Sunday in Israel: terror and the Jewish ‘absurd’

Tuvia Brodie,

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Tuvia Brodie
Tuvia Brodie has a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh under the name Philip Brodie. He has worked for the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham College and American Express. He and his wife made aliyah in 2010. All of his children have followed. He believes in Israel's right to exist. He believes that the words of Tanach (the Jewish Bible) are meant for us. His blog address is He usually publishes 3-4 times a week on his blog and 1-3 times at Arutz Sheva. Please check the blog regularly for new posts.

This is Sunday, October 25, 2015. If you live outside Israel, perhaps you started your day with a cup of coffee and the local Sunday paper. Perhaps you read the sports pages. Perhaps you read the sales leaflets.

In Israel, Sunday is different. We read about terror--and an absurdity you’ll only find in the Jewish homeland.

First, the terror:

-Ari Soffer, “Attempted stabbing in Hevron; terrorist eliminated”, Arutz Sheva, October 25, 2015. An Arab female approached a checkpoint in Hevron, near the Cave of the Patriarchs, a Jewish holy site. Her manner aroused the attention of the Israeli guards. When officers told her to stop and identify herself, she did what, apparently, any god-fearing Arab does these days: she drew a knife and rushed the guards (ibid).  They, in turn, did what any life-desiring Israeli armed guards do these days: they shot her. She died.

-Elad Benari, “Palestinian professor says all Jews are 'fair game'”, Arutz Sheva, October 25, 2015. Hours before this Arab would-be killer died, the Dean of Quranic studies at the Islamic University of Gaza was reported to have given an interview on Gaza TV. He said all Jews in Israel—including women—are fair game… Every single Jew in Palestine is a combatant, he declared, even the children…there should be terrorist attacks everywhere in Israel, including Tel Aviv and Haifa (ibid).

Of course, labelling children and women as ‘combatants’ is a preparation to commit war crimes. Women and children are not ‘combatants’.

This religious leader doesn’t care about that. He wants his TV audience to commit war crimes. Nobody flinched.

-Cynthia Blank, “Abbas demands 'incentives' to stem Arab terror wave”, Arutz Sheva, October 25, 2015). ‘Palestinian’ leader Mahmoud Abbas has a good deal: he incites for terror against Jews, then demands ‘incentives’ in exchange for an ‘effort’ to stem that terror.

Sounds like blackmail. Isn’t that unethical? Doesn’t matter. Nobody cares.

Abbas certainly doesn’t care. He just wants those ‘incentives’.

-Judah Ari Gross, “One injured in West Bank stabbing attack”, Times of Israel, October 25, 2015. An Israeli Jew had his car stoned as he drove along a highway. This is common in certain parts of Israel. In the past, it has provoked Israel to limit ‘Palestinian’ access to some roads—on a ‘need’ basis--to reduce anti-Jew terror.

Of course, once Israel attempts actually to limit ‘Palestinian’ access to certain roads, two things usually happen. First, the terror on those roads stops. Second, human rights activists join Arabs to condemn Israel (falsely) for deliberately creating an ‘apartheid’ road to humiliate Arabs.

In this latest road terror, Arabs threw enough rocks onto a road to cause a Jewish driver to stop his car and get out, presumably to remove the rocks. On an Israeli road that’s being stoned, that’s not a good idea.

An Arab rushed up to him and stabbed him in the chest multiple times. The Jew was also hit in the head by a rock. He was evacuated with, miraculously, only moderate wounds. The attacker was apprehended.

Now for today’s absurdities. These come to us courtesy of—naturally—two politicians. One of those politicians was a Jew. The other was Arab.

The Jew was our Prime Minister: “Netanyahu pledges to prevent Jewish prayer on Temple Mount”, Times of Israel, October 25, 2015.

In case you forgot, Article 18 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that every human being has the freedom “either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance”. In addition, paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the 1994 Peace Treaty between Israel and Jordan states “Each Party [Israel and Jordan] will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance” in Israel. Paragraph 3 of Article 9 says both sides will work together “towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship [emphasis mine], and tolerance and peace”.

Jordan is responsible for the Temple Mount. It’s supposed to monitor for those freedoms.

It doesn’t. It refuses to allow Jews to worship there.

The Muslims on the Mount don’t give a damn about a signed Treaty. They don’t want Jews walking on—defiling--the Mount. They certainly don’t want Jews to worship there. The Muslim religious organization that ‘administers’ the Mount for Jordan, the Waqf, brings only violence and aggression against Jews on the Mount (Sharona Schwartz, “‘Get Out of Here!’: Arab Mob Shoves, Spits and Throws Objects at Jews Visiting Jerusalem’s Sacred Temple Mount”, The Blaze, April 24, 2014).

Now, under pressure from the US, Israel’s Jewish Prime Minister has committed the absurd: he has agreed to reject the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—for Jews. He agrees with the absurdity that ‘Universal Human Rights’ on the Temple  Mount applies only to Muslims.

The Jewish Netanyahu has announced that Jews do not have the freedom to worship at their own holiest site on earth. He  denies the Universal Human Right to Jewish worship because Muslims—and the US-- demand it.

Some say this absurdity hurts the Jewish Israel. They say it bolsters the anti-Jewish Arab narrative about the Temple Mount (“Ari Soffer, “Netanyahu's Temple Mount deal 'bolsters Islamist narrative'”, Arutz Sheva, October 25, 2015). Can you argue with that?

The second absurdity comes from an Arab Member of the Knesset. This is Jamal Zahalka, Member of the Arab List (Party).

Mr Zahalka is, shall we say, hostile to Jews on the Temple Mount. It seems that someone has tampered with his phone. They’ve changed the typical ‘I’m not available right now. Please leave a message’ message.

Now, when you call this anti-Jewish MK, you don’t get his voice instructing you to leave a message. Instead, you get a rendition of the ‘Shema’, Judaism’s most famous one-line prayer. That prayer is a statement of the essence of the Jewish faith—and it’s now on Mr Zahalka’s phone (Yaakov Levi, “How did the Shema prayer end up on Arab MK's voicemail message?”, Arutz Sheva, October 25, 2015).

Someone also changed Mr Zahalka’s phone password. He’s locked out of his settings. He can’t change the Jewish Shema.

There’s a sense of poetic justice in this absurdity, don’t you think?

Of course there is. This is Israel.