As Purim approaches, thousands of Israeli children and families grapple with poverty
Only after the Israel Defense Forces returned to Hebron during the Six-Day War were Me’arat HaMachpelah and Kever Rachel reopened to all visitors regardless of their religious faith or identity. History suggests that the Israeli policy of open access, which has remained in place since 1967 despite repeated episodes of Muslim violence, would be unlikely to endure for very long should Islamic rule over these Jewish holy sites ever be restored.
Indeed, the week-long eruptions in late February over the amended Heritage list, with ritualized stone-throwing and tire-burning by Palestinian teen-agers in Hebron and Jerusalem, offered a familiar replay of previous episodes of orchestrated Palestinian violence. In 1996, when the first Netanyahu government opened a new entrance to tunnel excavations adjacent to the Western Wall, Yasir Arafat incited Palestinian rioting that quickly claimed the lives of seventeen Israeli soldiers and dozens of Arabs.
Four years later, with the knowledge and consent of the Palestinian Authority’s chief of security, Ariel Sharon led a Likud delegation to the Temple Mount, location of the ancient Jewish Temples that centuries ago had been miraculously transformed into Islam’s “third holiest” site. A day later, Palestinian violence erupted in Jerusalem and then throughout the West Bank, resulting in fifty deaths and hundreds of injuries.
With the Israeli evacuation of Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem, it became the site of a mosque, as had the Temple Mount and Me’arat HaMachpelah many centuries earlier. Needless to say, biblical land purchases were valueless to readers of the Koran.
In the end, it is Islam – not Israel – that remains determined to erase identity, preempt religious sites, and steal another people’s history. It is long past time for Western nations, the United Nations and especially the United States to take notice of the relentless Muslim determination to rob the Jewish people of their birthright in their own homeland.
If this is too much to expect, then Israelis and Jews might at least rouse themselves to defend their ancient heritage and preserve the land that symbolizes it.
About the Author: Jerold S. Auerbach is the author of “Jewish State/Pariah Nation: Israel and the Dilemmas of Legitimacy,” to be published next month by Quid Pro Books.
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Values at the very heart of the UN are threatened by extremist ideologies targeting our way of life
Any Jew who ties his fate to Israel should be able to vote in Israel’s elections-even before aliyah
Israel’s full sovereignty over a united Jerusalem is the only path for true peace in the region.
The president has made clear – I can’t state this more firmly – the policy is Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.
Obama has an apparent inability to understand Islam in particular and Mid-East culture in general
Pesach is a Torah-based holiday whose fundamental observances are rooted in Torah law; Purim is a rabbinic holiday whose laws and customs are grounded in the rabbinic tradition.
In honor of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s successful speech before Congress.
Mr. Spock conveys a message with painfully stark relevance to our world today, especially in the context of PM Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.
Obama created the “partisan politics” by asking Dem. party members to avoid Bibi and his address
Enough is enough. The Jewish community has a big tent, but the NIF should have no place in it.
For nearly sixty-five years national self-definition has been the skeleton in the closet of Israeli politics and culture.
During much of the 20th century, elite American colleges and universities carefully policed their admission gates to restrict the entry of Jews. Like its Big Brothers – Harvard, Yale and Princeton – Wellesley College, where I taught history between 1971 and 2010, designed admission policy to perpetuate a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant elite.
Yossi Klein Halevi’s Like Dreamers (Harper) explores the lives of seven Israeli paratroopers in the Six-Day War who, his subtitle suggests, “Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation.” It offers a fascinating variation on the theme of Israel at a fateful crossroads, in search of itself, following the wondrously unifying moment at the Western Wall in June 1967 when Jewish national sovereignty in Jerusalem was restored for the first time in nineteen centuries.
In death as in life, Menachem Begin remained who he had always been: a proud yet humble Jew.
Eighty years ago, in January 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany. Barely a month later Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated president of the United States. For the next twelve years, until their deaths eighteen days apart in April 1945, they personified the horrors of dictatorship and the blessings of democracy.
One of my searing early memories from Israel is a visit nearly four decades ago to the Ghetto Fighters Museum in the Beit Lohamei Hagetaot kibbutz. The world’s first Holocaust museum, it was built soon after the Independence War by survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
Nearly sixty-five years ago Israel declared its independence and won the war that secured a Jewish state. But its narrow and permeable postwar armistice lines permitted incessant cross-border terrorist raids. For Egypt, Syria and Jordan, the mere existence of a Jewish state remained an unbearable intrusion into the Arab Middle East. As Egyptian President Nasser declared, “The danger of Israel lies in the very existence of Israel.”
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/jewish-heritage-under-siege/2010/03/11/
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