In the days and weeks leading up to the major terror attack at the Jerusalem Kehilat Yaakov synagogue, Israeli leaders such as Prime Minister Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and Economic Minister Naftali Bennett, voiced over and over again to the Western World that Palestinian incitement was fueling the terror in Jerusalem. Both publicly and most probably privately as well, these leaders expressed their concern and dismay to Western leaders about the incitement coming from Abbas, Fatah, and Hamas, yet nothing was done on the part of the Western World. It literally took the holy sanctuary of a synagogue turning into a slaughterhouse for the majority of Western leaders to turn their blind eyes toward Jerusalem and finally acknowledge the role the Palestinian leadership has played in fanning the flames in Jerusalem.
We in Israel are left with many questions of why. Why did it take the holiest city in the world going up in flames for the Western World to finally listen to our Prime Minister’s cries of “I smell smoke”? Why did it take four Jews and one brave Israeli Druze policeman being butchered for American Secretary of State John Kerry to publicly state that Abbas’ calls for “days of rage” in Jerusalem contributed to the devastating attack and to demand that Abbas condemn such acts of terror? Why are countries like Sweden willing to reward the Palestinians with a state despite the Palestinian’s unwillingness to recognize the Jewish State of Israel? Why are incitement, hate, and terror being rewarded? Why out of all of the major leaders in this world is Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper seemingly the sole leader who truly understands the threat of fanatical Islam and is willing to stand firmly with Israel? Why do Americans and Europeans continue to fund the PA despite the fact that many of these funds go to teaching hate and instilling anti-Semitic ideas and beliefs into the hearts and minds of Palestinian youth?
In May of this year, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released the results of a global survey on anti-Semitism, which found that 93% of Palestinians hold anti-Semitic beliefs. Anti-Semitism has deep roots in Palestinian society. The religious father of what later became the Palestinian people is Haj Amin al-Husseini, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Al-Husseini became close friends with Adolf Hitler during the Second World War, and said in March of 1944 on Radio Berlin, “Arabs, rise as one man and fight for your sacred rights. Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion. This saves your honor. God is with you.”
A child does not come out of the womb as an anti-Semite. In Palestinian society, anti-Semitism continues to be taught in the classroom, across their airwaves, in mosques, and at home. For 93% of Palestinians to hold anti-Jewish beliefs, this says everything. When Palestinians are taught from a young age that it is their national and, yes, religious duty to become shahids (martyrs) – meaning to murder Jews and to be killed in the process, how does the Western World still believe that peace is possible? When a child is taught to hate and shahids are celebrating and glorified in Palestinian society, land no longer becomes the issue. I think most intelligent people can see that “land for peace” does not truly work.
In Israel, we are not just crying anymore; we are screaming, screaming for the world to wake up and see the root of the problem. Anyone who actually believes that Jews’ building apartments is the true root of the problem is a fool. Israel has been combating fanatical Islam and hate for decades now. Fanatical Islam is not just an Israeli problem. As Naftali Bennett poignantly said on British television just several weeks ago, “We are fighting your war.” The tidal wave of militant Islam will one day in the near future hit the shores of Europe and America. Whether it will be in one year or two years or tomorrow, no one can be sure. We can be sure, however, that unfortunately when this does occur, the same European and American leaders who refused to stand firmly with Israel in our battle against fanaticism will be begging Israel for help in fighting what we have been fighting since before the inception of the State of Israel. For those of you reading, you might be wondering if Israel will indeed help despite everything. And I say to you that despite everything, we will assist you in this global fight because although you did not have the moral backbone to stand with Israel, we are taught from a young age that it is our national and religious duty to do everything within our power to make this world we live in a better place and to truly be a “light unto the nations”. In the sheer darkness of the Middle East, Israel is the small flicker of light.