On Tuesday, my co-chair of the Legal Grounds Campaign, Jeff Daube, and I participated in a Voice of Israel radio broadcast hosted by Jeremy Gimpel and Ari Abramowitz. Lior Amihai of Peace Now was invited to join our conversation by phone. It was a lively discussion and I invite you to listen:
As it is before Shabbat, and Shabbat comes in very early now that our clocks have been turned back, I am going to make this exceedingly brief, touching on some issues that I will revisit in greater detail after Shabbat.
My first focus is Yehuda Glick. I am delighted that slowly, slowly he seems to be improving. Baruch Hashem! Please, do not stop praying for him until he is completely recovered.
With regard to Glick, one of the things that has disturbed me greatly is the way in which he continues to be portrayed in various media sources as a “radical right winger.” Because he is fervently committed to the importance of Jews having access to and regularly visiting the Temple Mount, he is viewed as a trouble maker. It is not so, and indeed I will bring evidence after Shabbat. For Yehuda is an extremely gentle, non-confrontational man who interacts positively with Arabs when it is possible.
The fact that he is represented this way has to do with more than Yehuda himself: Across the board, Jews who stand up as proud Jews are as seen as trouble, or extreme far right. A very worrisome state of affairs that must change.
I am exceedingly concerned about the potential for continued and even increased violence in Jerusalem, with a focus on the Temple Mount. This is being fomented directly by Abbas and his Fatah party. Yesterday, Abbas called for a “day of rage” here in Jerusalem today.
Along with this great concern comes a sense of enormous anger and injustice (I expected justice on this matter?) because the world closes its eyes and ears to the Palestinian Arab incitement and provocation. This is as Bibi said yesterday: Abbas is not criticized or held accountable. Abbas and Fatah are never fingered as the reason why peace here is not possible.
Much depends now on the strength of our government in putting down this violence, no matter how the world protests.
I will add that there were celebrations among Palestinian Arabs in eastern Jerusalem after Yehuda was shot – a sure giveaway to the fact that they cannot be trusted no how. And the attempted assassin was referred to on the Fatah Facebook page as a hero and a martyr. Killing Jews – or attempting to do so – is to be praised, always and ever.
My friends, it is important that you know about these things, but, beyond this, that you use this information to make the case for Israel and to inform others who persist in seeing the Palestinian Arabs as a beleaguered people entitled to a state. If everyone reading this would write a letter to the editor (it must be very short, factual, non-polemic, and to the point) sharing this information, it would make an impact.
Kerry is presumably making amends for the outrageous slurs leveled at our prime minister. He criticized those slurs in a forum run by the Atlantic. But, in the very next breath he spoke about his determination to work “quietly and effectively” to restart the failed “peace process.” Said he, it is “doable, but it takes courage and strength. Both sides have to be prepared to compromise in order to do it.” (Emphasis added)
Unreal, in face what I’ve just written about the Palestinian Arab call for a day of rage. Peace process? Here we are, no call to the Palestinian Arabs to stop the violence already and work for a better situation. This man has less than zero credibility.
How do I read his statement? He is saying to our prime minister, look the unnamed official should not have used that term chickenshit, but it was used because you are lacking courage. And now I invite you to demonstrate the courage you have been lacking to date, and make peace.
Interestingly, I just picked up a citation from the NYTimes indicating that Obama may be thinking of replacing Kerry. I will not say that this is a good thing. Kerry is vastly ineffective, which frustrates Obama, undoubtedly. But we do not want him replaced by someone who is sharper and handles him or herself better – as this individual would still be pushing us to move in directions that are totally unacceptable.
We shall see…