The horrific killings in India leave one at a loss for words. The murders of 29 year-old Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka along with three others at the Chabad House are reverberating in New York and among Jews everywhere. The story of their 2 year-old son’s rescue by their nanny/cook has yet to be fully told. It will no doubt be one of many heroic tales to come out of the monumental acts of evil that have killed more than 150 innocent souls.
The most insightful remarks to date come not from any American leader, but from Israel. The New York Times reports:
In a news conference broadcast Friday on Israeli radio, Tzipi Livni, Israel’s foreign minister said: “We know that the targets there that were sought out by the terrorists were Jewish and Israeli targets as well as targets that are perceived as Western targets — American and British.”
She added: “We need to understand that there’s a world here, our world, that has been attacked. And it doesn’t matter if it’s happened in India or somewhere else. We have here radical Islamic elements who do not accept either our existence or the values of the Western world. And only when incidents of this sort occur is it suddenly understood from conversations with leaders from around the entire world that we are actually party to the same battle.”
That is the core of the issue. The lack of similar moral clarity from the U.S. is troubling and deeply disappointing. One hopes that Livni’s words will not go unnoticed, and will jar both our current President and our President-elect into specific and meaningful statements evidencing a grasp of the event’s significance.