Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Violence in Jerusalem - Some Snap Judgements About Causes and Enablers

In Armon Hanatziv, a few blocks from where I live, and where my Conservative synagogue is located in "occupied east Jerusalem," dozens of Palestinian Arabs have blocked one of the roads. They've stoned a municipal bus and are hurling rocks, firebombs, and firecracker clusters at the police.
Anti-Zionists and local Arabs call Armon Hanatziv a "settlement neighborhood" because it is beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines.

Of course, to the Arabs any place Jews live is a "settlement" and all Jews are "settlers."

Our "original sin" is coming back to Eretz Israel.

Interestingly, the Arabs of metro-Jerusalem and specifically those of Jabel Mukaber in southeast Jerusalem which abuts Armon Hanatziv have no compunctions about reaping the benefits of the "occupation."

The parents of the stone throwers get a stipend from the Israeli government until they are 18 – just for being born. Their families get full national health insurance.

Their neighborhoods are neglected relative to the Jewish neighborhood because the Arabs refuse to vote in municipal elections – they could if they wanted to—so they have no say over how the budget is allocated.

Fortunately for them, the current mayor especially is interested in providing service to the Arab sector and has built schools and community centers to serve the Arabs of Jerusalem. Not enough but still noteworthy.

Now, it is said that the majority of the Arabs of Jerusalem and Israel in general want to live in peace and that the violence is the work of rabble-rousers.

I'd like to believe that.

But the young rabble-rousers, and the older Jerusalem Arabs who use their autos to run over passengers waiting at light rail stations, and the Arabs like Udai & Ghassan Abu Jamal of Jabel Mukaber who enter synagogues with butchery in their hearts..

And the Arabs of the Triangle in the Galilee that have taken to rioting…

And the Arab Knesset members who incite against this country

They are creating an atmosphere of fear. Yes, I know that's what they want.

The animated cartoons now going viral in Arab social media – some in Hebrew so we get the message – that celebrate this fear and warn is that every Arab is a potential "shahid" are having their intended effect.

And that in the long run ain't good for the Arabs or for the Jews.

You would think that looking around and seeing the upheaval in Syria, and in the former Lebanon (Hezbollah-stan), in Iraq, Sinai, North Africa, Hamas-occupied Gaza, and elsewhere that the Palestinian Arabs (those who are Jerusalem residents, those who are citizens of this country, and even those in Judea and Samaria who are under our "occupation") would be counting their blessings that the Jews are their biggest worry.

But the virus that is sweeping through Ebola-like the Muslim and Arab world has infected (or, more accurately, re- infected) the Arabs of Palestine.

Arabs work side by side with Jews in Jerusalem. Arab doctors serve Jewish patients and Jewish nurses treat Arab patients.

Now, with a sick new intensity, the mobilized Arab polity is putting this modes vivendi at risk like never before.

The top story on Israel Radio's 1 pm broadcast this afternoon is about Israeli leaders led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu denouncing a decision by the mayor of Ashkelon to bar Arab workers from construction projects inside the city's kindergartens for fear the Arab workers might want to hurt the children.

Netanyahu said there was no place for such a policy in Israel.

The mayor, Itamar Shimoni, ordered the municipality's 40 kindergartens close to construction sites where Arabs work to have armed guards.

Shimoni said his only concern is the safety of the children. Given that attacking Jewish soft targets is being encouraged in Arab media and social media, I can't say that his fears are unfounded.

Can you?

The commissioner for equal opportunity employment, Tziyona Koenig, told the mayor his steps are probably illegal and has instructed him to desist. If he doesn't he could find himself in court.

And the head of the Ashkelon Parent's Committee Avivit Simani called the policy  a "populist ploy."

Maybe it is. I don't know.

This and that cabinet minister — including the most right wing minister in the government-- have attacked the mayor for a "racist" and "immoral" and "illegal" decision.

I think we should tune in again in a month or so before judging the mayor.

If the latest installment of the 100 year Arab uprising against a Jewish presence anywhere in Palestine takes off, my hunch is more and more Arabs will find themselves out of work.

The Palestinian Arab capacity not to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity is unblemished.

Every decision as a polity they have made in favor of belligerency and intransigence and violence has left them worse off.

It will take time, but we Israelis will figure out how to limit the damage of the latest "intifada" just like we dealt with every intifada for the past 100 years of our Long War.

Yes the world is more against us than ever.

The Europeans are treating Israel the way they treated the Jews of Europe. Israel is the "Jew" of countries.

The Europeans weep crocodile tears when Jews are slaughtered at prayer. And in the next breath ask: "But why do you build 'settlements' in Jerusalem that rile the Arabs? Why do you do such job discrimination like that Ashkelon mayor? Why do you visit the Temple Mount when you know this riles the Arabs? Why…'"

No one disputes the right of the Jews to defend themselves… in theory.
In practice, anything they do do is considered illegal under international law.
And a twisted hard-hearted international law is applied disproportionately (a word the Euros like) to the Jews of Israel.

Let me wrap up with some snap judgments about how we got to where we are: I trace the current upsurge in Arab violence in large part to the following factors:

1.   Foremost: The release by Netanyahu of 1,027 hardened terrorists in the Gilad Shalit deal of October 2011. Making this catastrophic decision even worse -- his subsequent three-part release of more Palestinian terrorists to entice Mahmoud Abbas to the negotiating table – at the behest of the Obama administration.
2.   Relentless Arab incitement – in the total absence of countervailing messages – against Israel (an Israel within any boundaries) by Muslim clergy, in PLO and Hamas-controlled media, and in Arab social media. The message is that Jews are not human. They are interlopers. Their presence in the Land of Israel is an insult to Islam.
3.   The war within Islam that is sweeping the Middle East. It is also carrying off the Palestinian Arabs.
4.   The conspiratorial mindset and tendency toward tyranny so terribly rampant in Arab politics. The latest example, an Arab bus driver (who works for the Jewish Egged company) hangs himself and the Palestinians are certain that the Jews killed him. Never mind that a group of pathologists including Palestinians signed off that it was a suicide.
5.  Exercising rights & ignoring wisdom. In the environment I just described, Jewish messianic twits bent on rebuilding the Temple Version 3.0 have been ostentatiously tripping up to the Temple Mount playing into Arab conspiracy theories.


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