Lives — Not Statistics

Posted on September 1st, 2010

Real people, not statistics

This morning, one of our friends here in Neve Daniel sent me this e-mail:

Hi – I am sitting here crying because one of the women murdered tonight was my son’s gannenet. Yehuda is six and is mentally retarded – his teachers are our world because they bring him such joy when the world is such an overwhelming and confusing place. Cochava was an angel, and we were with her an hour before she died – she was on her way home from the gan welcome back orientation when she was murdered.

Here is how Israeli National News reported the terrorist attack:

Yitzhak and Talya Imes were the parents of six children, the eldest one being 24 years old and the youngest one being a year and a half old. Talya Imes was nine months pregnant when she was killed by the terrorists.

Kochava Even Chaim was a teacher in Efrat. She left behind her husband and an 8 year-old daughter. Her husband,one of the first Zaka first aid volunteers to arrive at the scene, discovered suddenly that his wife was among the victims.

Avishai Shindler had only recently moved to Beit Haggai with his wife.

Meanwhile, the New York Times and most of the Western media reported that four “settlers” had been killed and discussed if this might disrupt the “peace” process.

Just the other day, Palestinian Authority President Mauhoud Abbas said that “Israeli security does not justify continued occupation.”  While I may take issue with the term “occupation,” I would say that the life of a kindergarten teacher justifies a hell of a lot.

How ironic that for days leading up to this heinous murder (I should say heinous murders — four people were killed, including a pregnant woman) the media was filled with stories about how wonderful a job the Palestinians were doing in terms of security. Yeah, great job. I feel much safer.

The mosques in Gaza  let us know how Palestinian really feel. “Praise be to G-D over this heroic act” was blared out all night over the mosque loudspeakers. “Mosque?” Isn’t that supposed to be a term for a religious establishment?

Here is the Palestinian’s definition of “heroism.” A car with four people was fired upon by a passing vehicle. To make sure that these men and women — returning from school orientation for their children — were dead, the “heroes” stopped their car, aimed their rifles at point blank range and fired repeatedly into the bodies. The “heroes” then fled the scene satisfied that their “heroic” action was a success.

Meanwhile, the PR firm working for the PA gave the following statement to Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to read:

The attack, and its timing are meant to harm the PLO’s efforts to garner international support for the success of the peace process and its demands, in order to bring about an end to the occupation.

Sounds like he’s all shook up, right?

You know something Salam? Not really interested that you feel this attack has hurt the PLO’s interests. Because at the end of the day, we are people — not talking points or statistics.

Our lives are not concessions.  When you complain that the murder of a kindergarten teacher should be regretted because it hurts your interests, it simply shows how little you understand about the concept of peace. (Ironic considering your name, Salam.)

When you can look at this act with same gut wrenching horror as a six year old who just lost his teacher, you will be ready to make a real peace.

But until then, spare us the rhetoric while we bury our dead.

The e-mail I received concluded like this:

I wish I could scream out to the world how unfair this is, how senseless to waste such a beautiful giving life, but I have no outlet to tell everyone. Then I realized maybe you will be writing about what happened, and so perhaps you can include this part of the story, to put a person behind the story.

So please, if you also feel like screaming any crying, forward this article and tell the world that kindergarten teachers, pregnant women, fathers, mothers, husbands, and wives are real people, not just statistics.

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  1. Yehuda Miller says:

    My wife is pregnant. We want to move to Israel at some point. This scares the shit out of me. How can human life mean so little to people. AHHHHHHHHRGGGG

  2. anon says:

    these people should NOT have been putting their lives at risk by being where they were when they were killed. the should NOT be putting the lives of themselves, their young families, israeli soldiers, at risk, and causing their studentsm, etc to have to grieve their lives because they are so irresponsible in their ideology.

  3. Ted Rose says:

    Such a beautifully written article. I am not what you would call a typical “right winger” but this article and the letter quoted within genuinely struck a nerve. What you wrote was from the heart and should be read by every human being who thinks they have the right to comment on such a barbaric act. Human beings are human beings regardless of where they choose to live or drive a car. Until the rest of us understand this there will never be any chance for any kind of peace. My heart goes out to the family and friends of all the victims and to all the people of Israel. Thank you very much for writing this article.

  4. Terrorist murders are terrible, but a realistic look indicates they are still rare and were rare even in the worst times. The real threats to life are traffic accidents and drownings with a mix of other careless accidents, In my town you can go out to walk a dog around midnight and meet neighbors walking theirs’. Israelis work hard and enjoy their leisure. Now all they have to learn is to drive responsibly and obey safety rules. Prepare yourself well for your coming aliyah and be in touch with some of the organizations that help newcomers. Kol tuv and shana tova

  5. Ita says:

    Mr. Anon, those people have every right to drive around wherever they please without being KILLED. They could have easily been someone who lives in the “green line”. WE have every right to walk around CHEVRON the place of MEARAT HAMACHPELA without being KILLED…

  6. Mark says:

    Anon, I guess you think rape victims were asking for it when they wore that skirt. Or maybe those three thousand people were just asking for it by being so irresponsible as to show up for work that day. You are wrong.

  7. Elchonon says:

    Tragedy knows no statistics. The relatives of the victims cannot be comforted with words, “Oh … this was a rare event.”

    Every Jew has the right to freely walk the Land of Israel without being molested.

  8. Esther says:

    I am pregnant and live in the “west bank” town of mitzphe yericho. If jews do not make aliyah bc of things like this then they (the arabs and the world who hates us) have one. Yehuda move to Israel. Have your child here and raise them in a Jewish nation to show the world that we are strong and will not take this!!! NEVER AGAIN

  9. yarden says:


    Quite frankly, everyone who lives in Israel is putting their lives at risk. Our mere presence here — be it in Bet Hagai or Tel Aviv — is risky. Let’s not forget how many soldiers have lost their lives through the years because of the decision to build the modern State of Israel here on our ancient homeland, surrounded by millions of Arabs who don’t want us here. Is Israel worth it?

    The risk of terrorism never stopped at the Green Line. Statistically, more people have died from terrorism in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

    The more that I think about it, I would like to address the issue you raised head on. Stay tuned…..

  10. Yehuda Miller says:

    I plan on moving. I have a few more years of school after which there won’t be much holding us back.

  11. nitza says:

    Why is it that we live in moderate peace as long as there are no talks?
    but once there is “peace”talking, there is no peace?
    I am writing this as a resident of the Gush, not far from where this monstrous act occurred.

  12. Julie Waldman says:


    And what do you say to the people killed by terrorists in Jerusalem? Tel Aviv? Haifa? Ashkelon? Should they also not have been there? Should we pack up and go back to the concentration camps – is that where we belong? Where its safe?

    I was just in the US on ‘holiday’ and believe me, Israel is a much safer place – especially places like Beit Chaggai. Children can roam free in the streets. My 4 and 4 year olds walk to their friends without me worrying like I did in NJ. Come – it is the best place in the world for Jews!

  13. Dave says:

    At one point i considered aliyah, and i certainly would not dispute that we need Israel for the safety of all of the world’s jews. However, the country is just not the same since Gulf War 1. Shamir was the first leader to not respond when israel was attacked, and that set a horrible precedent. Each successive leader has made more concessions and made israel a much more dangerous place to be. Oslo disaster, leave Lebanon, leave Gaza-soldiers are not as idealogical as they were in previous generations, etc.

    On a side note, Israel does need the finanical support that it receives from European and North American jews, so some us have to stay here on the other side of the world. I think its too simplistic to say that every jew outside of israel should drop everything and move there. Israel also needs the hasbara support, but that stinks all over the world. The arabs have won the propaganda war already and we have to learn to deal with this reality no matter how justified we feel.

    my heart goes out to the victims and their families…

  14. Daniel says:

    I would like to say now the world will see what they’re like, but Palestinian terror continues and this event will be forgotten like the rest. When the peace talks fail the world will blame Israel, ignoring all the wrong-doing of the PA.

    This entire process is a joke, without full knowlege of the history of this conflict the world will never realise the truth. I feel like crying when i think of all our people who have become victims of terror and more than that the pure ignorence of human kind! We have no-one to rely on except our people and our G-d.

  15. marie says:

    sorry settlers- but if you cry at the threat of being attacked, then remove yourselves from other people’s property
    american support of the isreali occupation is yet another huge blight on our already severely tarnished history

  16. Marja says:

    If you continue to live in other people’s lands and treat them like slaves, this is what you will get. Why don’t you mention all the Palestinians who were killed by Israel? The Turks shot dead by supposedly professional Israeli soldiers? You are a Nazi. Except that the Nazis had something to be proud of. Shame they did not finish the job.

  17. yarden says:

    In the interest of free speech and also exposing how asanine some people are, I am allowing all comments such as the twisted one above. I will, however remove expletives. Of course, it’s my blog and I can change my mind at any time.

  18. Ita says:

    The land does not belong to the “Palestinians”. The Palestinians who were killed by Israel were killed because they didnt’ care to protect themselves and because THEY shot thousands of rockets at Israel.. they also did many many suicide bombs and could have easily killed many more and ONLY by the grace of G-d didn’t ..
    Do you know how many rockets were shot at KINDERGARDENS??????

    And excuse me, but a just because a soldier is professional doesn’t mean that he can’t defend himself.. especially since the first weapon tried was a PAINTBALL GUN!!!

  19. rina says:

    The Washington Post quoted Abbas yesterday saying that f building resumes in the ‘occupied territories’ that would ruin the chance for talks and peace – wait a second, what about the loss of life? That won’t ruin it? We are in an Olam Hafuch..

  20. Mark says:

    surprise,surprise. there are people who want the Jews dead. Guess what? It ain’t happening. Check the history books.

  21. Ita says:

    And another thing.. they are not treated like slaves…

  22. Mark says:

    Believe me treating these people like slaves is much more than they deserve. What kind of person shoots a pregnant women,point blank and then riddles her and her dead fetus with bullets? A human being?, An animal?. No. Only a MONSTER does that.

  23. Annette Fox says:

    Anon, frankly you are too stupid to justify a response from any of the Jewish race.
    You do not have the basic compassion we would think of a Jew having. So, go live in Saudia Arabia or Syria with the rest of the antisemites and experience the hatred first hand.

  24. Annette Fox says:

    and Marie…you just showed your ignorance. the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. Let the others go someplace else. Check the bible or maybe that isn’t good enough for you

  25. Dave says:

    racists (or anti semites) are all so loud when their faces can’t be seen, yet are very quiet when they can be taken to task. marja, because you live in a bass ackward country like estonia you are lucky to only live among other anti semites. i hope you continue to dwell in your judenrein country blaming all the jews who don’t exist for your corrupt leaders pillagin all of your warltha and happiness.

  26. Yoram says:

    The financial support of Jews in the diaspora is helpful, as are the weapons given to us by the U.S. But they are not a reason to stay abroad. The financial crash 2 years ago seriously hurt philanthropy, and even if Jews stopped sending money, Israel would survive. God watches over the Jews and over Israel. If you came here, the support we need would come from somewhere else. God is the source, the route of delivery has always been subject to change.

  27. Dov ben Zion says:

    Yarden, I don’t usually comment on blogs but I was really shaken by your report. I work in S. Jtown with children in kindergartens and after every attack and drop of Jewish blood spilled I go through a cycle of emotions, shock and rage are common. However, after this attack I knew a door was going to open for me to actually do something more than just “mourn from a distance” and I will be visiting the yishuv this coming Sunday.

    Your post has been spreading pretty fast via FB and is now on dozens of walls in the US and Europe. When I report back from my visit, practical help is going to start to flow in for those who survived the attack. I would like to connect with your friend from Efrat and talk about how my amutah can help her kindergarten. Just holla back and let me know how you think this could best happen.

    Thanks again.

  28. Rachael says:

    why do people like marja and marie even read this blog? shouldnt they be busy painting swastikas on walls? so many commentators missed the point of the blog- the pain of an individual in reaction to this tragedy- i really hope these misinformed idiots come to visit our land- i invite them! on the way, i hope xxxxxxxx. (now, now YF)

  29. daniela says:

    I live in Israel.I was born in Egypt, had to leave with thousands of jews in the late 50s .I was too young to choose so I went where my small family ,to Brasil.thats where my children were born and grew.7 years ago I CHOSE TO COME TO ISRAEL ,I was 60 years old,but I ‘m home ,I felt an enormous joy when I got to JERUSALEM, as soon as you get there you can see a special light and feel the presence of Hashem.
    I’m writing with my heart and crying ,it doesn’t mater if one knew any of the victims,because anyone could have been part of your family ,your neighbor, your friend ,oneself……..
    I cry for the ignorance of some people, that are too lazy to read, study, think…..

  30. marie says:

    annette – it is laughable that you call me ignorant because i do not agree the jews are the chosen people who somehow through the will of g-d have come to occupy the land now called israel. however there is nothing funny about the bloodshed and misery wrought upon people who had lived on this holy land for centuries. Yes, I have read the bible, well enough to recognize the this land is considered holy by many sects of people – not just you
    Forsibly removing people from their land of birth and sequestering them in undeserible areas, not to mention overtaking notable meccas of worship is not a godly act. it is supremely misguided and obviously selfish
    the whole workd is watching israel – hopeful soon people will care enough to put and end to this out-of-control nonsense

  31. daniela says:

    Marie ………do you indeed read what you read or do you select/ncorporate whatever makes you ‘LAUGH’
    REREAD everything again with open mind and heart because I always believe people can learn when they start listening the whole story… or shall we say reality,I have no idea how old you are. but I have met and heard your kind of memorized speech since my early childhood from people of all age, background, education etc.
    personaly I believe all people of whatever religion,race, age, gender should be treated with all our respect dispite our ignorance ….I say to who,love or hate Jews ” be good, to happy, ” Shabat Shalom

  32. Elliot says:

    As sad as this sounds, this doesn’t surprise me at all. The world must understand that these self proclaimed “heroes” are not people. They aren’t even animals. This incident disgusts me, but definitely does not surprise me. Unfortunately, we have seen this many times before. We all thought that after 9 11, the world would grasp the big picture and sympathize with Israel. We though the world would truly see the lack of humanity rooted in the core of these ARAB terrorists. This summarizes the Jewish struggle. The world will probably never understand because this would mean that they would have to accept the Jewish position. This is our fate. Just like you cant help somebody that refuses to be helped, you cant make peace with these animals that don’t really want peace as they claim.

    I pray, ONE DAY ONE DAY. Shabbat Shalom

  33. Chava says:

    This is a horrible, sad event. I am taken aback that some people here still insist on writing things like “these people” or “these Arabs” or “THEY deserve to be treated like this…” About the people who actually committed the murder? Sure, they are disgusting, immoral and horrible people. But how do you jump from that to “treating these people like slaves is much more than they deserve”? I am Jewish myself and I think it is a disgrace to Judaism every time we call and ENTIRE people our enemy or say that they are less than human. Adam–and therefore every human being–was created b’tzelem elokim and we can mourn the tragedy of these deaths while still respecting the humanity of a lot of Arab people who did not pull the trigger and who have never killed anyone.

  34. Ita says:

    Chava, while it is disheartening to hear that Arabs deserve to be treated badly. You have to realize that these people are brainwashed that ALL of us are th enemy that is why most of them will not have any qualms about killling one of us. Take a look at Palestinian Media Watch where kids are PROUD of wanting to kill Jews. THAT is what we are dealing with. While there are quite a few Arabs who have not pulled the trigger, they are brainwashed to want to. Those are the facts.
    There were pictures after this incident of many many Arabs dancing and giving out candy because they were HAPPY about these deaths and felt it was a victory for them. Yes, there were probably a choice few at home cringing at this but for the most part they were happy.. just like they did after 9/11..

  35. tzvi isaacson says:

    Until Jews show their pathetic leaders that they refuse to stand for these murders and create a situation where the world fears to attack G-ds chosen then this is all worthless noise and Jewish blood will remain cheap and expendable

  36. Annette Fox says:

    Marie, clearly you are just another ignorant antisemite who chooses to ignore that Israel has been a Jewish Homeland for thousands of years and legally is the homeland of the Jewish people. It is called Israel for a reason, because the children of Israel, that being Jacob, is meant to dwell in this land by divine decree.
    You, and many other hateful people like yourself, would like to see another land filled with mosques and murderers….well, guess what? you are getting just what you wish for….America, once a land of freedom, safety, and justice is becoming your dreamland. So, stay there and stay out of our business. You people are so busy minding the business of Israel that you don’t see what is happening in your own backyard. How quick the American people forgot September 11th. BTW, I am an American and I am saddened by the state of affairs in my homeland.

  37. marie says:

    annette, my dear
    I am Jewish – the insults that have been hurled at me by other jewish people on this blog because i do not support profiting off the abuse of the palestinines have been stunning.
    just as you don’t need to be black to be against apartheid, you don’t need to be non-jewish to see that the forced jewish occupation of israel is wrong
    calling me an ignorant anti-semite, suggesting that i am probably busy painting swastiksas on my wall – these are desparate insults, devoid of intelligence, which shed light on your ingorance, not mine
    Most people in the world, along with many intelligent, non-profiteering jews, do not support israel – please take an honest look at what you are doing and saying – try to redeem yourselves – How can you believe G-D supports your dominance and profiteering?
    The behavior of Jews in Israel hurts the standing and support of loving and ethical Jewish people all over the world

  38. Ita says:

    You might be jewish. But you are totally gullible to believe all the things you see on youtube and the media. Israel is in no way abusing the Palestinians. THE Arab leaders who told them to leave and didn’t take the state that they were offered on Nov. 29,1947 ARE the ones to blame here. I live in Israel and I see them working each day in my building and in my area. My children see them in the street blocking their way (on the side walk ) to pray.. Do they really have to pray in the middle of the street where kids/ppl walk? Tell me, did you hear about the Palesitinian worker who stabbed his JEWISH boss with a screw driver and almost killed him? Did you know that a Palestinian worker faked himself to be a garden worker and tried to kiss me ( an innocent fully modestly dressed 19 year old girl!!!, who didn’t touch men before marriage, nor ever go on a date!)
    You don’t want to see the truth. These people DOCTOR up pictures and videos to make the Israelis look bad. They send bombers and the like and complain about blockades. They sent THOUSANDS of rockets into Israel and put their own kids in front of them and claim Israel doesn’t care about civilians. While THEY use civilian homes and places of worship to store weapons and shoot from.
    Israel sends TRUCKLOADS of aid only for it to be confiscated (or not let into at all by HAMAS). They take care of Palestinians in their hospitals .etc etc etc.

    OPEN YOUR EYES !!!!!

  39. daniela says:

    we are only a few hour for Rosh Shana .time to listen, to grow, to learn, to forgive, to love ,to be joyful, to be hopeful,to pray for peace for Isreal and all the world.
    I personly wish that everyone Crossing the Yarden ,believes that one can alway be a better person,forget all prejudice,does not brand people ,aim for justice not revenge,be kind to oneself and to others.
    May God look upon us ,in peace, health, joy and prosperity
    Hag Sameya

  40. rani@israel says:

    we talk about peace again. but how can people reach pease when their conflict is not about land or something resanoble? this conflict based on racial hatred-muslims hates jews, and they will never stop their agression and terror. my consolidance to families of victums of this terrible war.