Friday, November 8, 2013

In Cold Blood

When the Clutter family was found murdered in their home in 1959 in Western Kansas I was but a five-year-old child, too young to understand the terror that gripped the state then. A leading citizen of Holcomb, Kansas, Herb Clutter, his wife, Bonnie, and two teenage children, Kenyon and Nancy were nice, good people. According to Truman Capote in his book, In Cold Blood, they were the kind of people anyone would be happy to have as neighbors.

It was impossible to understand why someone would murder them, shoot all four of them in the head at point-blank range. Less than fifty dollars, a transistor radio, and a pair of binoculars were all that were missing from their home.  What possible motive could there have been for such a crime? 

Four months later when the murderers, Dick Hickock and Perry Smith, were captured there must have been a collective sigh of relief in the heart of America. Yet, along with knowing that the killers were behind bars came the knowledge that they could have chosen almost any family they thought might have been worth robbing and then murdering them. Kansans who had never locked their doors began doing so. Many had become emotional victims of Hickock’s and Smith’s terror. It wasn’t until six years later, when the two men were hung, that the good citizens of Kansas could stop fearing that the two would escape from jail and murder again.
In Israel we do not have that privilege. There is no death penalty and jailed terrorists can and have been released as a goodwill gesture. Just last week Israel released twenty-six Arab prisoners with blood on their hands. Arutz 7 listed a number of the terrorists and their victims. 
Abed Rabbo Issa murdered only two people Ron Levy, 23, and Revital Seri, 22, in 1984.
Haza Yusef and Abdullah Bani-Hassan murdered only two people, Yosef Eliyahu, 35, and Leah Elmakayes, 19, Hy”d in 1985.

Asrar Samarian and Musa Kara’an Musa murdered only one man, Tzvi Klein, 44, in 1991. (see They Murder; We Build Dec. 25th, 2011)
Sharif Abu-Dahila murdered only one man, Avi Osher Hy”d, age 40, in 1991.
The list goes on. These murderers may have ended the life of only one or two victims but that says so little. What about the victims’ parents, the wives, the husbands, the brothers, the sisters, the children?
When the Number Two bus from the Kotel was blown up in 2003 twenty-four people were murdered, a third of them children, and over one hundred and thirty were wounded.

Those statistics tell us so little. What about the woman who, until today, feels guilty that she told her visiting relative to take the bus instead of suggesting a taxi? How about the nine-year-old girl who survived the attack uninjured but went to therapy for years. And think about the couple whose marriage ended in divorce in the aftermath of dealing with their traumas.

Last week, following the release of the twenty-six terrorists the head of the Palestinian Authority stated on Aljazeera News that there will not be an agreement as long as there is a prisoner behind bars.   
Does that mean that America will pressure Israel to release Amjad Awad and Hakim Awad who murdered the Fogel family two and a half years ago? They entered the Fogel home in Itamar and, like Hickock and Smith, went from room to room murdering. The family members, Udi, the father, Rut, the mother, the children Yoav and Elad, and baby Hadas, were like the Clutters, the kind of people anyone would be happy to have as neighbors.

Unlike the Clutter case, though, it was not hard to find a motive. The Fogels were murdered for one clear reason: they were Jews. Unlike the Cutter case though, murderers Amjad Awad and Hakim Awad, will not hang. And therefore the good citizens of Israel will never be able to stop fearing that they, and the scores of other terrorists, will get out of jail- not by an escape but rather by a “peace” agreement- and murder again.


Esther Jacobs said...

Well, I certainly remember the Cutter family killers and the aftermath. We were ones that started locking the doors. You have written a powerful piece about the terrorists. I do not understanding releasing anyone who has killed others.

Ester said...

Thank you for your affirmation, Esther. It's amazing how just a couple of years age differemce when we were children can so change our memory banks.