Sunday, April 24, 2011
24 April '11
Posted before Chag
Early this morning several vehicles containing Jewish worshipers made a clandestine visit to Joseph's tomb in Shechem (Nablus). This kind of unauthorized visit to the Jewish holy site is not an uncommon occurrence, especially on the part of Brealev Hassidim, since according to the current security arrangements, only one nighttime visit per month is allowed... and then only to a small number of people.
According to published sources, there is currently a list of thousands of Jews waiting for permission to visit the site.
Because of this backlog, many Jews have become accustomed to visiting the tomb and adjoining synagogue under cover of darkness in the early morning hours; finishing their prayers as the sun comes up. This has been done largely with a wink and a nod from both the Israeli and palestinian security forces.
Until today, that is.
At about 6:00 AM this morning, several vehicles containing a group of Breslev Hassidim came under a hail of automatic machine gun fire, allegedly from Palestinian security forces. One worshiper was killed and several were wounded before they managed to make their way to an Israeli check point.
To my way of seeing things, this ludicrous, not to mention dangerous, situation has been deliberately allowed to develop by our leftist, anti-religious defense minister in much the same way that he has fostered the fallacy that the very presence of Jews within stones throw (and firing range) of Arabs is deemed sufficiently provocative to spark calls to remove the Jews rather than the stone throwers and shooters.
There is absolutely no reason why we should be meticulously maintaining access to Muslim holy sites (such as the Temple Mount) for Arabs, while Jews are routinely denied access to those same, and other, sites.
We'll leave aside my personal conviction that Islam is a modern, made up religion that flies in the face of all historical evidence, not to mention is incapable of coexisting with other faiths.
What really bothers me (aside from the wanton slaughter of innocent Jews), is the ongoing trend of discounting millennium old Jewish claims to holy sites in our own land, while holding as sacrosanct any and all Muslim claims and sensibilities, however modern and inconsistent with historical and religious texts.
The PA is calling this morning's murder shooting a "security event, not an act of terror". I beg to differ.
As I said earlier, both the Israeli and Palestinian security services are quite familiar with these unsanctioned early morning prayer visits, and have treated them as harmless for years. That the Palestinian police felt comfortable opening fire on these vehicles today indicates that they have received new orders.
I am so sick of Jews being arrested and assaulted for daring to move their lips in silent prayer on the temple mount. I am sick of our holy places having to be fortified like bunkers in order to ensure the safety of arriving worshippers (Rachel's tomb), and of Jewish life and property being deemed equally unworthy of protection by our own defense minister.
Jews praying at Jewish holy sites is not a provocation. It is not a security threat. It is not an obstacle to peace. Only the mindset of those who feel otherwise creates a climate where peaceful coexistence can never be achieved. And I include both Israelis and Palestinians in that accusation.
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