COMMENT: The quiet holiness of a synagogue shattered by unholy terror

The months of Palestinian incitement over the Israeli "takeover" of al-Aksa mosque did its job in making an impression on young Palestinians and turning them into fanatical terrorists.

November 18, 2014 16:50
2 minute read.
Terror attack scene in Jerusalem

Terror attack scene in Jerusalem . (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)


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All of the other terrorist attacks of the last few months led up to this one – the triumphant operation Hamas has labeled a “high-quality” attack.

The months of Palestinian incitement over the Israeli “takeover” of al-Aksa Mosque did its job in making an impression on young Palestinians and turning them into fanatical terrorists who executed Tuesday’s bloodbath in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem.

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It was a palpable sense of shock and revulsion that overtook the nation on Tuesday when the sanctity of a synagogue was violated and Jewish worshipers were struck down in a scene that summoned images of pogroms and Nazi atrocities – images that we thought were part of our past, not our present.

No amount of mea culpas about the “occupation” dehumanizing the Palestinians or Israel’s policies pushing them into a corner where they’re forced to lash out can rationalize the depravity of a Palestinian society that not only enables acts like this, but then praises them and justifies continued “resistance.”

And now, as a result, their lives are going to get a lot harder. Israel surely knows how to make peace, but it can just as effectively make war – whatever path it needs to take to protect its people.

If the Palestinians of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Jebl Mukaber – most of whom are Israeli residents but decline citizenship – react as they did by engaging security forces with rocks and violence instead of condemning the acts of their sons, it’s clear that the intifada era is not going to pass quietly.

Who will be the next young Palestinian driven by the incitement of their political and religious leaders to pick up an ax or a knife and betray their humanity? That fear has spread throughout Israel, and while it’s disconcerting for us, it’s worse news for the Palestinians we share the city with – for example, Palestinians like the cleaning staff at Jerusalem Capital Studios, which houses The Jerusalem Post.

They, too, are young Jerusalem Palestinians with similar backgrounds to the perpetrators of Tuesday’s terrorism. I see them every day, exchange pleasantries, just like the worshipers in Har Nof likely did with the two terrorists who reportedly worked in the neighborhood.

When two of the regular staffers entered my office in the afternoon to empty the trash bin and replace it with a new plastic bag, I found myself for the first time tensing up and watching their every move out of the corner of my eye.

It’s a sad, unfortunate reality that results in shadowy suspicions like that, but from now on, no excuses will be made.

The quiet holiness of a Har Nof synagogue being shattered by unholy carnage made sure of that.

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