Second Lt. Yael Yekutiel, 20, Givatayim.
Cadet Shir Hajaj, 22, Maale Adumim.
Cadet Shira Tzur, 20, Haifa.
Cadet Erez Orbach, 20, Alon Shvut.
Their names cannot be spoken out loud without accompanying tears.
Last Sunday, while on an educational tour of the Jerusalem promenade known as the “Peace Forest,” they were taken from us by the murderous truck ramming of a Palestinian terrorist.
Their deaths come while the memory is fresh in our heads of the Dec. 23rd U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, a measure putting Israel under anti-Zionism’s burning magnifying glass intensified by an unspeakable Obama administration abstention.
This was followed by the Secretary of State’s unfortunate words again leveling the terrain between a democratic Jewish state and the terror breeding ground next door. Indeed, one shouldn’t be surprised that Palestinians handed out candies in honor of the horrific act of terror.
We couldn’t help but remember that it was Ezra Schwartz, the 18-year-old yeshiva student from Sharon, Massachusetts, who was killed in November 2015 when another terrorist rammed the car he was traveling in before shooting and killing the young man who was learning at Yeshivat Ashreinu in Beit Shemesh.
And we must add these names we remember: Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer—the three kidnapped and murdered teens from June of 2014.
Misguided U.N. resolutions will undoubtedly continue to be critical of Israel. And each time a resolution is passed, each time Israel’s “closest ally” chooses to abstain from vetoing the ballots of hatred, and each time a John Kerry can vent his anger to the delight of those who see Israel as the “Zionist entity” and not the Jewish homeland, implicit validation is given to those who would turn a truck into a weapon to kill Jews.
We honor the families and offer our deepest condolences on the grave loss of Yael Yekutiel, Shir Hajaj, Shira Tzur and Erez Orbach for their military service to Israel. And as with other young people such as Ezra Schwartz, Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer and, sadly, so many others, we will continue to say your names. For you are and always will be remembered for who you were, the lev and neshama, heart and soul, of Israel, a lev echad.