ABULOF | Slaughterhouses-Twenty-Three

Living in Jerusalem, close to the 1967 line, I can see from our balcony the village of Issawiya and the Shuafat refugee camp. Since the carnage of Saturday, Oct. 7, every night is greeted with joyful shots and fireworks. Many Palestinians celebrate the massacre. “They have a stockpile of firearms,” I told my wife, “It’s a five-minute walk from here. They can easily try something similar in our neighborhood. Why wouldn’t they?” After hesitating, she agreed that we take our children to stay with my parents, who live in a safer part of the city. 

A day later we brought them back. I am still worried. It can happen at any moment. If a couple of hundred armed men decide at dawn to go on a rampage of bloodshed, they would likely succeed. I still wonder: Why wouldn’t they? Nothing here can really stop them — except themselves. Fear? If so, I hope, perhaps foolishly, that it’s also fear for their own humanity, fear of becoming evil.

On Oct. 7, Hamas terrorists seem to have lost that fear, and there’s nothing more frightening. They did not seek a mere military victory, taking over IDF posts, killing and kidnapping soldiers. They sought the debasement of as many Israeli civilians as possible, treating them as playthings for torture and humiliation and the ultimate gratification of power: killing them at will. This is evil.