Yesterday, I was asked by a dear Twitter follower to use the hashtag #TempleMount4ALL on my tweets so that it will trend. I was in a hurry to be somewhere, I was about to sign off, so without thinking I agreed to do so. Now that I have had time to think about it, I must rescind my agreement, and here is why.
In a utopia, Jews could do what they have every right to do. In a utopia, Arabs would leave Jews alone. In a utopia, the rest of the world would leave Jews alone. In a utopia, Jews would not have been slaughtered mercilessly because of various blood libels. In a utopia, right and justice would prevail.
But we do not live in a utopia. We live in a world filled with ignorance, which breeds fear, which breeds bigotry, which breeds hatred, which breeds genocide. If today's Jews understood their history, they would be hard-pressed to continue haranguing Prime Minister Netanyahu, thoughtlessly fighting his efforts to keep his people safe, lambasting a man undeserving of such attacks, presuming that a commitment to the "status quo" is evidence of cowardice.
It is not.
It is prima facie evidence of his extraordinary understanding of history, and it is prima facie evidence of his selfless love for the State of Israel. I can never explain what I know as meticulously as the Prime Minister's late father, Professor Emeritus Ben-Zion Netanyahu, but I keep my blog simple so the reader does not have to be a Rhodes scholar to understand what I am saying. So, here is the threat I perceive, that I believe the Prime Minister perceives, and that I believe he is trying desperately to thwart.
All of the genocides perpetrated against the Jewish people that have been documented over the past 2,000 years, beginning with the pogrom in Alexandria in 38 C.E., have followed the same pattern. First, the Jews are driven from a given region. They flee to another where the residents allow them to remain. The Jews start to grow roots. Then the problems begin. I explained my definition of "tolerance" in a previous post as being "bigotry in disguise". Tolerance says, "I am superior to you, but I will allow you to remain as long as you do not become a threat to me".
Jews were tolerated in their new environments. They learned the culture, the philosophies, and the politics of the region. Jews thrived in many different areas of expertise. Eventually, they were entrusted with key positions by the powers-that-be.
And became a threat to the indigenous residents. Jews were now holding positions of authority, many of which paid lucratively, "taking" jobs away from those who "belonged" (hence, the stereotype of the money-grubbing Jew). The people who "allowed" Jews to live among them began to resent their "intruders". The jobs Jews were being given rightfully "belonged" to them, not the newcomers. The Jews now threatened the economic well-being of those who had initially welcomed them. I mentioned in another post that various blood libels are the "accelerant" of the three ingredients needed to produce fire. Add to the accelerant of "Jews killed Messiah" the fuel of "Jews are threatening my existence".
Enter politics. The authorities saw the rumblings within the community. They were also ever-mindful of the Catholic church and its iron-fisted control over its territories. So, the leadership began precluding Jews from the very positions they had been given just a short time ago. The citizenry saw the shift in policy, which caused a dramatic increase in both the accelerant and the fuel. (There were other complicating factors, but I am focusing in on this one aspect for the purposes of this post.) Then came the spark, which took many forms from pogrom-to-pogrom. Once, it was the death of a boy. Another time, it was the Black Plague. Sometimes, it was mere suspicion based upon ignorance of Judaism and the Jewish people. But, many times the spark came from within the Jewish community. Jews began resenting one another for a wide variety of reasons. Some shared the resentment of the indigenous residents because they did not hold the higher positions being given to others. Some resented what they saw as traitorous behavior on the part of those Jews who had attained authority.
Whatever the particular spark, the result was the same: Massacre.
The current environment is ripe for another such massacre. Anti-Semitism is rising dramatically throughout the world. The blood libel this time is Israel's "genocide" of the "Palestinians". The rumblings are reaching a fever-pitch. That is the accelerant. The fuel is the position being taken by many within the so-called international community, fed by organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union, Amnesty International, etc., which consistently decry Israel for alleged "war crimes" against the "Palestinians". (Add to this the accelerated pace at which the "Palestinians" are demanding "their" land, and the growing support for that claim.)
Now all that is needed is the spark. What will light this fire? How about Jews completely rejecting the claims of the Arabs, however bogus those claims may be? How about demonizing their own leadership that is trying to prevent the fire? How about demands that remove the status quo, that refuse any attempt at a compromise? How about stubbornly asserting rights with no regard to the deadly consequences?
The Temple Mount is now the potential ground zero for another genocide. To MKs who are rebel-rousing (and who have no business undermining the government for which they work), to rabbis who want to "help" HaShem rebuild the Temple (the first time a Jew decided to "help" HaShem fulfill a prophesy, the result was Ishmael!), to Christians who want to see Jesus no matter how much (more) Jewish blood it costs, I beg of you: