Thursday, July 03, 2014
The rioters who attacked Arabs in Jerusalem's Old City on Tuesday night will probably have trouble believing this, but there were Arabs who cried with us when three boys were buried on Tuesday. I know some of them personally. However, there were also many hateful and malicious Palestinians who rejoiced over the killing of the kidnapped boys. We saw their delight. They did not bother to hide their feelings.
The frenzied people who attacked Arabs in Jerusalem on Tuesday night, and also perhaps the killers of the Arab teen (if, God forbid, it turns out this was an act of revenge), shut themselves off from the law, Jewish morals and basic humanity. Hatred has made them deaf and blind. Rather than serving as deterrence, their actions only expanded the circles of hate and terror and they bound the government's hands, reducing its freedom of action.
We have seen this movie before. Some 24 years ago, two teens from Jerusalem, Ronen Karamani and Lior Tubol, were kidnapped at Ramot Junction and stabbed to death. In response, a mini-intifada, with Jews attacking Arabs, broke out in Jerusalem and the surrounding area. Two Arabs were killed. The attacks by Jews against Arabs led to a counterwave of terror and violent unrest directed by Arabs against Jews. Dozens were wounded. Terrorists used revenge as an excuse for their actions. The circle of hostility and hatred toward us, which already existed, gained many new members.
Also today, deterrence and salvation will not come from unrestrained private acts. Such acts only inflame more hatred, pouring oil on the fire. They expand the circle of hatred and terror, putting more lives in danger. In east Jerusalem, these acts cause two-fold damage. Arab residents of the city (which we are working so hard to keep united) have for a number of years been undergoing a process of "Israelization" -- moving away from the Palestinian Authority and the West Bank and toward Israel and Israeli Arabs. Many east Jerusalem residents do not want to see the city divided. However, recent events have pushed them years backward, bringing them closer once again to their brethren in the West Bank. This plays into the hands of anyone who says we must divide Jerusalem and not build in it. These events could lead to a loss of control that boomerangs on us.