The following was culled from the August 7, 1998 column of Nachum Barnea, one of Israel’s outstanding correspondents and political observers, published in Yediot Ahronot, the country’s largest daily.

Barnea describes a visit to the Shehadeh Family in Burin, an Arab village near the Jewish community of Yitzhar, on Wednesday, the day two young Jews, killed by Arab terrorists, were being buried.

“Is there a difference between the residents of Bracha [another nearby Jewish village] and those of Yitzhar”, we asked.

Um-Basem, with the authority of the head of the house, her gray hair peeping out from her scarf, volunteered to reply. “A big difference”, she said. “Those of Bracha are better”.

“How”, we asked.

“In the beginning, they were the same. Afterwards, we killed one of Bracha’s head residents, and now they are okay”.

The room filled with smiles of approval. The sons smiled, and the daughters-in-law smiled and the grandchildren acted most joyfully, they who had previously acted nonplused in the face of the non-invited Jewish guests [Barnea here refers to himself]. who suddenly entered into their home.

“Now”, said of the daughters-in-law, “we are initiating Yitzhar“.