Suffer the little children to come unto Me.
The Samouni family knew they were in danger. They had been calling the Red Cross for two days, they said, begging to be taken out of Zeitoun, a poor area in eastern Gaza City that is considered a stronghold of Hamas.
No rescuers came. Instead, Israeli soldiers entered their building late Sunday night and told them to evacuate to another building. They did. But at 6 a.m. on Monday, when a missile fired by an Israeli warplane struck the relatives’ house in which they had taken shelter, there was nowhere to run.
Eleven members of the extended Samouni family were killed and 26 wounded, according to witnesses and hospital officials, with five children age 4 and under among the dead.
Hundreds of members of the clan flooded in to Shifa Hospital, all from Zeitoun, many in shock. Masouda al-Samouni, 20, lost her mother-in-law, her husband and her 10-month-old son. She said she had been preparing food for the baby when the missile struck. “He died hungry,” she said.
Haaretz reports the elimination of the Samouni family along with two others:
Over the past 24 hours, two Palestinian families were killed. In the Shati refugee camp the parents and five children of the Abu Aisha family were killed. In the Zeitun neighborhood, the seven members of the Salmuni family were killed. In another incident, a pregnant Palestinian woman and her four children were killed.
How long, O Lord? How long must this go on? Sometimes I think if I could just get Israelis supporting this Operation to visualize the effect of an F-16 missile, or tank shell tearing into a tender body of a young Gazan child, I think perhaps they could begin to feel some of the revulsion I do. But I know it’s probably a hopeless exercise. Most Israelis and their supporters have innoculated themselves with arguments and certainties that prevent them from feeling such emotions of regret or uncertainty.
But just keep this ratio in mind: 100 to 1. One hundred Gazans for every Israeli killed. That one Israeli means everything. Those 100 Gazans mean nothing. That is the moral calculus of this nightmarish war. Phil Weiss reports a commentary written by one of his readers Jules Rabin in which the latter quotes the eulogy for Jewish serial murderer, Baruch Goldstein: “A million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.” Is that what we have come to as Jews? To, in effect, accept the racist, genocidal words of a crazy settler rabbi?
Must we kill many children to ensure that our own can live? Is that part of our religious belief? I know that religion has little to do with Israel’s motivation in this war except in the propaganda sound bytes emanating from the mouths of Israeli politicians, but I can’t help but seeing this conflict as a reflection, in some way, of my religious values. I wish the generals and ministers would be thinking more of theirs.