Loss of Youth

Is Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 80 teens at a Labour Party summer camp on an island, insane?

My answer is based on knowing nothing about his inner or personal life. It is completely based on my own personal life.

My teenage children attend a Labour Party summer camp on an island.

They have become Party ideologues. Since the age of eight, they have been schooled by their counselors in Party ideas through love, friendship, group bonding, and invitation to original thought. They have received years of leadership training, and are now counselors themselves. They are part of the Party’s international youth movement.

Their island happens to be in Canada, and their Labour party happens to be in Israel.

Would my children die for the Party? Not by choice. But they will surely choose to live for the Party.

When they become young adults, they will choose to spend time in Israel, where they will advocate for every liberal cause, from religious pluralism to gay rights to child poverty to nonviolence and citizen diplomacy.  Perhaps they will become Israeli citizens.

After some years, they will probably settle back in North America, taking jobs in Jewish communal leadership. Here they will continue to advocate for every liberal cause, sometimes controlling million dollar budgets.

Their lives are key to the continued survival of the Party and its ideas.

If I wished to undermine the work of the Party, I would remove these children from the camp that forms them.

That is not an insane thing to do.

Given the legitimacy of violence in the world, doing so by killing them does not seem to be an insane thing to do.

It is just very horrible, heartbreaking and monstrous.

My heart breaks at even the edge of contemplating the crime.

Each one of these children is more than a party ideologue. Each is a person with a past and a future, part of a network that will be permanently ruptured by their deaths.

The ideology they embody teaches that there are better ways to negotiate problems than violence.

My heart breaks to know that this core belief is also under attack.

I am sure these youth had hoped to live for their Party. Now they have died for it.

My heart breaks, even from where I sit at the very far edge of those affected by the crime.

May the promise of their cooperative ideology be realized in the world, speedily and in our day.
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