During morning prayers today, November 18, 2014, two Arab terrorists entered a Jewish synagogue in West Jerusalem, the Jewish portion of Israel’s capital city. Early reports said the two were armed with a meat cleaver, an axe and at least one gun (“Four killed in terror attack at Jerusalem synagogue”, Times of Israel, November 18, 2014).
The terrorists attacked the Jewish worshippers. They killed four and injured at least eight others. The terrorists were then killed at the site in gun battle with Israeli police [Update: a fifth murder victim has been identified--an Israeli Arab Druze police officer who has died from wounds received during the gun battle with the terrorists].
A synagogue is considered to be a holy site. It contains sacred texts, including Torah scrolls. It is a place of prayer, peace and contemplation.
It’s a place of holiness. It’s a sanctuary, not a war zone or a killing field.
To the Arabs who attack Jews, a Jewish synagogue has no sanctity. It has no holiness. It’s not a synagogue. It’s a killing zone.
During the last three weeks, Arabs have killed a total of 8 Israelis in outdoor public places—a train platform, an intersection, a bus stop. Most of the dead are Jews.
On the surface, this morning’s synagogue attack seems unusual. It doesn’t fit the recent pattern. But it suggests what is at the heart of this ‘third Intifada’: prayer, religion, Islam.
Let’s be honest here: the Arab attacks we’ve seen the last three weeks aren’t random. They aren’t accidental.
Some may call them ‘unofficial’ because there’s no paper trail. There are no written orders handed to attackers by an authority figure.
But the attacks are nonetheless part of a war. It is a war of hate driven by religion. It is a war against Jews, designed to kill Jews.
Today’s attack shows that Jews aren’t safe anywhere in Israel. It demonstrates that the Arab war against Israel isn’t about statehood. It’s about the supremacy of Islam. It’s about driving out the Jew so that the only prayers heard in Israel will be Muslim prayers.
That’s why this synagogue attack is significant. It speaks to the core of the Arab dream: an Islamic ‘Palestine’ to replace Israel.
If you doubt that, Read the Hamas Charter. Listen to recent speeches from Mahmoud Abbas. Look closely at the Fatah political Party logo.
Fatah and Hamas are unified. They fight Israel as one entity. Both sing the same song: the Jew must go. Their current rallying cry is, the Temple Mount must be defended for Islam.
This third Intifada—Israel is afraid to call it that—focuses on prayer. It focuses on an Arab call to protect the Temple Mount for exclusive Islamic prayer. Its design is to focus Muslim anger. Its aim is to incite Arab rage against the Jew.
The Arab does this because he knows that he who controls the Temple Mount controls the land. He attacks the Temple Mount so he can begin the conquest of the land.
He starts with a religious premise: Jews don‘t belong on the Temple Mount. Jews have no right to pray on the Temple Mount. Jews who set foot on the Temple Mount—Judaism’s holiest place on earth—desecrate Islam.
When Arabs clash with Israeli police on the Temple Mount, they accuse Israel of a ‘barbarism’ that will destroy interreligious dialogue around the world (“Erdogan calls Israel’s methods on Temple Mount ‘barbaric’”, Times of Israel, November 7, 2014). That’s nonsense. The barbarism is the Arab attack against a holy site.
Arabs have no shame. They say Jerusalem cannot be monopolized by one religion—Judaism—(ibid) when it is they who seek to Islamicize both Jerusalem and the Temple Mount (“Mufti: Jerusalem is 'Islamic'”, Arutz Sheva, November 12, 2013; “Palestinian Authority Denies Jewish Right to Western Wall”, Arutz Sheva, August 12, 2013; “Discrimination Against Jews Continues at the Temple Mount”, Arutz Sheva, October 28. 2013).
The attack on that synagogue this morning was an Arab act of war. It demonstrates what some in Israel already know: if Jews cannot pray safely on the Temple Mount, Jews cannot pray safely anywhere (MK Moshe Feiglin, Likud).
The Arab sends a message. Jews should be afraid to go to their synagogues.
The Arab sends a message: our terrorists can enter your house of worship. Our terrorists can walk in, call out to our allah in your holy place (as these two terrorists did)--and kill you.
The Arab sends a message: the Jew should fear. He should fear to pray. He should fear to ascend to the Temple Mount.
He should be afraid.
The Arab sends a message: if you retreat before me, I will kill you. If you appease me, I will kill you. If you fear me, I will kill you. If you pray to your G-d, I will kill you.