I don't know what Israel should do, or what Israel shouldn't do. Really I don't. I don't live there. I don't vote there. And thank God I don't have the tremendous burden of making decisions that affect all of Klal Yisroel. Still, I can't help noticing that every time Israel hits, they get hit back. And vice versa.
I've lost three friends in terrorist attacks; two in Israel, one in New York. I mourn deeply for the dead, I feel nothing but sympathy for their surviving loved ones. But every violent event, on either side, just makes me want less violence. I don't want Isreal to "respond with force" when something like this happens. I want the whole country to be decently in mourning and respect the dead by refusing to create any more grieving families. And I'm not the only one.
And I am not "self hating," and I don't think the Palestinians are "cuddly" or whatever, and I recognize that the Palestinian community is not doing anything to condemn the actions of the terrorists, (although I'm glad at least Abbas did), but even g-d was willing to spare S'dom & Gomorrah for the sake of 10 good people, and there are more than 10 good Palestinians, whether or not you want to believe it.
According to the papers, the massacre at Mercaz Harav was carried out by a man who had no connection to Hamas or Islamic Jihad or any other Islamacist organization. He was a civilian, engaged to be married this summer. According to his sister, as quoted by the Associated Press, he took a gun and invaded the yeshiva, and murdered 8 Jews because he was "transfixed by the bloodshed in Gaza, where 126 Palestinians [including women and children] died from Wednesday through Monday." No one sent him, and he didn't represent anyone. He was just an Arab, devestated by the deaths of other Arabs.
Don't look at me to excuse 8 murders. I wouldn't dream of trying. What this man did with his devestation was monsterous. Unpseakable. Unforgivable. But.... transfixed? -- that I can understand. Hearing about the massacre, and reading today about the funerals, I was transfixed. You, too, probably.
So what happens now? What shall we do now that we've been transfixed? Shall we get a gun? Do we go shoot up an Arab neighborhood? No. Of course not. We have the IDF. And some of us think the IDF should be dispatched at once to go kill some Arabs for us.
Suppose they do. Suppose the IDF launches an attack on Gaza and more civillians die. Then what? Who does that transfix? How will he respond? And who suffers next?