In Jewish Law and tradition there is no distance between a Rebbe-teacher and your parent. We are taught to revere and equally respect the twin nurturers of our bodies and souls.
Tuesday’s butchery in a Jerusalem synagogue has left all of our people orphans, as four renowned Rabbis were stabbed, hacked and shot to death as they swayed in their prayer shawls and phylacteries before the Holy Ark while intoning King David’s Psalms in praise of the Lord and in search of peace.
Make no mistake, the latest wave of Palestinian terrorism that began with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens, then a three-month-old baby who was mowed down while in her stroller and now Tuesday's attack which has brought the number of “occupiers” killed to ten.
The perpetrators are not “lone wolves” but a wolf pack of terrorists instigated, sometimes directed, revered and celebrated by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
At least Hamas is honest. Their founding charter, rife with anti-Semitism, calls for genocide against the Jewish people. So even before the bodies of the rabbis were laid to rest in Jerusalem’s holy soil, Hamas leaders were busy praising the savagery and urging more such attacks against Jews.
Sami Abu Zuhri, one Hamas spokesman, characterized today’s attack inside a Jewish holy site, as a natural reaction to the “occupation”. In a Facebook posting, he called for the continuation of such attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers. Mushir al-Masri, another Hamas spokesman, labeled the attack a “heroic action" and published a photo of the “heroes”.
Simple really. For Hamas all Israelis -- from cradle to grave -- wherever they live, within the pre-1967 borders, or within the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, are “occupiers” deserving death.
But it would be a mistake to ascribe only to Hamas the shouts of joy and jubilation along with victory signs flashed by Palestinian kids on the West Bank and Gaza as they sucked on the candies distributed by adults cheering today’s carnage.
The wolf pack of murderers has been celebrated by Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority.
In recent weeks, Abbas personally fanned the flames of hatred by denigrating Jews who have the audacity to want to pray on the Temple Mount, site of King Solomon’s Holy Temple. In pursuit of a long-standing policy of demonizing their Jewish neighbors as illegitimate, dishonest interlopers, Abbas and company--with the open support of the Arab League and many Muslim countries-- pursue a global campaign at the United Nations to deny the Jewish people’s 3,500 connection to the Holy Land.
In a breach with age-old Muslim traditions of respecting Jewish Holy sites, Palestinians now label Rachel’s Tomb a Mosque, deny Solomon’s Temple ever existed in Jerusalem and have done nothing to stop repeated attempts to destroy Joseph’s Tomb which stands in Nablus, a city under P.A. control.
In order to convince world leaders that he is still the moderate partner who can help deliver a peaceful two-state solution and to ensure the continued flow of undeserved millions from Scandinavian NGOs, the European Union, and the United States, Abbas will surely offer a mealy-mouthed “condemnation” of Tuesday’s killings.
It is meaningless.
It won’t be broadcast in Arabic, nor posted on Palestinian social media. But what will go continue to go viral in the virtual World of Hate With No Borders-- aka the Internet-- where the songs and horrific images praising the martyr/murderers of infants and scholars Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, guaranteeing tomorrow’s reservoir of martyrs.
Is there any hope that the spiral towards the abyss can be stopped?
Only if PA President Abbas and his cronies feel that there is a price to pay for such duplicity.
World leaders, led by President Obama should do the following:
1. Demand that Hamas members be booted from the so-called unity government. The choice should be financial support or Hamas.
2. Withhold funds for any Palestinian institution that celebrates and promotes terrorism.
3. Demand an end of the PA’s denial of the legitimacy of the Jewish people’s stake in the Holy Land.
Not all changes can be brought about by politicians. Church leaders who want to see a Palestinian state should take the lead in denouncing today’s desecration of G-d’s name.
Academics who have stood by silently as pro-Hamas activists denigrate the Jewish state as latter day Nazis, must finally speak out against campus bullies.
And the social media giants starting with Twitter must finally stop allowing themselves to be used as weapons of choice by Hamas, ISIS and other terrorists.
In the meantime Israel will not rely on anyone else to dictate the terms of how she will protect her citizens. Prime Minister Netanyahu knows what language terrorists understand. Whatever the differences in policy and vision for the future, Jews inside Israel and around the world unequivocally support whatever it takes to defend our brothers and sisters.