Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual
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Fadi Abu Shahidam, 42, the Hamas terrorist who on Sunday shot and murdered Eliyahu Kay, a young oleh from South Africa, was identified by Minister of Internal Security Omer Barlev as a member of the Hamas political faction (whatever that means) and a regular presence on the Temple Mount, where he preached at the Al Aqsa mosque and led tours of the compound. Now it turns out that he also taught at the Al-Rashidiya Secondary School for Boys in the Muslim Quarter, where his salary was paid by the Jerusalem municipality.
The school is run by the Israeli Ministry of Education with a Jordanian curriculum. Abu Shahidam’s position was as a teacher of Islamic studies. The Jerusalem Municipality has not yet responded to the revelation, and the Ministry of Education has issued a statement saying the matter is still under investigation by the security forces and the ministry would issue an official response after the investigation is concluded.
Al-Rashidiya is a public school, with three main buildings that include 20 classrooms, a library, a lab, and a soccer field, is located next to Herod’s Gate (Flowers Gate), adjacent to the Rockefeller Museum. Al-Rashidiya has served as the main learning establishment for the residents of eastern Jerusalem since the late Ottoman era. Today, the school serves approximately 400 students with a staff of 25.
Following the Six-Day War, in June 1967, the Israeli government applied Israeli law to the newly annexed eastern Jerusalem, which compelled all government schools to teach the Israeli program for the Arab sector, including Hebrew language studies and Hebrew literature. Graduates took the Israeli matriculation exams instead of the Jordanian exams and were consequently rejected by universities in Arab countries. As a result, most of the students moved to private and church-run schools, where the studies were still conducted according to the Jordanian Ministry of Education’s program. At the start of September 1968, Al-Rashidiya had only 12 students, compared to 687 the year before.
Between 1970 and 1976, both the Jerusalem municipality and the Israeli Education Ministry attempted a variety of approaches to restore Al-Rashidiya to its former status, allowing the school to add extra hours to the Israeli program to prepare students for the Jordanian matriculation. None of those approaches succeeded, and so, in 1976, Israel gave in and permitted all Arab schools in eastern Jerusalem, including Al-Rashidiya, to return fully to the Jordanian program, with a few weekly hours devoted to learning Hebrew and Israeli social studies.
One cannot fail to see the correlation of the defeatist attitude of the Israeli education system in eastern Jerusalem in the past 45 years and the fact that a state-run and funded school in eastern Jerusalem employed a known Hamas member – and who knows how many more.
Hamas issued a statement on Sunday, saying: “The perpetrator of the attack is Fadi Abu Shahidam, one of the leaders of Hamas in Shuafat in East Jerusalem. Our martyr in Jerusalem passed his life preaching for jihad, and all the parts of the city and the sides of the al-Aqsa mosque attest to it. Now here he is, rising today after the heroic battle he fought against the occupation forces, inflicting death and injuries.”
The cowardly attack outside the Temple Mount lasted 32 seconds and left one civilian dead, two civilians seriously and moderately injured, and two Border Police officers wounded in light condition.
Deputy Jerusalem Mayor Aryeh King said on Sunday: “As deputy mayor, I am not surprised by the fact that the terrorist, may his memory be erased, worked as a teacher at a school funded by the Ministry of Education and the municipality. For years, I have been calling on mayors and education ministers to monitor the content taught in the schools that are funded by the government and the municipality. Unfortunately, despite being deputy mayor, time and time again, Council Member Yonatan Yosef and I find ourselves in the minority on this issue. It is our duty to monitor the content that’s being taught to the city’s students because the supervision of the Ministry of Education cannot be trusted.”
The Three Musketeers at the Kotel
Democrats’ Self-inflicted Wounds By Alan M. Dershowitz
As a lifelong Democrat, I am appalled at the way the leaders of the party have shot themselves in the foot by kowtowing to left-wing radicals.
The recent Republican victories were not so much a vindication of Republican policies as a rejection of the extremism of Democratic leaders and their tolerance for radical hard-left policies.
Although most pundits were focusing on the Virginia gubernatorial race, an even more telling example of the failure of the Democratic leadership played out in Buffalo, New York, the Empire State’s second-most populous city.
A left-wing extremist and avowed socialist named India Walton managed to beat the longtime incumbent mayor, Byron Brown, in the low-turnout Democratic primary. Brown then decided to mount a high-risk write-in campaign against Walton. As expected, Walton was strongly supported by the left-wing fringe of the Democratic Party led by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who campaigned with her. What was shocking, and what reflects the self-inflicted wound, was the support she received from mainstream Democratic senators including Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and others.
Not surprisingly, Walton was also endorsed by the usual Israel-haters as well as by anti-American extremists who do not reflect the views of mainstream Democratic voters.
She could never be elected to any office that required the votes of a majority of Democrats or voters in general. Walton could only win elections with small turnouts of extremist voters. She does not represent American voters or Democratic voters. She represents the extreme fringe of the Democratic Party, as does Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and her squalid squad.
But you wouldn’t know that from the Democratic leaders who immorally endorsed her. Whether they did so because they agree with her policies or because they are afraid of losing the votes of extremists does not matter. They endorsed her. That was wrong and self-destructive. They should have endorsed her centrist Democratic opponent who ended up winning an overwhelming victory despite the odds against write-in candidates. Brown’s win reflected the true Democratic voting base.
The leaders who endorsed Walton must be rebuked if the Democrats are not to suffer further electoral losses because of their immoral association with dangerously extremist candidates. They cannot have it both ways. They cannot claim to be centrist while campaigning for anti-centrist candidates like Walton. They must renounce, not support, the fringe elements within their party if they purport to represent its voting base.
The recent election demonstrates that voters see through the duplicity of the current failed leadership of the Democratic Party and will make their party pay in next year’s midterm elections unless there is reform at the top.
Even the New York Times, in a “news” article that reads like a campaign ad for Walton, admitted that her lopsided defeat by a write-in candidate constitutes a “stinging rebuke for the left wing of the party, both nationally and in New York.”
The message of this most recent election is that centrists win and extremists lose — except perhaps in atypical districts and in small-turnout primaries.
If I were a Republican, I would be making the same demand of the leadership of that party: rebuke candidates from the extreme right, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene and others who do not represent the mainstream of the Grand Old Party. American voters crave a return to centrism and a rejection of the kind of intolerant extremism reflected by Larry David’s refusal to even talk to me because I supported then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s efforts to bring about peace in the Middle East. The mere fact that Pompeo is a Republican — in David’s words, a “part of that group” — was enough for him to end a quarter of a century friendship. Americans may like David’s comedy, but they surely do not like his politics, as evidenced by the results of the last election
Larry David and Chuck Schumer and those who represent that brand of divisive partisanship may be the cause of the Democrats’ continuing losses at the polls. I urge my party to reject the politics of intolerance and extremism and to embrace the politics of centrism. President Biden seems to agree. After the recent losses, he warned: “If we keep things the way they are, it’s just not going to cut it in next year’s midterm elections.” I hope he was referring to the dangerous and self-defeating left-wing influence in his party.
In September of 1995, I was one of a few invited guests in the home of a prominent Israeli news broadcaster, Nissim Mishal, anchor of Israel’s mainstream, popular Channel 2 news. We were then discussing the increasingly apparent violations of the Oslo Accords by longtime PLO leader Yasser Arafat, now head of the Palestinian Authority.
At one point during the discussion, Mishal leaned into the group, with a look of grave concern, almost whispering, “I was just at a highly classified briefing at Israeli Military Headquarters, and there is a much more existential problem looming out of the East. The Iranians are working on a nuclear bomb. And we had better listen to what the Americans want us to do with the Palestinians because we will need them when it comes to the Iranian nuclear threat.”
Over the past two-and-a-half decades, Israelis, therefore, felt that they needed to go along with the charade that the Palestinian Authority were peacemakers, as opposed to the violent Hamas. They knew fully well that the P.A. was systematically teaching their children that there was one name for the map of Israel, “Palestine,” and that they exhorted decades of Palestinian children to return to. They knew fully well that the Palestinian textbooks, under UNRWA (which the United States contributed approximately $197 million to so far this year), are replete with anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. They knew fully well that the Palestinian schools and their media outlets strongly encourage their children to conduct acts of jihad, glorifying and deifying shahids (“martyrs”), constantly relitigating the 1948 conflict over Israel’s existence, not the 1967 conflict over Israel’s borders.Advertisement
All of this Israeli submission to the will of successive American administrations has proven to erode what only decades ago was strong, bipartisan support for Israel. It has also helped to cement in the brains of many young people, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, decades of libelous attacks that have been bandied about, mostly in academia, and taken by unsuspecting students at face value that “Israel stole Palestinian land,” and that it is a “colonial” “fascist” and “apartheid” state.
By now, this has infiltrated the corridors of power throughout the country.
None of the enormous history of Israel’s willingness to accept multiple offers for a two-state solution is ever taught, going all the way back to the Peel Commission in 1937. No one mentions the incredibly generous offers made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Arafat at Camp David on July 25, 2000, on 97 percent of the West Bank or Judea and Samaria, or the even more generous one of withdrawing from almost the entire West Bank and a partition of Jerusalem made by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to P.A. head Mahmoud Abbas in 2008 at Sharm el-Sheikh.
Each one of these offers was met by a new round of violence. That’s not even to mention the unilateral withdrawal from all of Gaza in 2005 that has only been met with four wars, scores of missiles balloons and kites with incendiary devices attached to them, and thousands upon thousands of missiles launched into Israeli population centers.
And still, Israelis have held their tongues, hoping that when the big, Iranian existential threat is upon them that the Americans will come through.
Well, crunch time has arrived. According to both Israeli and American nuclear scientists, the Iranians are just weeks away from having enough highly enriched uranium for a total nuclear breakout. We also know that they have a delivery mechanism. What no one is certain of is whether or not they have the “weaponization” program or the means for delivering the fissile material onto their drones or missiles.
Having placed all of our eggs in the “diplomacy” basket, the United States only has a few tools left in its toolbox. The credible threat of military force is the only solution.
It was a bit encouraging to see last week that the U.S. Treasury Department has levied sanctions against several Iranian companies that are involved in the manufacturing of drones, and it is also a bit reassuring that on Saturday, the U.S. military has flown B-1B bombers over the Strait of Hurmuz, that narrow opening in the Persian Gulf.
Both of these steps are necessary but not sufficient. The Iranians have got to feel that there is a heavy price to pay for their malevolent behavior.
In the meantime, the 28 years of erosion of support for Israel since the signing of the Oslo Accords has done tremendous damage to Israel’s standing in the community of nations, manifested by, among other things, the increasingly popular BDS movement among North American college students.
The Faustian bargain that the Israelis made to go along with a muzzling of the truth about the decades upon decades of malign behavior on the part of the Palestinians has created a nightmare, while the trust that the Israelis have placed in America coming through at “crunch time” with Iran may ultimately prove not have been well-warranted.
And Israel might well be left on its own in a multiple-front war.
EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT Abdel Fattah al-Sisi looks on in the Alamein Military Museum during a ceremony in 2017 to mark 75 years since the pivotal WWII battle in the town of El Alamein, west of Alexandria.(photo credit: Egyptian Presidency/Reuters)AdvertisementMost Israelis are unaware that November 11 is a highly significant day in their history. On that date in 1942 at El Alamein in the North African desert, the German blitzkrieg into the Middle East was finally halted, with British General Bernard “Monty” Montgomery defeating Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps in an Allied victory that ended the existential threat the advancing Nazis armies posed to the Jews of Mandatory Palestine. For Winston Churchill, El Alamein was a pivotal moment. Following all too many Dunkirk-like “glorious defeats,” the much-criticized British Army finally had a decisive victory over the Wehrmacht. For the first time since the beginning of the Second World War, Churchill ordered church bells rung across the United Kingdom in celebration of this long-awaited triumph of Allied arms. If for the British El Alamein was a much-needed victory, for the Jews living under the mandate it was salvation. Had the Axis military advance not been stopped in Egypt, Sinai and Mandatory Palestine would have been next, and there can be little doubt what Nazi occupation would have meant for the half a million Jews living here.
Every year on Holocaust Remembrance Day, memorial ceremonies are held across this country in which Israelis remember the “six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust by Nazi Germany and its collaborators.” The last three words in the official liturgy are significant, as the importance of the role played by non-Germans in the Holocaust has been documented by historians who have studied the connection between levels of collaboration and the scope of the murder. In German-occupied territories where the populace was either supportive of the genocide or indifferent to the fate of their Jewish neighbors, such as occupied Ukraine and the Baltic states, the destruction of the Jews was often near total. By contrast, in occupied territories where the population actively assisted the local Jewish community, the breadth and depth of the destruction tended to be more limited. Denmark and Bulgaria stand out in this category – examples of countries where efforts by local elites and the general populace helped save a substantial section of the Jewish community.
The Desert Fox, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (Center), is seen during Nazi Germany's campaign in North Africa (credit: GERMAN FEDERAL ARCHIVE/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)Had Rommel been victorious at El Alamein and had the Wehrmacht reached Mandatory Palestine, in which category would the Arab Palestinians have fallen? Would they have been like Danes and Bulgarians and acted to save Jews, or more like the Latvians and Ukrainians who, with notable exceptions, collaborated in the genocide? The available data point in a clear direction. While there would undeniably have been Palestinian Righteous Among the Nations willing to risk their lives to save Jews, there can be little doubt that upon occupying Mandatory Palestine the Germans would have found a collaborationist leadership eager to enlist the local population in the mass killing of the Jews. At the time, Amin al-Husseini, grand mufti of Jerusalem from 1921, president of the Supreme Muslim Council from 1922 and president of the Arab Higher Committee from 1936, was the pivotal figure in the Palestinian national movement and his views were no secret. He was a hardcore antisemite and an infamous Nazi collaborator.
Following Hitler’s rise to power, Husseini, along with fellow Arab Palestinian nationalists, conducted a successful campaign to pressure the British to keep the gates of Mandatory Palestine all but closed to European Jews fleeing the Nazis, and in so doing, sealed their fate.After the outbreak of the Second World War, Husseini helped orchestrate the April 1941 pro-Nazi Rashid Ali coup in Iraq and the subsequent Farhud massacre of Baghdadi Jews. When the British retook the Iraqi capital, Husseini relocated to Berlin where he remained until the German defeat, becoming Hitler’s most outspoken Arab advocate, broadcasting Nazi propaganda to the Middle East while recruiting Bosnian Muslims to the Waffen-SS. Husseini knew of the “Final Solution” and supported the genocide. From Husseini’s perspective, it was better to murder a million and a half Jewish children than to have those children immigrate to Mandatory Palestine. Following the collapse of Nazi Germany in 1945, Husseini fled Europe for Cairo to escape international prosecution for war crimes. Symptomatic of the prevailing attitudes in Palestinian politics, and notwithstanding Husseini’s much deserved notoriety, he was nevertheless elected president of the All-Palestine Government in September 1948.Even unabashed anti-Zionist Lebanese intellectual Gilbert Achcar (author of The Arabs and the Holocaust), who sees political logic in Arab nationalists finding common cause with Britain’s axis enemies, regards Husseini’s antisemitism and enthusiasm for mass murder totally inexcusable. CONSIDERING HUSSEINI’S shameful war record in the absence of a German occupation of Mandatory Palestine, there can be little doubt what it would have included had Hitler’s armies reached the Holy Land. The Führer would have been keen to exploit Husseini’s leadership of the Palestinians, dispatching him to Jerusalem to head a collaborationist administration dedicated to working with the Nazis on “solving the Jewish problem.” Together, they would have been highly effective in doing so, with the Palmah’s plans to wage a Tito-style guerrilla war against the Germans from the Carmel mountains having only symbolic importance, with no realistic possibility of preventing genocide.Sadly, today in the Palestinian Authority, Amin al-Husseini remains a respected figure, an honored founding father of the national struggle. Far from critically confronting evidence of wartime collaboration, Palestinians choose to pervert history. President Mahmoud Abbas speaking before the Palestinian National Council in 2018 asserted that the Holocaust was caused by the Jews’ “social behavior, [charging] interest and financial matters.” Abbas dedicated his 1982 doctoral thesis and a 1984 book to the mendacious proposition that Zionists collaborated with the Nazis. (Former London mayor Ken Livingstone was suspended from Britain’s Labour Party in 2016 for regurgitating this argument.)
Palestinian historical revisionism also includes the contention that the Palestinians are themselves Holocaust victims, claiming that they were forced to pay for Europe’s crimes, losing their homeland so that the West could atone for its sins against the Jews. In 2019, Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, herself of Palestinian heritage, seemed to endorse this tortuous argument when she stated that “it was my ancestors – Palestinians – who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence... in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews,” conveniently omitting the Palestinian leadership’s behavior during those fateful years.Germany’s post-war integration into Europe was predicated upon taking full responsibility for its wartime actions. Across Europe, East and West, nations condemn those of their citizens who collaborated with Nazi antisemitic policies. It is high time the Palestinians did the same.Maybe the European Union’s representatives to the Palestinian Authority should encourage them to do so. For without such an unequivocal official repudiation of Amin al-Husseini’s legacy, doubts will endure as to the current Palestinian leadership’s character, doubts that affect present-day Israeli deliberations. The writer is a former adviser to the prime minister and currently a senior visiting fellow at the INSS. Follow him at @MarkRegev on Twitter.