first the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility. This terrorist wing of Fatah
later retracted this claim. However, their other actions in rewarding persons who killed
other Israelis, makes it appear very likely that they indeed are the guilty ones. And sadly,
Hamas, the other group of Palestinian politics, celebrated the Fogels' murders by handing
out sweets and candy on the streets of Gaza. What kind of people would take joy in the
cruel taking of the lives of an innocent family -Jewish or otherwise?