Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Reflections on the Akko Riots


Once again, the bubble of coexistence has burst before our eyes. It is plain to all those who are willing to see that tolerance and respect are not universal. In the city that some believed proved how Jews and Arabs can live in peace, violent riots have broken out.

The scene is reminiscent of medieval Europe- certainly not 21st century Israel. On the holiest day of the Jewish year, when even secular Jews respect the sanctity of Yom Kippur, an Arab driver came zooming into a Jewish area of Akko, music blaring, in a deliberate provocation. Fearing an attack similar to the ones in Jerusalem involved Arabs and vehicles, Jewish residents attempted to chase the provocateur off. Soon after, a rumour spread that the Jews had murdered this Arab driver. A call from the minaret went out to avenge this attack. Hundreds of Arab youth armed with axes converged on the Jewish areas screaming, 'death to the Jews!'. Many Jews hid in their homes until the duration of the holiday, until the police arrived.

What drove this sudden outburst of hatred? Were we not told time and time again that Jews and Arabs are cousins and that are differences are merely political? We are fed a constant stream of historical revisionism about the Jewish experience in the Arabian exile and are told to calm down. And yet, the provocation was clearly religious in nature. On a day when Jews, religious and secular alike, do not drive, fast and conduct themselves in complete solemnity and seriousness, an Arab drives into the area with his music on full blast, honking and blaring. There can be no excuse for such a blatant desecration. To further incite the crowd against the Jewish residents of Akko, the same tower from which Islam's prayers are broadcast was used to call for attack on Jews. Axe-wielding Arabs attacked Jews and vandalized their property in a pogrom in the heart of the Jewish state on Judaism's holiest of days.

The rationale behind the pogrom is one deeply rooted in the theology of Islam. Arab leaders, Hamas and Fatah, Palestinian and "Israeli" citizens, condemned the Israeli "occupation" of Akko. Akko, well within the so-called Green Line borders, was being referred to as occupied territory. It is the same mentality that calls Tel-Aviv and Haifa occupied. The Arabs feel that every inch of Israel, whether pre-67 borders or past, is occupied territory. According to their faith, Jews are to be tolerated as second-class dhimmis, with all the humiliations and degradations that accompany such a status. In their mind, there is no difference between Tel-Aviv or Ramallah- the Jews are not to rule over any Islamic land. These dhimmis must accept their condition willingly or be subjugated.

Plainly put, Israel's Arab population is not merely another group of Israelis of a different religion. It is a hostile fifth-column intent on destroying the Jewish state from within. For many years when the Arabs feared Israel's reaction, they sat quietly. Now, feeling Israel's growing lethargy and indecision, they are becoming ever-more assertive and vocal. They know that after this riot, Israel's politicians will wring their hands and scurry over to Akko to appease them, like good little ghetto Jews, cooperative dhimmis. Seeing Israel's extreme willingness to compromise over any issue, to surrender land, expel Jews or release terrorists, without guaranteed reciprocal compromises from the Arab side, the Arabs feel that Israel's days are numbered. Assaults on Jews in Judea and Samaria are growing more common as the police and authorities do nothing to prevent them. The Arabs are acting like they are masters of this house.

It is time for Israel to assert its right to Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel. A renewed Zionist commitment to the Land will shatter Arab hopes for Israel's impending demise. Unfortunately, in today's climate of post-Zionism and corruption, Israel's leaders seem more interested in currying favour with the international community instead of putting Jewish interests first. No doubt, violent attacks will increase until either Israel wakes up or finds itself thrown into the sea. This being the holiday of Sukkot, when Jews leave their secure homes and dwell in wooden huts for a week, I will not put my trust in the seemingly "secure" government and security authorities. As our flimsy Sukkot indicate, our only hope comes from Above. Israel's leaders should take a cue from the Lulav, one of the four species which we shake on Sukkot, which is invalidated is its spine is broken. A spineless Jew is not kosher. That is a lesson that Israel would be wise to heed.

4 comments:

Eitan said...

that's not at all the version I heard. From what I know, both sides were involved. it wasn't just the Arabs rioting. You've never lived in Israel and you don't know how Mizrahim often act towards Russian Jews. While most of them lack a high school education and we represent the elites of Israeli society they hate us more than they hate their Arab cousins with whom they lived peacefully for many generations.

I'd focus on the endless sinat heinam within our own society rather than the Arab question. And me blogging on Shabbat should answer the question you posed on my blog.

Anonymous said...

"Islam is not a normal religion like the other religions in the world, and Muslim nations are not like normal nations. Muslim nations are very special because they have a command from Allah to rule the entire world and to be over every nation in the world.

Islam is a revolutionary faith that comes to destroy any government made by man. Islam doesn't look for a nation to be in better condition than another nation. Islam doesn't care about land or who owns the land. The goal of Islam is to rule the entire world and submit all of mankind to the faith of Islam.

Any nation or power in this world that tries to get in the way of that goal Islam will fight and destroy. In order for Islam to fulfil that goal, Islam can use every power available every way it can be used to bring worldwide revolution. This is jihad."

- Abu Ala Mawdudi, founder of the Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/17/islam-religion

Eitan said...

Anyhow, this is my favorite blog, hence I decided to make it my first stop after having taken a hietus from blogging. Good work, B.K. You know I got your back and even though we disagree I'd like to consider myself part of the Religious-Zionist movement.

Shavua tov, gever!

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