A bit more follow up and analysis before Shabbat…
Some of the recommended actions I wrote about yesterday, and more, have been put in place. Not because I wrote about them, obviously, but because the government in this regard is responding with some appropriate security and deterrence measures:
There is now a large police presence in Jerusalem bolstered by Navy commandos who are volunteers serving on their own time. Troops have been deployed outside of educational institutions and kindergartens, as well as outside some Arab neighborhoods – where checkpoints have been set up for searching people who might be suspect.
Observation balloons (with cameras) are being scattered about the city, controlled from a central command location. This seems to me a very good idea. Sometimes from above activity can be spotted that would not be caught by observers on the ground.
And the policy of demolition of terrorists’ homes is being enforced.
There has also been a report from Arutz Sheva – not confirmed elsewhere – that the bodies of the Har Nof terrorists will not be returned to their families. Great move, if it is so.
Is all of this sufficient? I would not go so far as to declare this definitively. But we are seeing some serious steps in the right direction.
What’s not serious is the number of “benefits” to the PA that will be put on hold or terminated. I had anticipated this. Today I’m reading that there were certain roads in Judea and Samaria that were closed to non-Israelis because of security risks. Just as over time checkpoints in Judea and Samaria have been removed, those road were scheduled to be opened to Palestinian Arabs soon. Well, says Bogie Ya’alon, they will not be. That’s it? Let’s get real here.
I had written recently about the fact that the men murdered in Har Nof were not settlers, were in western Jerusalem, were not agitators or radical activists, were not people who tend to go up on Har Habayit (The Temple Mount) – even though these various reasons – occupation, Temple Mount agitation, etc. – are provided as the rationale for why the terrorists acted.
The Elder of Zyion blog has carried these thoughts one step further and the analysis is so very important that I want to share it here:
After showing Arab cartoons celebrating the Har Nof massacre such as this one:
He writes (emphasis in the original):
”Images like these are celebrated by many, and condoned by the rest, with their silence.
“This is the fundamental story of the massacre. For once, the motives are crystal-clear.
”It cannot be about ‘occupation’ or ‘settlements’ because the attack was inside the Green Line.
”It cannot be about ‘Al Aqsa’ because the people who prayed there are not the types to ascend.
”It cannot be about ‘Israeli oppression’ because the victims were not soldiers or reservists.
”The facts are undeniable: the terrorists targeted the most Jewish looking people at a synagogue while they were at prayer.
”The cartoons illustrate nicely what the west wants to hide: the targets are Jews. Period.
”Palestinian Arab cartoons in general routinely depict “Israelis” as a Nazi-style caricatures of a bearded, black-clad men, even though no Israeli leader has ever resembled that person. These victims did. The cartoons taught generations of terrorists that their enemy is the Jews, not Israelis.
”The West wants to find excuses for Palestinian terror, to pretend that both sides are part of the problem. But this attack, and these cartoons, combined with the glaring absence of any Palestinians who object to this kind of incitement, reveal the ugly truth: that in the end it is about Jew-hatred. All the other reasons being given by pseudo-intellectuals of ‘occupation’ or ‘Al Aqsa’ or ‘Gaza’ or bus drivers who commit suicide are simply excuses to divert the world’s attention from the simple fact that this is really about the world’s oldest hate.
“Once you realize this you can start to understand the reality and not the spin that we’ve been fed for decades.”
Wow! Stunningly on the mark. Please share this. It deflates all of the arguments of Palestinian Arab “suffering.”
The mayor of Ashkelon, Itamar Shimoni, has taken a position that is not surprising, and is also not politically correct:
He announced yesterday that Arab workers will no longer be allowed on construction sites at kindergartens in the city where shelters are being built, and that security personnel will be placed at kindergartens near construction sites. He said he made this decision in consultation with the police.
The furor is all that we might expect The mayor is being attacked and accused of racism. It is being said that he is preventing Arabs from working, and tearing the fabric of good Jewish-Arab relations in the city. Netanyahu, for example, said that we have no desire to target all Israeli Arabs, 99.9% of whom are decent folk.
My response is also going to be not politically correct, for there are painful realities at work here. If 99.9% of Israeli Arabs are decent people, then – as there are approximately 1,700,000 Arabs in Israel – we have 1,700 who are not OK. And the awful truth is that they cannot always be readily identified. The terrorist who shot Yehuda Glick outside of the Begin Center worked in the restaurant in the Center. One of the terrorists who committed the Har Nof atrocities worked in a grocery store next to the synagogue.
Back in previous years, there have been instances of Arabs who were loyal employees of a business owner for years, and then murdered that business owner. What seems to have happened is that such employees were recruited by radicals. As long as we have a reasonable representation of such radicals within our society – radicals who endorse and encourage the killing of Jews – as well as others who are receptive to the messages of the radicals, we have a problem. What comes to mind most readily is the Islamic Movement of Israel, Northern Branch. Its leader and members are Israeli citizens. But they have been shown to have links with Hamas and the Brotherhood. Of course, there are others as well.
The mayor did not ban employment for Arabs everywhere in the city. He was concerned with the safety of children. An alternative to his decision might have been thorough security checks for any Arab who works near the kindergartens. But let us not pretend there is no problem.
To demonstrate how things can be, and what a positive attitude is possible, we need only look at the Druse community in Israel, about which so much has been written in the last days.
At the funeral of Zidan Saif yesterday, President Ruby Rivlin spoke, saying:
“He went first into the fire to protect the residents of Jerusalem. Without fear, he faced the terrorists and risked his life to protect the residents of Jerusalem. He acted on the values on which he was raised—courage, valor, self-sacrifice.”
While Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch declared:
“[Saif] is a source of pride for you, the Druse people, for the police, and for the people of Israel. The values that you instilled in him compelled him to protect, and he fell while defending the state of Israel. We have that shared fate. Together we will fight the murderers.” (Emphasis added)
Israeli Druse Naif Alian has written a guest column for Israel Hayom. In it he said:
“We, the Druze, are part of the people of Israel. I have never felt a difference between me, my relatives and my friends and the Jewish people. We are one family, always have been and always will be.
“The blood pact between Druze and Jews in the land of Israel began in the 1930s, and it will never be broken. When Haganah forces arrived in Shfaram, my late father Hussein joined them. During the War of Independence, he and 30 other local Druze enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces and took part in the liberation of the Galilee.
“In the 1950s, my father was one of the five sheikhs who signed the agreement making military service compulsory for the Druze. In 1957, I lost my brother Salim during his military service. Today, I am the proud father of three IDF officers. They have never felt different from anyone else and have always walked with their heads held high — as I taught them to do.”
Beautiful. As it can be, as it should be, with non-Jewish Israelis who feel connected and choose to be a part of the land and the people. The problem, of course, is that Palestinian Arabs who are Israeli citizens are conflicted in their loyalties in some (definitely not all!) instances, pulled in different directions.
Much to consider, on another day. Complexities and hard truths.
We end on this upbeat note:
“In a profound display of faith in the face of carnage, the family of a newborn infant on Wednesday held his circumcision ceremony at the Jerusalem synagogue where terrorists slaughtered worshipers and a police officer exactly 24-hours earlier, Israel’s Ch. 2 News reported.
“’This is Judaism – from tragedy to joy,’ said Mohel Association Chairman, Chaim Miller, who performed the festive ancient ritual – symbolizing the eight-day-old infant’s joining the Jewish people – at the B’nai Torah synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood.”
(scroll down for the 40 second video)