Thursday, February 02, 2012

An email from a grieving father and grandfather

I received this email from Michael Craig Palmer:


On Friday, September 23 last year, two Arabs motivated by hatred for Jews murdered my son Asher and his son Yonatan. Asher was driving from his home in Kiryat Arba to spend Shabbat with his wife, Puah, and her parents in Jerusalem. Puah was five months pregnant when her husband and son were murdered.

Last week, Puah gave birth to Orit. Asher had chosen the name Orit before he died.

The two Arabs who murdered Asher and Yonatan didn't know them. They targeted cars driven by Jews on the eve of Shabbat. Their motivation was anti-Semitic hatred. They wanted to kill Jews, any Jews and had been trying along with a gang of accomplices to kill Jews for several weeks. Asher and Yonatan were their first and only success. Several days after the murders, the Israeli security forces arrested them and the rest of their gang and they are now in jail awaiting trial.

The hate-motivated murders of Asher and Yonatan and birth of Orit have been significant news in Israel. Here are a couple of links to recent coverage. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/152173

The deaths of Asher and Yonatan at the hands of Arab terrorists and the birth of Orit hold, in my opinion, a lesson of struggle and survival for Jews worldwide.

I'm contacting you about this so that more people can hear this story, consider the lessons, and find a point of connection and hope between Jews in Israel and outside Israel. Ideas that you may have on how Asher and Yonatan's short lives can be honored by discussing them in public would be very appreciated. Thanks.


Next week, on Tu B'Shvat at 1:00 PM, the family will dedicate and start planting a new vineyard in Kiryat Arba in memory of the martyrs. They plan to turn it into a park and playground to be dedicated to the baby Yonatan.