Imagine the scene on Saturday night at 8-year-old Asher Menachem Paley’s funeral. The previous morning, he and his brother, Yaakov, 6, had been among a group of Jews targeted by an Arab terrorist on a car-ramming rampage in Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood.
Yaakov was killed on the spot. He was laid to rest a few hours later, before the onset of Shabbat.
Asher was rushed, in critical condition, to Shaare Zedek medical center. Despite doctors’ efforts to save his life, he died of his wounds the next day.
Their 10-year-old brother, Moishie, whose injuries from the attack were far lighter, was treated and quickly released from the hospital. This enabled him, along with his five other siblings and their mother, to be present at both burials.
Their father, Avraham, on the other hand, couldn’t attend either. The 42-year-old had been with the above three of his six kids when Hussein Karaka, 31 — an Israeli citizen residing in Issawiya in eastern Jerusalem — accelerated his Mazda into them and the several other people standing at a bus stop.
Avraham could not part properly with his little boys or be present to comfort his devastated wife and surviving children. He was forced to remain, in physical and emotional pain, at the Hadassah Medical Center/Mount Scopus.
The third victim slain by Karaka was 20-year-old newlywed Alter Shlomo Lederman. His funeral, like that of Asher Paley, was held on Saturday night.
Karaka, an Arab resident of Jerusalem, was, thankfully, fatally shot by a police officer who happened to be in the vicinity. Karaka’s evil deed was celebrated in Ramallah and Gaza; his supporters circulated a cartoon of a Palestinian family about to eat a traditional dish called “maqluba.” In its center is Lederman’s severed head.
“Blessed Friday,” the Arabic text reads. “The sweetest Friday. The sweetest Palestinian maqluba.”
Though reportedly of “unsound mind” — Karaka was released from a psychiatric hospital in northern Israel mere days before killing Lederman and the two Paley children — his social-media activity indicates where his heart and soul lay.
Previous Facebook posts included praise for Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhaleh and glorification of the “Lions’ Den” terrorists taken out by the IDF. In other words, he was an ideologue whose vehicular assault was not an out-of-the-blue “psychotic episode.”
Ditto for the eastern Jerusalem resident who gunned down worshipers at a Neve Yaakov synagogue on Jan. 27 — International Holocaust Remembrance Day — murdering seven and wounding three others.
Nor was the near-fatal shooting the next morning of a father and son at the entrance to the City of David National Park by an eastern Jerusalem teen a fluke.