This morning, I took two of my grandchildren to their preschools. On the way back, a few minutes before 8, I walked past a little market. In front there was a TV, and on the TV a headline: Attack at Jerusalem Synagogue, 5 dead
The radio reports that two or three Arab terrorists — at least one from the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Jebel Mukhaber — walked into the Kehillat Bnei Torah synagogue on Agassi St., where they carried out a slaughter with guns, knives and axes. Four of the worshipers were killed outright, one (a policeman) is in the hospital in extremely critical condition, and some 13 (per current reports) were injured. Two terrorists were shot dead by police in a firefight on the steps of the synagogue, but not before they fired on first responders coming to the aid of victims. Police are searching for a possible third terrorist.
I cannot remember a sight as shocking as the scene in the synagogue. Jews wrapped in prayer shawls and [tefillin] wallowing in puddles of blood … images we saw only in the Holocaust. — Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, head of Zaka emergency service [from Avi Mayer via Twitter]
More details will be forthcoming, but we know enough. More than enough.
We know that despite the fact that last week John Kerry announced after meeting with Mahmoud Abbas that the Palestinian leader “restated his commitment to nonviolence and to restoring calm,” official Palestinian Authority media continues to broadcast incitement against Israel and Jews (see also here).
We know that Hamas and Islamic Jihad praised the “heroic act,” which they claimed was in response to the alleged ‘murder’ of an Arab bus driver in Jerusalem. The driver was found hanged in his bus, and police ruled it a suicide. Of course, even if they are wrong, there is no evidence that he was murdered by Jews. But anything, or nothing, is a reason to kill us.
We know that the Palestinian Authority as well as Hamas-linked media have been stirring up trouble by claiming that Israel intends to take over or destroy the al-Aqsa mosque. PM Netanyahu has reiterated that Israel has absolutely no intention to change the so-called ‘status quo’, in which the Temple Mount is under Muslim administration and Jews are not allowed to pray (or even move their lips suggestively) there. But disturbances continue there almost daily, and the ‘Jewish plot’ is used as an excuse for terrorism like the shooting of Rabbi Yehuda Glick, whose ‘crime’ was to advocate that Jews, too, might pray on the mount.
In other words, we know that the present epidemic of violence against Jews — both by Arabs from the territories or, like today, by Arab residents of Israel — is a creature of the Palestinian leadership.
It’s time for a reevaluation of the relationship between Israel and the PA, as well as its Arab residents. I suggest that we start with the passage of the Basic Law that defines Israel as the state of the Jewish people, and follow up with the annexation of Area C, the parts of Judea and Samaria that are under Israeli control and where all the Jewish communities are. Areas A and B, where 97% of the Arabs live, can be granted political autonomy, but must remain under Israeli security control — borders, airspace, etc.
Is this a problem? Too bad. A completely sovereign ‘Palestine’ in the territories is inconsistent with the continued existence of a Jewish state. This is true regardless of the “aspirations of the Palestinian people.” This isn’t something that can be negotiated; it’s a fact of geography.
That’s it. No more ‘peace process’ that envisions a sovereign ‘Palestine’ in Judea and Samaria. The Palestinian Arabs were on the losing side of several wars and intifadas that they or their allies started. Those are the consequences. They can call it “Nakba 2.0” if they want.
It should also be understood that Israel is sovereign in Jerusalem, including on the Temple Mount. It is outrageous that Jews should be prevented from praying or harassed by mobs of screaming Muslims when they set foot on the holiest place in Judaism. All faiths should be allowed to access their holy places, period. And it is outrageous that some neighborhoods should be no-go zones for Jews. Many IDF soldiers lost their lives in the battles for Jerusalem — it is unacceptable that we should allow our hard-won sovereignty to slip away.
Finally, we need to send the message to our Israeli-Arab residents, particularly in eastern Jerusalem: this is the Jewish state — get used to it. We own it. The descendants of the 1948 Arab refugees are not coming back. The flag is the Magen David and the national anthem is Hatikva. If you can’t stand the lack of Arab or Muslim sovereignty, you can go to the PA areas or Gaza, or 22 other Arab states, or even Sweden for all we care. But if you want to live here and enjoy the benefits provided by the State of Israel to all of its citizens, Jews and Arabs, then you have to stop trying to kill Jews or overthrowing our state.