The alleged Palestinian arson and widespread celebration of those attacks during the past week in Israel have reminded me of the central lesson from a famous story about King Solomon:
If you are willing to destroy something that you claim to love, then you don’t really love it.
A quick refresher: in a little over a month, observant Jews will read Haftarat Mikeitz. Two women who lived together in the same house both had babies, but one of the babies sadly died in the middle of the night. One woman then accused the other of switching her dead baby for the live baby in the middle of the night.
The accused woman denied the charge. King Solomon asked for a sword to be brought and ordered the child to be cut in two. The accuser, who was the actual mother of the living child, begged King Solomon to spare the child’s life and give the newborn to the other woman.
The accused woman asked King Solomon to go ahead with his plan to split the baby in two. King Solomon awarded the child to the mother who begged for the child’s life to be spared, because real love means never being willing to destroy the object of your love.
Everyone deserves a fair trial if accused of a crime, but there are strong signs that Palestinian jihadists are behind many of the recent arson attacks in Israel.
This website reported that 10 Palestinians have been arrested in recent days on suspicion on arson, including three who were found with “full and empty canisters of gasoline, rags, gloves and lighters…”
And The Jerusalem Post reported that “three Palestinians were arrested after they failed to spark a fire near the settlement of Ariel earlier (on Thursday) morning.”
While these attacks are alleged, what is indisputable is the online celebration and encouragement of these vicious fires, which have killed and displaced wildlife, destroyed houses and properties, and put many lives (including Arab lives) in grave danger.
Arabs and Muslims worldwide celebrated the fires on social media, with some using the grotesque hashtag #IsraelisBurning.
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) November 24, 2016
It should be noted that of course there are good people on both sides of this conflict: the Palestinian Authority sent at least eight PA fire trucks and 40 firefighters to help fight the blazes.
But it’s tragic that so many Palestinians and Arabs seem willing to partially destroy a land they claim to love so much, and that so many others around the world would celebrate and encourage that destruction.
Islamic jihadist groups such as Hamas have long boasted that while Israelis cherish life, they love death. That attitude is evident in the recent wave of arson attacks, which have destroyed much but accomplished very little.