Gary Willig

You Deserve to be Offended

If the sight of a Jew praying offends you, you deserve to be offended.

If the sound of a Jew making a blessing on water, or saying the Shema, or just saying ‘The Lord is my shepard I shall not want’ offends you, you deserve to be offended.

If the sight of Jewish children drives you to scream in their faces and spit on them, you deserve to be offended.

If Jews desecrate your holy site just by their feet being in close proximity to it, then you deserve to have your holy site ‘desecrated.’

We are living in a crazy time. People who only wish to visit and pray at the holiest site in their religion are branded as ‘right-wing religious extremists’ while those who use violence and intimidation to prevent them from doing so are innocents whose rights are being threatened every time a Jew dares to quote a passage from the Book of Psalms.

Jews praying and blessing are a threat to peace. Heck, Jews walking and minding their own business are a threat to peace in this backwards world where stone throwers are somehow practicing ‘non-violence’ despite the people they kill and maim.

The reality is exactly the opposite. People who want to do nothing more than visit and pray at the location they consider to be the holiest on earth are a threat to nothing and to no one. It is those who harass and attack them who are the true threat, both to the safety of others and to the peace we have spent decades trying to achieve.

Freedom of religion does not permit the abuse of people trying to practice their own religion. Being offended does not give one carte blanche to spit on and assault those against whom you have taken offense. And sometimes the fact that you are offended proves that the problem is with you, not with the one doing the supposed offending.

If you are so enraged by Jews walking and maybe even praying on the Temple Mount that it drives you to scream in the faces of the Jews there and to throw rocks and firebombs, you are not showing righteous indignation or defending anything. You are acting out an animalistic hatred that has no place in the civilized world.

If you claim that the campaign to ensure that the Temple Mount is forever Judenrein is justified because Jews ‘desecrate’ it with ‘their filthy feet,’ as Mahmoud Abbas has done, you lose all claims to being called a moderate. You are an inciter to violence and a preacher of Antisemitism.

And if you, from your lofty perches in the EU, UN, or US, cannot see that peace is not threatened by the silent recitation of Psalms, or that peace is not served by defending from all consequences those who throw rocks and firebombs at innocent Jews, then you are part of the problem as well, and will never, ever succeed in bringing about true peace in this part of the world. Because you don’t see anything wrong with people being offended at the existence of Jews.

About the Author
Gary Willig is a researcher at the Center for Near East Policy Research and a student of communications at Bar Ilan University