Rabbi Shmuley: Palestinians Try to Make Jerusalem ‘Judenrein’

Israelis dance with flags during a march marking Jerusalem Day on May 17, 2015 outside Jerusalem's old city, Israel. Israel is celebrating the anniversary of the 'unification' of Jerusalem, marking 48 years since it captured mainly Arab east Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East war. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
Lior Mizrahi/Getty

On August 6, Arab Israeli terrorists lit an army jeep on fire in a vain attempt to intimidate Jews living in the eastern part of Jerusalem.

Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the attack cannot go unanswered. If a Jew cannot live without fear in the capital of the Jewish State then Jews are not safe anywhere. We cannot be silent as the international community and “human rights” crusaders treat Jewish life as worthless.

We are accustomed to the hypocrisy of those who cry crocodile tears for every other minority that we now take it for granted that no one will speak out when Jewish lives are threatened. Did we learn nothing from the Holocaust? Have the words “never again” become meaningless?

No one was killed, so the attack did not even rate a mention by most news outlets, but Google the incident and look at what the terrorists did to the jeep carrying human beings. Arabs threw gasoline on it and set it on fire while neighbors cheered. The vehicle is a burnt-out shell, something you might see in a war zone. That no one was hurt was truly a miracle.

Many are quick to make excuses for the Palestinians, just as the State Department did in its latest human rights report, attributing terror to despair rather than Jew-hatred.

It is common to hear Palestinian Muslim “holy men” sermonize that Jews are the descendants of apes and pigs and repeat the Hadith, “Oh Muslim, oh servant of God, here is a Jew hiding behind me. Come here and kill him.” Yet, the apologists for Palestinian terror tell us the conflict is political, not religious. If only Israel would end the occupation, utopia would follow. Advocates of territorial surrender do not understand that Hamas and other extremists will never accept a Jewish state on what they consider Islamic territory or Jews ruling over Muslims.

I don’t know whether I’m more offended by the arrogance or ignorance of those who refuse to acknowledge Palestinian and Muslim antisemitism and the Palestinian Authority’s unrelenting incitement to violence.

The J Street organization has opposed the Taylor Force Act, which would cut off U.S. funding for the Palestinian “pay-for-slay” policy whereby convicted terrorists, their families, and the families of suicide bombers receive salaries. Engaging in terrorism pays better than most jobs available in the Palestinian Authority (PA) so it is no surprise that attacks against Jews continue unabated. J Street would rather American taxpayers continue to subsidize and incentivize the murder of Jews than cause financial pain to the Palestinian Authority, which prefers to finance terrorism rather than employment or social services.

J Street and other groups admire PA president Mahmoud Abbas, the man responsible for inciting violence against Israeli Jews. They say he is a “moderate.” But Abbas can only be considered a moderate in comparison to the genocidal ambitions of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the regime in Iran. Abbas was one of the top officials in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) during the years it was hijacking airplanes and carrying out heinous attacks around the world, such as the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. Abbas is a Holocaust denier who has canceled elections, jailed his opponents, and eliminated any semblance of human or civil rights for Palestinians under his control. He hails the murderers of Israeli men, women and children as heroes and names schools, plazas, soccer tournaments and monuments in their honor. We are repeatedly told he is a partner for peace and yet he has refused to negotiate for nearly eight years, irresponsibly feeding his people the fantasy they will “return” to homes in what is now Israel.

Abbas, like the rest of the world, was quick to condemn Israel for instituting security measures to protect all visitors to the Temple Mount, and cared not a whit for the two Israeli Druze police officers murdered by terrorists. Since Jews were the victims, it did not matter that the holy Temple Mount was used as the launching area for the attack. We hear ad nauseum about a fictional Jewish plot against the al-Aqsa Mosque, which we are told is venerated by Muslims, and yet not a word of condemnation was uttered against the terrorists who used it as an arsenal.

One reason the Taylor Force Act is so vital is that it would send a message to Abbas that the United States, at least (sadly, the rest of the world has not seen the light), will no longer put up with his doublespeak. He may dress in a suit but his actions mirror his fatigue-wearing predecessor.

Equally important is moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. The president must fulfill this campaign promise to send another message to the Palestinians — namely, that Jerusalem will remain the indivisible capital of Israel.

For those unaware of history and misled by claims that East Jerusalem is “Arab” and therefore should belong to the Palestinians, I would point out that before 1865 the entire population of Jerusalem lived behind the Old City walls in East Jerusalem. When the UN voted to partition Palestine, a thriving Jewish community was living the eastern part of Jerusalem, which contains many important Jewish sites, including the City of David, the Temple Mount, and of course the Western Wall. This is also the home of Hebrew University and the original Hadassah Hospital. The only time this area of Jerusalem was exclusively Arab was between 1949 and 1967, when the Jews were forcibly expelled under Jordan occupation, a time when the Western Wall was desecrated and Jews of course were barred from prayer.

I will always remain hopeful that a solution can be found that will allow Jews and Palestinians to live together peacefully. One-sided compromises, such as those made during the Oslo period, only embolden the Palestinians to believe they can “liberate” all of “Palestine,” which includes Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem – East and West.

I feel sorry for the many thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who want nothing more than to live their lives in peace, and would gladly compromise to achieve independence. Alas, unlike Israel, the PA is not a democracy and the people remain hostages of their radical leaders. It is hard to envision peace so long as Palestinians are taught to hate in their schools, encouraged to become martyrs by their preachers and media, and rewarded for murder by their leaders.

Regardless of these provocations, Jews will not be driven from their capital or their homeland. Jerusalem will never again be Judenrein.

Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi,” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is founder of The World Values Network and is the international best-selling author of 31 books. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

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