For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
TALIA AND YITZHAK AMES met as students at Moscow University, as they waited in line one day to register for their classes. They got married in 1985, and had two children by the time they emigrated to Israel in 1991. Four more children followed in the next 19 years, and Talia was nine months pregnant with their seventh when she and Yitzhak were murdered by Palestinian terrorists last week.
The killers ambushed them as they were driving home Tuesday night, heading south on Highway 60 toward Beit Haggai in the Hebron Hills. With Talia and Yitzhak in the car when the killers opened fire were two other residents of Beit Haggai: Avishai Schindler, a newly-married yeshiva student, and Kochava Even-Haim, a nursery school teacher and the mother of an 8-year-old daughter. Kochava's husband Maimon, an emergency-aid volunteer, was one of the first responders to arrive at the scene, unaware that he would find his wife among the dead. All of the victims were shot repeatedly at close range, and the car was riddled with dozens of bullets.
Hamas, a terrorist organization whose charter extols the murder of Jews, promptly claimed responsibility for the massacre, describing it as "part of the repelling operations against the occupation assaults on Gaza Strip and West Bank." In Hamas-controlled Gaza, the bloodshed was celebrated; the news was broadcast from loudspeakers and there was a "victory" rally in the Jebaliya refugee camp. The Palestinian Authority, headed by Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas, issued a tepid statement condemning the Hamas "operation" -- not because the slaughter of innocent civilians is a brutal atrocity, but merely on the tactical grounds that it "contradicts Palestinian interests" by making it more difficult for "the Palestinian leadership to garner international support."
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"