(Disclaimer: This touches on both political and religious issues. As I’ve said in the past, posts like this will by no means be a regular feature here, as I would much rather focus on my writings, but there are things that need to be said, and when I deem it necessary, I will say it.)
It’s currently Tish’a B’Av (for those unfamiliar, the Ninth of Av is the saddest day of the Jewish year, on which we fast to commemorate a number of tragedies throughout our history, primarily the destruction of the First and Second Temples), and a time to reflect. As such, I think it’s a good time to share a lot of what has been on my mind of late–and it might not be something all of you out there wish to hear. But it needs to be said openly, and if I need to be the one to do so, then so be it.
This year’s Tish’a B’Av is particularly poignant, given the events surrounding Har Habayit (the Temple Mount). After terrorists murdered two (Druze) policemen, Israel chose to increase security around Har Habayit, from which other attacks had been launched in the past. Without getting into too much detail, metal detectors and cameras were installed, which led to violent protests by “palestinians,” and a horrific terror attack in which three members of a family were murdered. Then, following a (possibly staged) crisis with Jordan, our fearlesss leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, capitulated, removing the new security measures, giving the enemy another victory. And make no mistake, this is a victory for them, and they know it. So much so that a Palestinian Authority official has declared that they are sovereign in the land. And is he wrong? Once again, the Muslim Waqf harasses Jewish visitors to Har Habayit, and, adding to this, we recently learned that Bibi has offered a “land swap.” Fortunately, the Arabs are refusing it, likely because they see their position as stronger now, though, G-d willing, this will just become another example of them frustrating the best attempts of our inept, incompetent leadership to sell us out.
And while this has been happening, while our enemies laugh at us, what occupies the news here? A soldier, Elor Azariya, is still facing prison time for killing a terrorist, his latest appeal rejected. Jews in Hevron are being threatened with expulsion from a legally purchased home. And, to go back a little bit further, there is still a fight over creating another space for reform Jewish groups at the Kotel (Western Wall), even though it’s quite clear that these groups are doing so for political reasons rather than any true desire to pray and connect to G-d. We are being warned of “a rift” growing between Diaspora Jewry and those is Israel over this issue, often by people who see Israel as having to “represent” them despite the fact that so many have not, and will not, move here.
As I was writing this, I saw yet another terrible news story. Three Jews were violently arrested outside of Har Habayit, after allegedly clashing with a group of Arabs that they claim attacked them. During the arrest, after the three were already on the ground, one was unnecessarily tased by an officer. This is what we are seeing near the holiest place in the world, on Tish’a B’Av. Where is the widespread outrage from my fellow Jews, about this incident and the wider abandonment of our destiny, of our holiest site? Now more than ever I understand the concept that in every generation where the Beit Hamikdash (Temple) is not rebuilt, it is as if it was destroyed in our generation.
There are those among us who understand our true situation and what we must do, that we must be proud, strong Jews, not an eternally oppressed people, not obsessed with pushing leftist causes and trying to make “peace” with people who have no intention of making peace, and who would deny us access to our holiest site, but there are too few of us. Too few that I know of, at any rate, though of course I am certain that there are many more, but they are afraid to say what they know to be true, because in this day an age the truth is often called “hate speech.” And it’s from other Jews that we have the most to fear in this vein. Just see the attacks on Rabbi Steven Pruzansky for examples of this, or go further back and see what was done to Rabbi Meir Kahane. My platform is small, but I recognize that what I am saying may put me in the cross-hairs of those same people who are scared of Jews being seen as something other than victims, and who are more concerned with the opinions of people who would hate us no matter what we do.
We were a warrior people once. While it tragically failed in the end, we carried out one of the strongest resistances to the Roman Empire in history, and throughout our history, we were a force respected and feared by our enemas. However, even today, when we have an army again, and a very powerful one, too many of us see ourselves as victims, as needing to defend. We cower behind Iron Dome and other defense systems while the enemy can take its time to prepare for the next conflict, in which we will give Jewish lives in exchange for another couple years of quiet before we do it all again and do not finish the job. I see people talk about the status quo, about how it must be maintained. No! The status quo is untenable, and continually damages us. In addition to our not taking care of the true threats to our security, it shows the world that we do not believe this land, in its entirety, is ours. And from this will come more pressure by our “allies” in the West to capitulate to Islam, even when we should, in fact, be working with them to stop this greater threat to all our civilizations. But that is a topic for another time.
Fortunately, things may be changing soon. Moshe Feiglin’s Zehut (Identity) Party, will, G-d willing, make a significant impact on our political landscape (just as I hope similar identitarian movements in the West will do). But beyond that, there is only so much people will take. Change will be made to happen, as evidenced today, when over a thousand Jews ascended Har Habayit today, despite a heatwave, all while fasting. The next phase of our destiny has already begun, and we will make it happen, whether it takes years, decades, or longer. It is our place, and we are not going anywhere.