Where’s the empathy for dead Israeli children?

A photograph of a 2-year-old Syrian boy lying drowned on a Turkish beach held the world spellbound in 2015.

His family had been trying to reach Europe, then Canada, to escape the brutal Islamic State when their boat capsized.

Articles that included the photo warned the image is distressing, but millions of people looked anyway.

The world responded with profound empathy, flooding relief organizations with cash — one reported its donations rose 55-fold in a single week — and removing immigration hurdles for Syrian refugees.

The photo even inspired a study that demonstrated via behavioral data that “an iconic photo of a single child had more impact than statistical reports of hundreds of thousands of deaths.”

People who’d paid little attention to Syria’s rising death toll suddenly cared.

Back then, people found it difficult to distance themselves when coming face to face with a photo of a dead child.

Yet after last month’s Hamas pogroms in Israel, where 30 Jewish children were brutally murdered and nearly 30 more dragged into Gaza by violent terrorists who raped, murdered and burned their families, there is no global outcry for these children.

There is a dearth of empathy. 

Instead there are celebrations, on college campuses and around the world, calling for wiping Israel of Jews from “the river to the sea.”

In other words, ethnic cleansing.

From New York City to Los Angeles, people are tearing down fliers that feature faces and details about the kidnapped.

Some claim they are keeping the city tidy, but they don’t mind the yoga studio and handyman fliers left behind.

There is no empathy for the missing Jewish children.

Former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren notes, “Hamas uses — and loses — hundreds of Palestinian children each year digging its tunnels.”

There is no compassion for these children either.

Could it be that empathy for innocent child victims is now politicized, too?

Have we become a society that can no longer express empathy for children unless they are on the right side of the political battle du jour?

Syrian child: good. Israeli child: bad.

My own child, not typically prone to sentimentality, recently passed a shredded flier a few blocks from home. 

“That was a picture of a 4-year-old!” she said.

I couldn’t tell if it was horror, disbelief or just a moment of deep awakening about the depth of contempt for our missing Jewish children.

The Save the Children website seems to express support for both “Israel and Gaza,” but a closer look reveals the only children it cares to save are Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, not Israeli children in Israel.

And certainly not Israeli children — if they are still alive — captive in Gaza.

There seems to be little interest in saving these Jewish children, some as young as 9 months old (or 10 months, weeks after the massacre).

In a world with enforcement of acceptable values across every sector — educational, corporate and arts institutions — there’s an absence of empathy for the innocent Jewish children who are lost.

And it isn’t because their faces are hidden from view. They are seemingly ubiquitous, on every street corner and on social media.

But instead of eliciting normal emotions, like empathy and concern, they have whet the appetites of not just antisemites but people who had never taken notice of Jews or Israel, who are now demanding a full ethnic cleansing “from the river to the sea.”

They rally by the thousands across the globe. They celebrate the violence. They are ready for jihad.

We are witnessing the madness of crowds, psychopathy on a grand scale — the inability of the masses to empathize, to consider the humanity of innocent lives lost.

For now they merely celebrate the violence, but what comes next? And who will be the next target?

In an age with our schools emphasizing social-emotional learning and T-shirts emblazoned with the word “Empathy,” we need the real deal more than ever, but there is a dearth of it going around.

Natalya Murakhver is co-founder of the nonprofit Restore Childhood.