In June, the Tel Aviv days are hot and steamy. But things cool off nicely at night, and families and friends can go out and enjoy their city and their lives. But this past Wednesday night, two men sitting at a Tel Aviv restaurant had other plans. After ordering desert, they rose, pulled out guns, and began firing at their fellow diners. Four people were killed and several more wounded.
The terrorists came from a Palestinian village near Hebron. Police are still investigating their ties and connections.
The victims came from all walks of life. Ido Ben-Ari was a father and a soldier; Ilana Naveh, a loving mother; Michael Feige was a scholar and a teacher; and Mila Mishayev was a bride-to-be. On paper this was a diverse group, but they had one thing in common: they were all Jews targeted for murder because of their faith.
Heart-break and outrage are the only acceptable responses to this massacre. But one must also fight back – and Israelis know there are two important ways to do just that. First, they must find and bring to justice the terrorists who committed this atrocity and those who aided them. Both gunmen are in Israeli police custody. Secondly — and equally important — they must live their lives. They must go to work and school, and even return to that very shopping center where these murders took place. They must never allow terror to dampen their passion for life.
We also have a role to play. We must comfort the children of Israel. We must ensure they know that they are not alone; that millions of Americans mourn with them and stand with them. We must demand that our leaders condemn this terror in unequivocal terms. And we must ensure that the U.S.-Israel relationship grows ever stronger.
We hope you will join us in praying for all those devastated by this tragedy, and that you will continue to stand with us as we stand with Israel.