The Second Temple, Version 2014

The more time passes , the more it looks like we do live in the period of the second temple. A period of anarchy, where an eye for an eye was a way of life. A time when extreme Jewish sects slaughtered each other and killed fellow Jews, all in the name of their messianic visions.

You may think it’s alarmist but it’s not. The Jews who murdered Mohammad Abu Khdair could easily be part of Sicarii, that notorious violent group during the 1st Jewish-Roman war, who didn’t hesitate to kill anyone with whom it disagreed. For them , the end justifies the means, as we all remember with the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.

This is during a week where top Israeli politicians are calling for a strong response and inflame the public opinion –¬† a facebook group calling for the killing of Arabs is gathering support of tens of thousands of Jewish people of all ages. And if you have the guts to oppose those who preach hatred and violence, you are immediately tagged by them as ‘traitor’ and ‘fifth column’. As the Rabbinic literature telling us, the Second Temple was destroyed because Jews hated each other.

The same people who murdered and burned the body of the Palestinian boy are the same people who spread libellous information as to the sexuality of the boy, as being the cause for his death. Could it be more heinous? I’m revolted by the thought that our own people justify such violence and the killing of innocent people. This has to be condemned in the strongest possible way.

And where is the government do you ask? exactly where the Jewish leadership was during the Second Temple, non-existent. For some members of this government this is the opportunity they were waiting for long time, to enter another cycle of violence in order to promote the vision of Greater Israel. When you give legitimacy to ‘tag price’ acts and don’t do anything to eradicate it, don’t be surprised that the same wild weed is growing and becoming more dangerous and violent. This time it was a Palestinian boy, next time they will kill one of their fellow Jews.

We need to learn from our history that this hatred by Jewish extermists towards other Jewish groups and Arabs is destructive. We can’t let the extremists hijack the agenda and dictate their bloodthirsty vision. Despite the hideous murder of the 3 boys, there simply can’t be violence and revenge acts against Arab people. Those who committed these awful crimes must be brought to justice and face maximum punishment according to law. The government needs to show leadership and remind everyone that Israel is a democracy with a rule of law, those who break the law will face the consequences.

About the Author
Tal Ofer is a former parliamentary researcher and now Deputy at the Board of Deputies of British Jews. He actively fights antisemitism and delegitimisation of Israel. In Summer 2014 he masterminded a campaign to target Tricycle Theater donors, which led to reverse of boycott of UK Jewish Film Festival.