Imagine the horror of walking into a home where five brutal murders just took place; where a couple and their three children were butchered while some of their family members slept not ten feet away.
Imagine wading through baby bottles and children’s toys spattered with drying blood, and stumbling over the holy book held lovingly not long before by a murdered and peace-loving Sabbath observer.
Imagine staring at the newborn baby’s stretchy soaked not in live sweat but in dead blood, or at the orphaned slipper of a twelve year old boy cut-up and cut down while innocently immersed in a good read whose end was viciously and prematurely shortened.
Imagine the anger and hate for the killer that might fill and overwhelm you as you run out of that house of horrors and into the literal and figurative darkness of night.
And then imagine what you might do to the enemy if he fell into your hands…
Imagine that you were roused from your spell of gloom by the shrill cries and screeches of an agitated ambulance late to work...And upon glancing into the travelling hospital you saw one of them, a woman of the same ethnicity and look as the Palestinian murderer you have come to know from your nightmares, and whom the murdered came to know in theirs.
Imagine looking into her black and frightened eyes and into those of her half-born baby girl choking on the umbilical cord wrapped as tightly around her neck as were the sweaty cold hands of a terrorist around the neck of an Israeli woman, wife, daughter, sister, teacher and mother just terrifying moments before her throat was slit.
And allow yourself to think freely just this once, without being inhibited by the shackles of political correctness. Would you think what I’m thinking? That this young innocent infant might someday in the not-so-distant future idolize - or worse imitate - her fellow national fanatic who proudly and exuberantly took the life of other young innocent infants? Is it so farfetched to imagine this dark featured newborn growing up to follow in the be-dammed elusive footsteps of the murderer who slipped into obscurity after Allah Akbaring to death some of my people and with them a part of me left unburied and hovering in a forever-changed bloodstained home in Itamar?
And as my imagination hobbles off, emotionally-drained and knocked out of wind, it gets shot with adrenalin as a frightening thought strikes me with lightning force: Is it impossible that the Itamar killer is the same man, or beast, that brought this child into being? Perhaps even, and I’ll admit this is a radical thought, born, in my defense, out of inconsolable grief coupled with disbelieving shock at the western-world’s apathy, the child’s father wasn’t able to make it to his sons birth because he was busy tending to the deaths of other children …?
Finally, indulge me one last imagining: imagine that this was not imagined but real - what would you do in such a situation: step in to save the child or move on and leave mother and baby to fate?
Here’s to what one Israeli did.
The following is an excerpt from a news report published on Ynet1:
“IDF forces and local paramedics helped save the life of a Palestinian woman and her newly born infant Wednesday, at the settlement where Fogel relatives are sitting Shiva for the five Israelis brutally murdered last week.
Just as IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz arrived in Neve Tzuf to offer his condolences, a Palestinian cab raced towards the community's entrance. In it, soldiers and paramedics discovered a Palestinian woman in her 20s in advanced stages of labor and facing a life-threatening situation: The umbilical cord was wrapped around the young baby girl's neck, endangering both her and her mother.
The quick action of settler paramedics and IDF troops deployed in the area saved the mother's and baby's life, prompting great excitement and emotions at the site where residents are still mourning the brutal death of five local family members.
Corporal Haim Levin, 19, an IDF paramedic, was the first medical team member at the scene and recounted the dramatic situation he faced.
"When I arrived, I saw a woman covered by a blanket in a yellow Palestinian van. I moved closer and saw the baby's head and upper body," he told Ynet. "The umbilical cord was around the baby's neck; the baby was grey and didn't move."
"I first removed the cord from the neck and at the same time asked paramedics to prepare the baby resuscitation kit. I pinched her to see if she's responding, and she started to cry," he said. Paramedics also treated the mother, who was in good condition at that point, Levin said.
Meanwhile, ambulance driver Orly Shlomo raced to the scene. "We joined the military paramedic and helped him cut off the umbilical cord…without the medical treatment, the fetus and woman faced genuine life danger," she said.
"It was touching, but I couldn't help but think that a few meters from there, people were sitting Shiva for another baby, who was murdered," she said. "I was touched to see the face of the new baby, but I also thought about the face of the murdered baby."
The paramedic noted that on the day of the Fogel massacre, settlers saw fireworks and celebrations in nearby Palestinian communities, but added that the local medical team is committed to assisting anyone in need.
"They thanked us and told us they named the girl Jude," Corporal Levin said. “It was an amazing feeling, to hold the girl that was just born in my arms, and to know that in this complex place we did something good."
This story displays the extraordinary inability of the Jewish-Israeli nation to be passive when life – any life – is at risk of being lost.
To me it is the ultimate testament of our people’s celebration of life, even the life of those who might possibly subscribe to the ghastly motto, “We desire death like you desire life.”
Samuel the Prophet put it well when he said: “And who is like your nation Israel, one people on earth…?2”
Come to think of it Jude is an appropriate name.
From yellow Star of David to a yellow Palestinian van; from hunted to rescuer.
Very appropriate, indeed.