To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.
Israel is a nation with a strong sense of youth groups. To varying degrees, all of my children took part in one or another of the available youth groups. Shmulik took it one step further than his older siblings by not only taking part, but following the path up to be a counselor. David, now 16.5 years old, has chosen this path as well. Part of the perks is that the counselors continue as their own youth group and do things together.
They went to some training seminars and on Tisha B’Av, a fast day, they went late at night to walk around the ancient Old City walls. Their plan, and despite a delay, what they did, was to walk to the Western Wall and spend the remainder of the night there, reading, praying, learning, and remembering a time when the Temple Mount was in our hands and Jews could freely pray there.
Today, thanks to the idiocy of Moshe Dayan and the Israeli government of 1967, after being forced into war with Jordan and defeating it, the Old City was conquered and reunited with the rest of Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount and the mosques that the Arabs built on top of the ruins of our Temples, was handed back to the Arabs. Again, an act of a war they started and lost. During the 19 years – again only 19 years – that the Old City was in Jordanian hands, Jews were forbidden entry to the entire Old City, including not only the Temple Mount, but also the Western Wall, which is the the western retaining wall of the Temple Mount area (and not part of the Temple itself).
When we reconquered the Old City, we found graves on the Mount of Olives that had been desecrated, used to build bathrooms, smashed, etc. Now, for the last 45 years, Arabs have access (and control) of the Temple Mount and other than for security reasons (like when they start rioting and throwing stones on the Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall), they are remarkably free to come and worship. They even have been given the right to restrict Jews from praying on the Temple Mount itself. Of course, it is really the Israeli government and not the Arabs who have imposed this restriction – one that has Israeli police watching each group of Jews that ascends the Temple Mount and threatens to arrest them if they close their eyes, if they whisper a prayer, if they dare to stand silently and bow – no Jewish prayers are allowed there today – to the great shame of our people.
So we do what we can – we walk around the wall; we pray at the Western Wall. So that night, as my son and the older group passed what is called the Gate of Compassion – one that is supposed to open when the Messiah comes – they were pelted with stones. One girl was injured before the kids were fully evacuated to safety. Last night, an Israeli bus was pelted by stones thrown by Arabs as Jews traveled to the Western Wall. No, the Temple Mount itself is not enough for the Arabs and so they attack Jews who are even close by.
I used to live to the west of Jerusalem and so I would occasionally see Arabs drop to the floor, face east, and bow to what I thought was Jerusalem. When I moved to live on the east side of Jerusalem, a funny thing happened. I realized that the Arabs were still facing eastward. No, it was never to Jerusalem they faced. They face to Mecca and where I live, that means putting their backside towards Jerusalem.
This is true on the Temple Mount itself. Five times a day, the Arabs fall to the ground, point their backsides to their mosques and our Holiest ground – no, it was never Jerusalem that reigned supreme in their prayers as it does in ours. All over the world, Jews face to Jerusalem. Within Jerusalem, all face to the Temple Mount itself.
We as a people keep doing it wrong. The parents of my sons group were justifiably upset about their children, my son, coming under a rock attack. So what did they do with this anger? Well, late last night, David came into my room with a piece of paper and a pen. He needed me to sign a letter that he was going today up north with the group – on my responsibility. The parents had threatened to sue the older counselors for what happened the night of the rock attack and so, in response, these teenagers can only continue the amazing activities being planned for them – if the parents take full responsibility and promise not to blame the counselors.
There should be an accounting – there should be someone responsible…but not the counselors. It is wrong to blame the wrong people because no one is doing enough to stop the real criminals, terrorists, murderers. The ones who must be brought to justice are the people who chose to throw stones at a group of teenagers, the Palestinians who threw rocks at a bus and injured 6 passengers, the Arabs who threw the boulder that killed Asher Palmer and his baby son Yonatan.. And the stone-throwers who killed 5-month-old Yehuda Shoham, and others.
And the media – there too – there is hypocrisy. Some news sites correctly identify the “perpetrators” as Arabs, Palestinians or, at least, terrorists. Then there are those who want to be politically correct. It is a game of modern journalism. So the radio reports that the rock throwers were “residents of East Jerusalem.” While there are Jews who live in East Jerusalem – this phrasing is a euphemism on so many fronts. First, in general, Jews don’t throw stones; second, East Jerusalem remains primarily Arab.
And third – blaming the wrong group is stupid. The counselors are not to be blamed for taking our children on a wonderful walk around the Old City and to the Western Wall – all parts of Israel. I’ll sign the form and send my son, but I won’t do it without a protest against the idiocy of blaming wrong.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
President Rivlin’s recent statements are only half right, and that’s why he’s completely wrong.
This is our song “Learn to Love;” May joy and light be restored to Jerusalem speedily in our days.
I have a dream…President Obama will go to that prison, Pardon Jonathan Pollard and set him free
Bibi’s promising a good battle, not a victory in the war; We need to WIN the war against terrorism!
For 1000s of years it was perfectly OK for Jews to pray on Herod’s Extension of the Temple Mount.
The focus on the “Occupation” since 1967 is yet another invention to justify hatred and murder.
It should be clear Israel’s existence is not the real issue; the issue is Islamic fundamentalism.
But I am not afraid.I know this is Jewish land, not because of UN/foreign gov’ts saying we can exist
A grassroots initiative of hundreds of Chareidim from Har Nof is underway to attend the funeral of Zidan Saif and to pay their respects to the fallen policeman and to the Druze community in the village of Yanuch-Jat in Northern Israel.
Discover the world of NY high society and its intrigue.
A Jew is no more exempt in this war by living in the US or UK than I am enlisted by living in Efrat
Officer Zidan Sayif saved lives in the Har Nof Massacre, but was shot in the head and is now fighting for his life.
“Y.E.” a United Hatzalah paramedic was injured while treating the wounded under fire in the Har Nof Massacre.
It is time the leaders in Israel and the world realize this has nothing to do with settlements or the Temple Mount or a fake claim of occupation and everything to do with radical Islamic barbarism!
The Egyptians have never proven themselves to be particularly open or honest in their dealings with Israel. At least four wars have been fought between our countries. Peace is a fragile thing that must be nurtured. It must be built on honest dealings and trust. Moving tanks and anti-aircraft missiles violates not only the agreement, but the trust as well.
We would have three minutes if an attack came from Lebanon. Three minutes to get to shelter – and worry about where everyone else is and if they got to shelter in time. That’s if the missiles come from Lebanon. I don’t know how much time we’d have if the attack came from Syria or Iran…more, less, who knows.
Can you understand the concept that a young mother was happy that her son now had a gas mask? When you can, you’ll understand what it is to be Israeli – at least in part.
I wonder if anyone in the Olympics has thought of the reality that people in Israel’s south live with every day.
There is one great truth that all Israelis know; that all Jews have accepted. Today’s modern Jew, at least in Israel, is different than the Jew of yesteryear.
I read an article today. My emotions went up and down as I read it, ending with the thought that the man in the story was about to embark on a journey of a thousand steps and that somewhere along that journey, his grandparents would smile.
Yesterday, Gaza supporters began tweeting that Israeli helicopters were randomly firing… I saw the video. It does not look random to me.
According to the Israeli government, the quick actions last night of Israel’s soldiers prevented a greater tragedy from happening. According to those who support the Palestinians cause…well, they’re stuck. They have to lie because they can’t possibly work with the truth. So, here’s how it goes, according to the twisted logic of the other side.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/a-soldiers-mother/blaming-wrong/2012/08/05/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: