I have read her fine book about this VERY black page of Japanese history. Sadly she later on took her life. So I hold that Ms. Iris Chang was the last victim of the rape of Nanking. May God rest her soul! Grumpy
Here is some photos of what the Bastards didThere is even worst stuff out there which I won’t share with you. So just remember the 1st rule of war. DON”T LOSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Once, I Was a Peace Advocate. Now, I Have No Idealism Left.
After terrorists killed my cousin Daniel Pearl, my family called for peace. But after the worldwide celebration of our people’s slaughter, my hope for peace is dead.
The story I’m about to tell is one that many progressive Jews can relate to. In some ways, it’s a prototypical arc of a diaspora Jew who has always advocated for nuance. This week, something broke in us. We watched history repeat itself. Not just on the global scale, with the wanton massacre of our people, the savage mass murders and dismemberments of entire families and communities. But for many, my family included, history is repeating itself on a personal level as well.
In March 2003, I turned 13 and celebrated my bar mitzvah in Walnut Creek, California. By Jewish tradition, I became a man. But the ceremony felt redundant; I had already grown up. Only one year earlier, my older cousin, Daniel Pearl, an investigative journalist for The Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped and beheaded by Islamist jihadis while on assignment in Pakistan.
His killers, like the Hamas killers of last weekend, proudly released a video documenting Danny’s murder. Among Danny’s last words were, “My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.” At first, I was in shock—how had my own cousin become a player in such a large international nightmare? Why did people get murdered simply for being who they are? In this case, for being Jewish?
Danny’s parents did not call for revenge. Instead they set up The Daniel Pearl Foundation that offers fellowships, sponsors cross-cultural music events (Danny was a gifted musician), and brings people together to improve the world. Even after what my family had been through, their work encouraged me to be idealistic and believe that the Jewish people could make peace with our neighbors. I became a fierce advocate for peace.
When I immigrated to Israel at the age of 18 and enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces, I was still driven by ideals. I thought I could promote more goodwill with our Palestinian neighbors. Serving in a combat unit based on the Gaza border, I witnessed the release of the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held for five years by Hamas, when his freedom was exchanged for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. One for 1,000. Despite my many criticisms of the Israeli government, I recognized then how much Israel valued the life of every soldier.
On my rare free weekend, I spent my time at Kibbutz Be’eri. Because I was a “lone soldier”—that is, an immigrant without much close family in Israel—I was given a host family. They treated me like a son, including teasing me relentlessly for choosing to come to Israel and serve, whereas most Israelis have no choice. They were politically left, just like me. Despite rockets often raining down on them, they believed in peace, just like me. This week, when the terrorists came, ideals didn’t make a difference.
I watched the news in horror as terrorists massacred over 100 people at Kibbutz Be’eri. Women. Children. I frantically messaged my host family and heard nothing back. Like my cousin Danny years ago, my family was being held hostage. The good news: unlike Danny, my host family at Kibbutz Be’eri was saved. They are physically okay. But how can they really be okay, after watching their friends and neighbors being slaughtered?
There was a time when these types of events couldn’t shake my ideals. I used to argue relentlessly for a two-state solution. I fought bitterly with Israeli friends about the decency of the Palestinian people. Even though radical Islamists had murdered my cousin, even though civilians had been blown up in buses daily during the Second Intifada, I refused to give in to nihilism.
In 2012, I returned to the States to study film at University of Southern California, and published a book about my military service that criticized the Israeli government. This didn’t win me many friends, but I continued to advocate for nuance regardless. I proudly supported Black Lives Matter, LGBTQIA+, and feminist causes. I called myself a progressive Jew.
But over the years, I noticed a disturbing trend: With all the atrocities in the world, why did my social justice warrior friends hate Israel so disproportionately? Why did it feel like intersectionality excluded Jews? Why did the left—who supposedly stood up for human rights—put child-murdering Hamas terrorists on a pedestal?
At first, I thought it must be miseducation.
“Ah, they think Palestinians are the indigenous people. I’ll show that Jewish history, and the archaeology to prove it, dates back millennia.”
“Ah, they’ll get it once I show them that there are fifty Muslim countries, and only one Jewish state.”
But my friends weren’t interested in correcting their misunderstandings.
I agreed that the settlements were unlawful, that Gaza was a humanitarian crisis, that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyuahu was a dictator. I assumed—if I cared enough, if I mourned for the Palestinian dead, if I put nuance above all else—our neighbors and their allies would give us the same decency.
How wrong I was. This past week, as over 1,300 Jews were slaughtered, the most murderous attack on Jews since the Holocaust, I saw the true face of Palestinians and their allies. All around the world, they celebrate. They gloat. They mock our tears. They do not protest against Hamas. They embrace pure evil.
And so, to the terrorists I now say:
When you killed my family, I forgave you. When you killed my people, I forgave you. But when you killed my idealism, I had no forgiveness left.
To non-Jewish friends who have reached out, thank you. It is simply the human thing to do. To friends who dare justify what has happened, you are not friends. You are nothing but Nazi supporters dressed up in leftist intellectual language. To the Palestinians: you have lost all moral authority to claim victimhood. I will never advocate for you again. To my family, friends in Israel, and Jews around the world hurting right now, I love you. Stay safe.
In Berlin, where I live today with my German-Ukrainian Jewish wife, Germans love to say “Never Again.” Right now, Never Again is happening again in real time, livestreamed for the whole world to see. I find myself looking up my military number in case the IDF reserves call for me. Unlike our enemy, I feel no joy at the prospect of going to war. But if our people’s existence is at stake, I will do what I must. I will be the world’s favorite villain: the Jew who has the audacity to defend his people.
Ilan Benjamin is the founder of FourFront, a social media entertainment business; an award-winning filmmaker; and the author of Masa: Stories of a Lone Soldier. Follow him on Twitter (now X): @ilanibenjamin.
As a dad I really cannot even imagine the agony of losing a child. The imagery of the aftermath of a school shooting is compelling beyond reason. In the face of such breathtaking tragedy, everybody everywhere wants to do something constructive to make it stop. However, effectively quelling such an egregious horror is a Gordian problem in the modern age.
Leftists apparently live in this surreal twilight zone. The most vocal among them believe that schools are safe spaces that can be made somehow miraculously free from violence solely by means of some fresh new legislative dictum. I want that, too. However, I also want to wake up every morning to a pile of gold nuggets sitting on my doorstep. Just because I want something a lot won’t make it so.
History’s Statistics On School Shootings
Schools have never been safe spaces. They just aren’t. There were three recorded school shootings in the 1850’s and another five in the decade that followed. The 1870s saw seven, while the 1880s had ten. Do you detect a trend?
By the 1970’s that number was up to 42. In the 1980’s there were 62. The 1990s had 99, and much of that was under an assault weapons ban. We endured a total of 298 school shooting episodes in the 20th century.
In the first decade of the new millennium, the number actually dropped to 80. However, we jumped to 252 in the 2010s. Thus far three years into the 2020’s we have had a further 133. Why is that exactly?
It’s not the gun, it’s the people
America is awash in guns, but America has always been awash in guns. Prior to 1934, there were literally no limits on the firearms you could own. Individual citizens could mount a cannon in their front yard or pick up a Thompson submachine gun at their local hardware store over the counter, cash and carry. It’s not the availability of guns. I would posit that today’s problem is the people.
The skyrocketing rates of school violence tend to follow our enlightenment as a society. Movies and video games have grown ever more violent. Murder or rape somebody in the real world and there are legal and moral consequences. However, watching murder or rape on the big screen or on your television is simply entertainment. There’s something intellectually incongruous about that.
At the same time, our society has steadily cheapened human life. Rates of abortion exploded after Roe vs Wade in 1973 (63 million in total to date), and now ten of our fifty states have legalized assisted suicide. Not debating the rightness or wrongness of those things in this venue. Simply observing a temporal correlation.
We have also vigorously excised God from our schools and public spaces. As church attendance has plummeted, random violence and generally poor citizenship have exploded. Just as the absence of light is dark, the absence of God is godlessness. I suggest we might just be getting what we asked for.
The media would have you believe that the scourge of the school shootings perhaps began with Columbine. Back in 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold traipsed into Columbine High School with a TEC-9, a Hi-Point 9mm carbine, an illegal sawed-off shotgun, 99 explosive devices, and four knives and proceeded to slaughter thirteen innocent people.
Those two freaking monsters will have all of eternity to atone for their crimes. However, Columbine wasn’t even close to when it all started. The Alpha school shooting took place in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, on 26 July 1764. Twelve years before we even became a nation, we had already had our first school massacre. Were I pressed to divine an explanation it would simply be that people are horrible.
The Setting of That First School Shooting
The American colonies in the mid to late-18th century were literally unrecognizable from what we enjoy today. The central government hailed from London, and what there was of civilized America was populated by rugged individualists who knew both hard work and discipline. As those early Europeans were busy carving a new homeland out of territory previously occupied by a wide variety of Native American tribes, conflict was inevitable. What follows was one of the most infamous events of what historians call Pontiac’s War.
The French and Indian War had wrapped up the previous year, yet few of the participants were really thrilled with the outcome. A loose confederation of Native American tribes centered around the Great Lakes banded together to drive the British out of their lands. Recall that back then most of who we might view as Americans were loyal subjects of the British crown.
It is tough for us modern folk to appreciate just how brutal things were during this time. History has sanitized much of the horror from the narrative, but there was more than enough atrocity to go around on both sides. The Indians kicked off this particular party by attacking British forts and murdering or enslaving hundreds of colonists. Prisoners were routinely killed, and the line between civilian and soldier seemed forever blurred. Along the way, both sides developed a white-hot hatred of the other. As has been the case since the very dawn of human history, humanity fractionated by race and each side slaughtered the other wholesale.
Being captured by the natives was all but unthinkable. Their capacity for torture was limited solely by the technology of the day. During one engagement while Fort Pitt was besieged by Native American warriors, British officers tried to infect the Indians with smallpox by means of contaminated blankets. Such biological warfare would be condemned in the strongest terms by most of the planet today. Back then it was just part of doing business.
The end result was a bloodbath. This raging venom drove those involved to some terribly dark places. One of those dark places was a schoolhouse in what is Newcastle, Pennsylvania, today.
The carnage began the day before when four Delaware Indian braves encountered a pregnant white woman named Susan King Cunningham out walking alone. They clubbed her to death and then cut the fetus from her womb. The Indians later passed by the occupied home of a widow woman who had her windows boarded up against the weather. Presuming the house to be vacant they did not investigate. On 26 July 1764, these four braves made their way to the small wooden schoolhouse that serviced the area.
Inside was schoolmaster Enoch Brown and eleven students. School accommodated all ages back then, so the accumulated kids were of sundry sizes. Brown could tell immediately what the Indians intended to do.
Brown pleaded with the Indians, two of whom were apparently fairly old, to take his life but spare the children. In response, the warriors shot him and took his scalp. They then clubbed and scalped the rest of the children in attendance.
Time has muddled the details somewhat. I found two major narratives. The most common had ten of eleven children perishing in the attack. The eleventh, a young man named Archie McCullough, apparently lost consciousness and came to after the Indians had departed. He purportedly climbed into the fireplace until he was certain the Indians were gone and then made his way to a nearby stream to clean his wounds. He was found there by locals who investigated further and discovered the horror in the schoolhouse. Period reports claimed that the schoolmaster Mr. Brown died with a Bible in one hand trying to protect his charges.
The Rest of the Story
Brown and the ten children were buried in a communal grave. The site was not well marked, and locals feared that its location would be lost. In 1843 the area was excavated and the bodies were discovered. There were indeed ten children and one adult all buried together. There is a granite monument and a well-maintained park commemorating the site today. The names Ruth Hale, Eben Taylor, George Dustan, and Archie McCullough have survived, though the rest of the kids’ names have been lost.
Miraculously, little Archie survived the horrific attack. He recovered physically but was justifiably never quite right afterward. He purportedly married and had a son and daughter. Archie eventually settled in Kentucky, but his trail goes cold in 1810.
A man named John McCullough had been captured by the Delaware Indians and held captive in their camp since 1756. He was apparently a cousin to young Archie McCullough. The elder McCullough was present when the war party returned from their gory foray.
After he was released, McCullough wrote this of their reception, “I saw the Indians when they returned home with the scalps; some of the old Indians were very much displeased at them for killing so many children, especially Neep-paugh’-whese, or Night Walker, an old chief, or half king,—he ascribed it to cowardice, which was the greatest affront he could offer them.”
As you might imagine, when news got around that the Delaware Indians had murdered ten children and a schoolmaster in cold blood, the locals wanted some payback. With the approval of Governor John Penn, the Pennsylvania General Assembly reinstituted the scalp bounty that had previously been in effect during the French and Indian War. This offered $134 for the scalp of any adult male Indian above age ten and $50 for a female, payable by the government in cash.
There resulted a fairly unrestrained slaughter by enterprising capitalists who were handy with a gun and adroit at holding a grudge. The entire Conestoga Tribe was wiped out in the aftermath. The pastoral nature of Enoch Brown Park lends no overt insights into the horrors that took place there some 258 years ago.
Of all of Satan’s many diabolical inspirations, I think school shootings might be the worst. That someone might feel somehow justified in taking the lives of innocent children in response to some political insult, social inadequacy, or warped sense of justice simply astounds me.
However, make no mistake, there is nothing new under the sun. People are bad. We always have been. That’s the reason those incredible old guys penned the Second Amendment in there right behind the First.