Israel is Not the Problem- (Guess Who Is?)*
I was filled with pride that an Israeli group came to show empathy and condemn the act, even though, IMHO they do not deserve it. The Jews have been persecuted on and off for thousands of years at the hands of almost every country they lived in while in the diaspora. We have experienced pogroms with hundreds of our people raped and murdered in Eastern Europe by peasants fired up by the Catholic Church (think Poland in the 19th century), our synagogues have been vandalized, firebombed and our holy books destroyed countless times, by everyone--Christians and Nazis and Muslems, all in unprovoked attacks.
But when a fringe group (if that's who it was; I haven't read that they found the perpetrators, to know who they are) does a similar act, our response is one that shows a civilized humanity, a desire to live in peace and respect others. You'd think they'd want to take advantage of this and start a new path to mutual understanding? Wrong. The Arab response to that gesture was pelting Rabbi Yona Metzger with rocks. Ingrates. Good will is wasted on them. They do not understand it, nor do they care to.
In addition, they do not reciprocate in kind. Rabbi Avi Shafran points out (hat tip Daled Amos) that the Palestinian Authority response to Rabbi Meir Chai's murder--the teacher and father of seven who was shot and killed while driving on the highway--was to honor the murderers with 'holy martyr' status:
. . . Although the group taking “credit” for the murder claimed affiliation with the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a group connected to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, the Palestinian leader did not extend condolences to the murdered man’s family. He didn’t care, for that matter, to disassociate Fatah from the murder.I don't know why it is so obvious to me, but others are totally oblivious to the fact that the behavior of the Arabs is not equal to that of the Israelis. Where, here, do we see a 'partner for peace?' I sure don't (emphasis mine):
What he did do, however, was immediately speak up when the Shin Bet, Israel’s highly regarded security agency, identified Rabbi Chai’s killers and killed three of them – one because intelligence information indicated he was armed, the other two because they refused to surrender. (A fourth suspect was taken into custody.) Mr. Abbas declared the three deceased militants “shahids,” or holy martyrs, and sent Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to pay condolence visits to their families.
. . .As my respected collegue Agudath Israel executive vice president Rabbi David Zwiebel recently wrote to Secretary of State Clinton, “There is something deeply wrong here.”This is almost laughable, it is so insane to even ask such a question: does the 'Palestinian government satisfy this criterion?' Can an elephant fly?
Rabbi Zwiebel went on to point out that United States aid to the Palestinians is conditioned on, among other things, the Palestinian government’s renouncing violence.
Prime Minister Abbas’ silence at the murder of Rabbi Chai by a group claiming affiliation with the military arm of Fatah – not to mention his reaction to the killing of three of Rabbi Chai’s murderers – would seem, Rabbi Zwiebel asserted, grounds for the United States to reconsider whether the Palestinian government satisfies this criterion.
Comparing the reactions of the two sides, it is obvious to anyone who is not afraid to say that the emperor has no clothes that it does not seem evident that the Palestinians care about making peace with the Israelis at all: they not only have not renounced violence, but they elevate their murderers to 'honor' status.
I wrote in a previous post about Rav Meir Chai's son Eliyahu eulogizing his father at the funeral, and saying that his father wanted Jews to learn Torah, and that we should not take revenge. At the funeral of the three Arab murderers, this is what ensued:
A few days later, the funeral for the rabbi’s alleged murderers took place, attended by an assortment of Palestinian Authority officials. Speaker after speaker called for retaliation and promised to avenge the terrorists’ deaths.
A statement from Aksa Martyrs Brigades promised the same. “The enemy,” it read in part, “won't see anything from us besides the language of blood and fire.”I'm a great believer in Occam's Razor: the simplest explanation of a phenomenon is the best one:
If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then it's probably a duck. If it praises violence and killing Jews, refuses to recognize Israel's existence and makes shahids out of cowardly murderers, then it's probably not a people who are any kind of "partner for peace."
*(Nablopomo day #14)