Most predictably, we have not heard Mr. Erdoğan saying "You shall not kill" in Arabic, and we probably never will. That’s hardly surprising since we have never heard Mr. Erdoğan speaking “indiscriminately” in the past against the killing of children and defenseless people in Itamar, or elsewhere in Israel – for Saturday’s attack in Itamar was not the first of its kind. In May 2002, a Palestinian killed a 14-year-old boy and wounded another teenager in the same settlement. A month later, another Palestinian killed a woman and her three children. In July the same year another Palestinian stabbed and wounded a couple. And in August 2004, a Palestinian killed a resident of Itamar.
The killing of a 3-month old baby reminded me, inevitably, of what a “Palestinian warrior” told me in Ramallah in 2006. When he praised his suicide bomber sister who had injured a 95-year-old woman (and killed herself) in an attack, I asked him what was the point of injuring or killing elderly women or toddlers when young Palestinians also died in these attacks. He smiled and explained as simply as he could: “For us, even a 1-year-old Israeli baby is a soldier. And that [95-year-old] woman was also an Israeli soldier!” I thought it might not be safe to ask him any further questions.