The Jewish Rosh Hashannah (The New Year) holiday is the moment each year when our fate for the upcoming year is determined. Our Rosh Hashannah prayers say it best: “…who is to live, who is to die…who is to be humbled, who is to be exalted”.
The nation-state of Israel is not exempt from these words. It, too, has a destiny to be fulfilled each year.
This year, 5775 on the Jewish calendar, began on September 25, 2014. Through the first 55 days of this new year, Israel’s destiny so far looks ugly.
Since Rosh Hashannah, Israel has had either a ‘silent Intifada’, a real Intifada or, as some argue, war. Yes, most of the violence we’ve seen has been on TV or in news pictures. It appears limited to Arab neighbourhoods. In Jerusalem, for example, Arabs seem mostly to express their hate for Jews by trashing their own environment.
But there has also been a dramatic increase in serious violence against Jews, not only in Jerusalem, but all over Israel. For example, we’ve had a ‘car Intifada’ in which Arabs have used their vehicles to kill Jews. We’ve seen what some call a ‘knife Intifada’ against Jews. We’ve seen hundreds of other kinds of anti-Jew attacks (“Last Week in Israel: 240 Terror Attacks, 23 Wounded, and 2 Dead”, Jewish Press, November 16, 2014).
Since Rosh Hashannah, we’ve seen Mahmoud Abbas, Israel’s so-called Arab ‘peace partner’ call for more violence, not peace or co-existence. He quoted the Quran to incite violence (“Abbas quotes Quranic verse encouraging violent resistance in speech”, Palestinian Media Watch (pmw), September 28, 2014). He gave a speech that was replayed and replayed to suggest violence be brought to the Temple Mount (“PA TV broadcasts 19 times in 3 days Abbas' implicit call for violence in Jerusalem”, pmw, October 19, 2014). He authorized a ‘Day of Rage’ (“Abbas's Fatah Calls for 'Day of Rage' Terrorism”, Arutz Sheva, October 30, 2014). He glorified the shooter of a Jewish freedom-of-worship advocate (“Abbas glorifies shooter of Rabbi Glick”, pmw, November 3, 2014).
The world says he’s our ‘peace partner’. He isn’t. His words say he’s a cheerleader for Jew-hate.
Since Rosh Hashannah, Jews have sought to exercise their basic human right to worship on the Temple Mount—Judaism’s holiest site. Abbas, on the other hand, has sought to provoke violence.
He’s been steadfast. He wants violence against Jews. He wants Israel humbled.
He wasn’t the only Palestinian Authority (PA) official to incite for or glorify violence. For example, one PA official glorified the Arab who used his car to murder a three-month old Jewish infant (“Abbas' advisor: Murderer of baby is "heroic Martyr", pmw, October 23, 2014).
After an Arab attempted to assassinate Rabbi Glick (above), another PA official praised the shooter (“Abbas' advisor: Shooter of Rabbi Glick is "the Martyr of Dawn in Jerusalem", pmw, October 30, 2014). Four days later, another official glorified the shooter again (“Abbas' advisor to shooter of Rabbi Glick: "Your bullets were a beacon”, pmw, November 3, 2014).
Since Rosh Hashannah, Israel’s near-term fate has looked horrible. Arab Jew-hate has increased. Riots increase.
Since Rosh Hashannah, No PA official has talked about how to create a new state. Mahmoud Abbas hasn’t discussed infrastructure, co-existence or the financial costs of ‘independence’. He hasn’t discussed economic cooperation. He hasn’t explored how ‘two states can in fact live side-by-side in peace and security’.
What he’s talked about is glorifying Jew-killing; inciting against Jews; and demanding that Jews be banned from the freedom to worship at their Holy sites.
He’s talked about terrorism. He’s talked about rage. He’s talked about violence.
Europe supports Abbas. A recent report (November 17, 2014) reveals that, despite Abbas’s obsession with rage and violence, Europe stills sees Israel as the only and exclusive reason there is no peace (“Secret EU Document Reveals Israel Sanctions Policy”, Arutz Sheva). Abbas glorifies Jew-killers—and the EU distributes a report to its member states detailing ways (sanctions) to punish Israel should ‘peace’ fail.
That says something ugly about the EU. It says something equally ugly about Abbas.
It also suggests trouble for a beleaguered Israel. It suggests that, on Rosh Hashannah, G-d may have determined that Israel should see many troubles this year.
Yesterday, Israel saw much trouble: four Jews were murdered in their synagogue while praying. Today, we learn of more trouble: Spain’s Parliament becomes the fourth European Parliament (the others are Britain, Sweden and Ireland) to express support for a new Arab ‘Palestine’.
Jews know that ‘trouble’ is not ‘destiny’. We know we can--to a great extent--control our destiny. We know it from our Rosh Hashannah prayers.
Our year could start with trouble. But it could end with joy.
We must never forget that.