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Tuesday, September 13, 2005


I wasn't surprised by the fact that within hours of taking over control of the Gaza Strip, Palestinians had begun torching the shul buildings that had been left intact by the evacuated settlements. Everyone had to expect this. I have very mixed feelings about Israel's decision to leave the structures behind. Though I understand that there are halachik issues with destroying a building that was used as a shul, it must have been fully understood by all that the Palestinians gaining entry for the first time to these areas were going to waste no time in destroying these (in their words) "symbols of occupation". My knee-jerk reaction to Israel's decision was to say that they put the Palestinians in a no-win situation. I said as much to my husband. I wasn't prepared for the wrath I incurred from him for expressing that opinion.

His counter-argument was, does knowing that these shuls will be destroyed by the Palestinians make it OK? Just because we have low expectations of them doesn't make our decision to leave the buildings intact the wrong one. And I think, upon further consideration, that he is absolutely correct. Some have brought up the possibilty that the Palestinians could have used the buildings for other purposes. At first I dismissed that option out of hand, knowing how impossible an expectation that would be, for them to use a building that the demonized settlers had used, especially buildings the settlers had used for religious purposes. But you know what? This would have been a great opportunity for the Palestinian people to show the world that they can behave in a civilized manner.

Instead, they went on a rampage. From the JPost:
Students cut school, the terrorist groups carted out their homemade RPGs and prayed in the settlements' smoldering synagogues, the poor scavenged the settlement carcasses, and the PA police and other security forces watched.
Looters torched synagogues and ripped what they could from what were considered the settlements' sturdiest buildings.
OK. So you want to explain that they destroyed the synagogues beause they were they were viewed by the Palestinians as a "painful symbol of the occupation"? But this:
Palestinian police on Tuesday blocked off abandoned settlements and chased after scavengers in a first attempt to impose law and order after chaotic celebrations of Israel's pullout from Gaza, but the overwhelmed forces were unable to halt looting of the area's prized greenhouses.

...The chaos raised new questions about the Palestinian forces' ability to impose order in Gaza.

The greenhouses, left behind by Israel as part of a deal brokered by international mediators, are a centerpiece of Palestinian plans for rebuilding Gaza after 38 years of Israeli occupation. The Palestinian Authority hopes the high-tech greenhouses will provide jobs and export income for Gaza's shattered economy.
How to justify the destruction of the greenhouses, which were such an opportunity for their economy? Aren't they just shooting themselves in the proverbial foot here?

I'm at a loss.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank G-d Orthodad brought you to your senses. Maybe he should write this blog. I like his politics better than yours, it looks like.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

You don't have to justify or struggle to understand. you just have to look at the facts. They are obvious and unwavering: Arabs are animals.

The only thing that keeps them from killing and destroying each other is the Jews. Israel is Pan-Arabia's life insurance policy. As long as Israel exists, the arabs have something on which to focus their barbarism, thereby saving themselves.

Ironic, isn't it?

10:05 AM  
Blogger Moishe Q. Public said...

Calling them animals is wrong. Americans raped in the Superdome and looted TVs that they could not use. Looting the greenhouses is incredibly stupid and self-defeating but they are people, however misguided. As long as they are destroying 'their' territory, so be it. Jews were "vermin" not too long ago. Lowering people to that level is wrong. I am not in any way on their 'side' nor do I believe they are right.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Rebeljew said...

I also agree with Orthodad. Jewish Law does not dictate to take the buildings down. What the Arabs will do is on their heads.

"Aren't they just shooting themselves in the proverbial foot here?"
As Eban said famously of the Arabs, they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

MPQ: You think the arabs' beastial acts here, there, and everywhere is a simple case of cultural relativity? Are you delusional? And there are plenty of people that would happily place the New Orleans looters in the same category, so maybe you'd better back off that theory.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Jack's Shack said...


It is not a surprise. No one should be shocked by this, but that doesn't mean that was right or acceptable.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Orthomom: We didn't burn down the Beit HaMikdash even though we knew the Romans were going to defile and destroy it. Its bad for Jewish souls to destroy shuls and yeshivot.

Arabs shooting themselvs in the foot is the precursor of them blowing the rest of themselves to bits.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I linked to this article for its unique view on the small set of data that was looked at, from my recent post at http://nothingwecando.com

Those that destroyed the buildings, were as wrong for doing so as those that would of done so later would of been.

It is clear now that it would of been done reguardless...

here is a quote from a 22 year old that was planting a flag on the site...
"I wanted to go to the highest point, to see everything and to send a message to the Israelis. They provoked us and I wanted to burn and harm a place that's sacred for them"

2:09 PM  
Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

please read until the end

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This isn't an issue of what is smart or stupid for the masses, but what a subset of the population thinks is strategically a good idea.

From the perspective of Hamas, the worst thing that can happen is to have Gaza get a stable economy. As long as the people in Gaza are treated like dirt, they'll want more. Once they are economically and physically secure, the quest for the destruction of Israel loses steam.

Destroying the greenhouses is a very intelligent idea for a certain sick and evil portion of the population.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous sultan knish said...

the arabs did exactly what arabs have always done

there's no reason to be a loss for it unless you expect better of them

11:06 PM  
Blogger Mirty said...

"Aren't they just shooting themselves in the proverbial foot here?"

With any luck, they'll hit higher.

11:27 PM  
Blogger Mar Gavriel said...

I don't claim to understand the logic of Palestinian suicidal behavior-- or, for that matter, of any suicidal behavior.

By the way, readers, readers, please check out my post on the Ya`avetz's Siddur. My post begins with...


7:59 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Interesting post... I'm adding a link to it on my own on this.

10:35 AM  
Blogger DovBear said...

OD's counterargument is rediculous.

::His counter-argument was, does knowing that these shuls will be destroyed by the Palestinians make it OK::

OF COURSE IT DOESN'T MAKE IT OKAY, however acknowldging that the Palestenians leaders were put in a a no-win situation doesn't suggest that the result is OK! What a dumb conclusion!

We have a concept in Judaism of Lifnei eever lo siten michshol.

Like it or not, the synagouges were a michshol, and leaving them behind was to make them into a michshol.

Of course the rampaging Palestenians are responsible for their actions, but even in US law he have the concept of an attractive nuisance.

In the future, before you let OD browbeat you off of a perfectly good opinion, please see me first!

11:06 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

DB - many have addressed your lifnei eeveir example on your own blog - and it doesn't apply here, not the way you mean it.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

DB: So why didn't we destroy the Beit HaMikdash from the rampaging Romans? Wouldn't it have been a kinder, gentler destruction...with no michshol for those poor Roman soldiers?

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I admire you for admitting you had a different opinion when you first heard about the destruction of the synagogues. I will never understand the double standard that the Israelis are held to while the world just shrugs its proverbial shoulders at the Arab Palestinians.

7:04 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

I disagree, DB. Like I said. You're guilty of the bigotry of low expectations. Those buildings could have been used for another purpose, and even if that is not feasible, could have been bulldozed unceremoniously by the Palestinian Gov't. Then again, reports soming out of Gaza make it clear that the Palestinian Gov't doesn't seem to have any control at all.

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