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ISIS in Jerusalem

By David Mark
8/31/2014, 12:08 PM

I meant to write my first blog post on Arutz-7 on the need for Jewish organizations to adopt online tactics and crowdfunding strategies in both outreach and increasing donations by building online donor communities that keep on giving.  

That post will have to wait.  I had the opportunity last week to take a tour with our newest client, Ateret Cohanim to see first hand a number of the properties they have helped find buyers for in the Old City and its surroundings.  It was an excellent tour and left me impressed with the extent of their accomplishments.  One thing I noticed however was the high number of ISIS (now IS) flags all over the “Muslim Quarter.”  It is really astounding how fast that organization’s energy and influence has grown.   We Israelis who believe that the conflict is relegated to our neighbors need to take a step back and see that it is already at our doorstep.  

There is no need to delve into the cultural makeup of the Arab population here and elsewhere in the Middle East that allows it to radicalize almost instantly, but it is important to note that the Saudi King was quoted as saying: "If we ignore them, I am sure they will reach Europe in a month and America in another month." Could it be the Saudi King is right?

Seeing in the black flags of ISIS so close to the Temple Mount confirmed in my mind that Am Yisrael is in for a rough ride.  There are some things we can do now in order to rise to the coming challenges.

Firstly we need to strengthen our unity even more than it already has been.  This is one of our strongest weapons.  

Secondly, make a concerted effort to go to places that are under our sovereignty and put our “boots on the ground.”  Letting Hamas or ISIS take the offensive in our own country should be off limits.

Lastly, it is imperative that we begin to use online channels in a more effective way to get Israel’s message out there.  It is not enough to answer our detractors when they strike.  We have  to build a comprehensive outreach strategy in order to rally our friends and convince undecideds of our cause.  

Since taking the tour with Ateret Cohanim, I have heard that most of the ISIS flags have been taken down. While that is good, we should use their brief unfurling in our holy capital to be a message to take action.