Holy But Not Wholly

I am under the impression that a majority of our bloggers are not Israelis but are lovers of Israel wherever they may be. Still, in my opinion, they cannot feel the angst that Israelis have especially in times of our national calamities. Living in London or New York does not give them a true exposure to the emotions which Israelis feel when the hands of terror are raised up against us.

We believe that our land is Holy, and it is. But truth to tell, it is not wholly ours. We share its holiness with our sister monotheistic faiths which were born thousands of years after us, The faith of Moses is shared with the believers in Jesus and with those who follow the teaching of Mohammed. But sadly…terribly sadly… the three of us have not exactly shared the holiness together.

For some time I have been following the tragic events of the Duma massacre… yes, let’s be honest and call it a massacre… of a 15 month old baby boy and his parents, simple Arab folks living in their home in Duma, until sick-minded Jewish youth, Jewish terrorist youth, put an end to it.

Our Jewish terrorists are far fewer than Arab terrorists and wreak much less death and damage than the Arab terrorists. But a terrorist is a terrorist, regardless of which synagogue, church or mosque he prays in. And the penalty and punishment of the crime must be equal for all.

It distresses me that our Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, is “unable” to find sufficient evidence with which to convict the known Jewish terrorists and bring them to justice.

As one American critic of our policies has noted, if the terrorists had been Arabs the police and the Shin Bet (Security Services) would have found them, apprehended them, imprisoned them, and brought them to the courts for sentencing. He pointed out that we seem to have two sets of justice…one for Arabs and one for Jews.

As much as I would like to disagree with the critic, in this instance he is not totally incorrect. The suspects in the Duma murders are known to us. Their friends are known to us. Why is there insufficient evidence in the case against them?

Our Justices are usually fair men and women, dedicated to upholding the laws of our land. Why are their hands tied in this case? Is it because a verdict of guilt would bring shame upon the Jewish community? Is it because a verdict of guilt would cause our ultra-Orthodox coalition partners to threaten a break-away from the coalition? Has the law of politics surpassed the law of religion?

We pray to the “Melech ohev tzedakah u’mishpat”… the King who loves righteousness and justice.
In the case against the “alleged” perpetrators of the Duma crime, both righteousness and justice seem to have disappeared.

I have no Arab friends or acquaintances. As an Israeli Jew, I don’t like what the Arabs have done to us since 1948. I wish we did not have to live side-by-side with them in our midst. But history has deemed it otherwise and we need to learn to live with what we have. And to learn with clean consciences that we have assured them of equal rights as citizens of Israel.

Make no bones about it… Israel is ours and ours alone. So it had been since the covenant between God and Abraham, so it is now, and so it will forever be. But we must be fair to those who live here and do not share our faith, language, history or culture. As long as they choose the path of peace, we can walk together on that same path.

Our historic friendship with our dear Druze population is a classic example of living together in dignity, respect, harmony and goodwill. Likewise it is with our Muslim Arab population of Abu Ghosh who have always lived in peace with the Jews.

Our young Jewish terrorists should be converted to ohavai v’rodfai shalom… lovers and pursuers of peace. They need to be reminded that while our land is holy not every holy place is wholly ours. The sooner Defense Minister Ya’alon, our police, Security Forces and courts make that clear, Jewish justice will remain supreme in Israel.Ken yehi ratzon. So may it be !

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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