Esor Ben-Sorek
Esor Ben-Sorek

It’s NOT an Intifada. It’s Called a War.

The people of Israel know what it is. The riots and killings in Jerusalem and environs between Arabs and Jews in the past week cannot be called another Intifada. The beatings, the killings, the wounded and dead require that we call it what it really is: Milchemet Ha-Sinah… The War of Hate. It is nothing less.

That Arabs began the war during their holy month of Ramadan disgraces them. That Jewish racist terrorist gangs like Lehava shame all of us who only wish for quiet and peace.

The Gopstein leader of the Lehava fascist group spawned from the blood of Meir Kahane and his anti-Arab followers has shamed decent Israeli Jews who seek for peace with all inhabitants of our country.

Beatings of Arabs and Jews in the Holy City will not bring peace nor will hatred disappear in our land.

Our police are either out-numbered or insufficient in their ability or lack thereof in preventing the war and successfully separating the two spurring groups.

Water cannons and rubber bullets will not suffice against the provocateurs. Arrests, few as they are, will not prevent others from continuing the war.

Only severe new laws may help to quiet the situation. Provocateurs, Jews and Arabs, must be hauled before the courts of justice and, under new laws to be passed, be given very long-term prison sentences with demolition of their homes…Jewish and Arab alike. No partiality. No mercy. No forgiveness.

The war of words is allowed under freedom of speech. The war of beating, burning, wounding and killing can never be allowed in a democratic nation. Arabs as a tribal people may have less understanding of democracy than Jews who have been reared in it since childhood. As such, a people governed by tribal laws and habits cannot easily adjust to democracy which is alien to their culture.

Regrettably, we Jews are barred from worshipping on the holy mount where both of our sacred temples had been built and where our priests offered sacrifices to our One God and from where our ancient prophets preached “love thy neighbor”.

It was, in my humble opinion and that of millions of more Israelis, a grave mistake following the 1967 war with Jordan to give the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan control of the entire Temple mount under the governance of the Jordanian Muslim Waqf which permits Jews to ascend the mount but forbids them under strict prohibition and imprisonment of even moving lips in prayer. Any Jew who is seen as praying can be handed over to the Israeli police, after first being beaten by Arab Muslims, and can be arrested for violating the 1967 agreement.

The holy Mount is the first and holiest sacred place to Jews since the first destruction by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and again later by the Romans in 70 CE. It is, to Muslims the third holy place after Mecca and Medina.

Since the years after the Holy Solomonic temple was destroyed, Jews have recited a prayer and a promise.

“Im eshkachech Yerushalayim”….. “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let me forget my right hand; may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember thee, if I do not elevate Jerusalem up above all my joys.”

That promise is adhered to in every Jewish marriage ceremony. The groom repeats it aloud as his foot smashes a glass beneath his feet, symbolizing the smashing destruction of our holy temples.

Muslims lack any special prayer relating to Jerusalem. a place where the prophet Mohammed arrived at night on a winged horse named Burak. That visit by the prophet of Islam is the only Muslim connection to the sanctity of Jerusalem. They are entitled freely to worship on the sacred mount of the Al Aqsa mosque but they cannot be allowed to forbid visiting Jews from mumbling words of Jewish prayer to our One God, the One God of Jews, Christians and Muslims equally.

The war we are now experiencing on the holy mount, in Jerusalem’s Old City, in East Jerusalem, in the New City, in the suburbs of Jerusalem, at the Jaffa Gate and the Damascus Gate, in the largely Arab city of Jaffa and elsewhere in Arab towns and villages in the State of Israel must be forced to end immediately.

Jewish and Arab blood must not be allowed to wash the streets in Israel. Sense must replace nonsense.

Jews must live by the biblical command “tzedek tzedek tirdof”.. justice and righteousness shall you follow”.

Jews must put into practice the Hebrew word “shalom”, meaning peace. Arabs must put into practice the Arabic word “salaam” also meaning peace.

Stop the bloodshed. Stop the beatings, woundings and killings. And above all… stop the racist war and the racist warriors of hatred and death.

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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