Sunday, November 29, 2015

Why the Increase in Palestinian Violence?

Scene of recent knife attack in Jerusalem (Yahoo News)
I have always admired Rabbi Moshe Grylak, publisher of Mishpacha Magazine. Even when I disagreed with him, Which is rare. He is unafraid. A man in his eighties, he speaks his mind regardless of the fallout. He has done it again in the latest issue. And as I have often said about others with whom I agree on various subjects, I could swear he read my blog on this subject.

The subject is what precipitated the current spate of Palestinian violence. Which has been ongoing for months. Just yesterday another attack against some Jews in the Old city (East Jerusalem). It seems to never end. It is as though they figured out the best way to terrorize us. Instead of occasionally blowing themselves up along with Jewish victims in their vicinity in a suicide attack, they now are attacking us piecemeal on a daily basis, one or 2 people at a time. With knives. Or cars. Daily. And anywhere. Randomly selected targets and locations. Placing fear into the lives of every single Jew in Israel. I can’t imagine what it’s like for someone who leaves his home every day wondering if he will be the next victim.

By this time it is almost besides the point about what caused all this to happen. But as I said back on September 30th – it did have a precipitating factor.  Which was increased presence of Religious Zionists types on Har HaBayis, the temple mount. There is not a doubt in my mind about that. Nor is there any doubt in the mind of Rabbi Grylak. Or in the mind of Israel’s security apparatus. As Rabbi Grylak pointed out - to a man they all believe that the aggressive Jewish presence on the Temple mount combined with various declarations is what triggered the new wave of murders. The Mossad, the General Security Service, and the intelligence branch of the Israeli police force are all in agreement about this.

When Rabbi Grylak expressed that view in an earlier editorial, he was viciously attacked by those who have gone up to the Temple mount (and their supporters) finding it to be a spiritually uplifting experience. Basing themselves on the Halachic view that are certain parts of the Temple Mount that we are permitted to alight, they went up there. Despite the fact that most Poskim forbid it based on the prohibition of entering the area of the Beis HaMikdash in our current presumed state of Tumah (spiritual impurity).

They counter that there are areas which are not subject to that prohibition (as delineated by Rav Shlomo Goren). And they should allow them to go there. And they do. But as Rabbi Grylak retorted, the fact that some rely on that Psak and go up there – even if they are careful not to tread on the forbidden areas - will appear to the many sincere Jews with limited knowledge that they can go up there and tread anywhere they want. Thus violating a prohibition so serious that it is an Issur Kares - a very severe violation of biblical level law if done intentionally.

Does this not concern them? Even if their intention is L’Shem Shamoayim – for the sake of heaven, does it not concern them that they might be Machshil (become stumbling blocks to) others? Is one the self serving spiritual goal of an uplifting spiritual experience worth tripping up other Jews up? Is that really what God want’s them to do?

This is the reason that the vast majority of Poskim forbid going up there at all. They know that certain areas are technically permitted. But they forbid it for these reasons.

There are those who use another argument. That of showing the Arabs who’s boss. That might seem like a good idea to them. But what about all these Jews that have been wounded or killed because of it? Was it a good idea to their grieving families? What have they accomplished other than getting more Jews killed? They might retort that Arabs don’t need an excuse to kill Jews. The problem with this argument is that in most cases a spate of terror has a precipitating event, whether real or imagined. That increases the numbers of attacks. How blind someone is who thinks that their incitement doesn’t matter, that they will kill us anyway.

As I have said in the past many times - the Jew hatred with which most Arabs have been indoctrinated has caused them to have a mindset that they would just as soon kill us as look at us. But do we have to give them a reason? Do we have to do things that will cause these feeling to surface to the extent that they will virtually come out of the woodwork to kill us? …now on a daily basis?

I don’t know if I would go so far to say those who alight on the Temple mount (and their supporters) have blood on their hands. I wouldn’t call them Rodfim (pursuers of Jews with intent to harm or kill him) as some Charedim have. But I do think they have a certain degree of responsibility for what has happened and continues to happen. Would there have been other incidents without that? Probably. But as has been indicated by all of Israel’s security services, what is happening now had a cause. And as I have said before, it could have been avoided.