How should one respond to the recent killings at a Synagogue in Har Nof, near Jerusalem? Should there be unqualified denunciation of the Palestinian cousins accused of the murders; qualified denunciation; or are the cousins to be praised as ‘martyrs’?
I have heard and read all three responses. I understand that Hamas leaders and at least some other Gazans have praised the accused cousins; and someone whom I otherwise admire has also given unqualified praise to them. Others (including Muslim leaders) have taken the exact opposite approach and denounced the attack as vicious and uncalled for murder.
I, however, have to take a ‘middle ground’ approach to this tragedy. I believe the killings were indeed murders, but I recognize ‘extenuating circumstances’ so that I cannot roundly and unreservedly denounce the killers. On September 6 of this year (2014) I wrote an article entitled Jewish/Zionist Myths in which I referred to a daughter of “Israeli” General Matti Peled who denounced the “Israeli” government when her own daughter was killed in a suicide attack. She said she understood very well what motivated the suicide bombers, and did not blame them. I feel much the same way about this current situation. While I DO in fact partially blame the actual killers, I believe that most of the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the “Israeli” government – and especially that mad fool of a Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu!
I believe that I can understand what probably motivated those young men in their actions. Even though I have never been to Palestine, just from what I read and the videos I see about the viciousness of “God’s chosen people” toward the Palestinians (whether in Gaza, the West Bank, or East Jerusalem) I can feel anger and rage toward the “Israelis” in particular, and Jews in general who support “the Jewish State”. How much more anger, rage, frustration, and hopelessness must those Palestinians who have to try to live in that horrendous situation feel? With it being almost an everyday occurrence to read or hear of Palestinians (young and old) being beaten up, killed, or arrested by “Israeli” military and police; Jews-only streets and settlements; mass murders and genocide occurring every 2 or three years (“Cast Lead” in 2008/2009; “Pillar of Cloud” in 2012; and now “Protective Edge” this year); and “Western” governments – as well as Arab governments like Egypt and Saudi Arabia – nevertheless continuing to spew forth the nonsensical Jewish narrative about “Israel’s right of self-defense”, actually supporting the Jewish murderers; it’s no wonder that some Palestinians would reach the point where they simply can’t endure any more and resort to violent attacks.
In point of fact, even the existence of Har Nof (where the killings occurred) is an offense and ‘open wound’ to Palestinians, since it is built on the ruins of the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin. Palestinians will never forget how the murdering “Zionist” Jews destroyed that town on April 9, 1948 (“a day that will live in infamy”) – in the process raping many of the women, and murdering around 150 of the citizens. But not only is the very existence of Har Nof on top of Deir Yassin a provocation by itself, the existence of Orthodox Jewish Synagogues there is “salt on the wound”. This particular Synagogue is known for its extreme ‘right’ promotion of Arab genocide and the destruction of the Al Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock complex in order to build a ‘third’ Jewish Temple there. Such a Synagogue in such a place makes a very logical choice for a target for Palestinians who have reached a breaking point in their ability to endure “Israeli” atrocities.
And the idiot Netanyahu says he thinks he can stop such acts of violence by even more oppressive acts! However, I expect that Netanyahu is under no illusion that destroying the houses of the families of the attackers – and arresting many members of those families – will somehow manage to quell the violence. He doesn’t want to stop the violence, but rather wants to incite more of the same so he’ll have an ‘excuse’ to resort to more mass murder and attempts to completely annihilate the Palestinians!
Having said that, though, I still place blame on the two cousins for what they did, inasmuch as they have gone to an unjust extreme in expressing their rage, frustration, and hopelessness. If they had attacked armed police or military – or even members of government who authorize the “Israeli” atrocities – it would have been understandable; and I might have joined in with those who proclaim them ‘martyrs’. However attacking unarmed noncombatants, and especially in a religious ‘house of worship’, simply is not acceptable.
True, I can understand the temptation; but that is why such verses as the following are in the ‘Scriptures’ (the Qur’an) which Muslims believe originate with God/Allah (from the Muhammad Asad English version): [7:199] MAKE due allowance for man’s nature, and enjoin the doing of what is right; and leave alone all those who choose to remain ignorant. [7:200] And if it should happen that a prompting from Satan stirs thee up [to blind anger], seek refuge with God: behold, He is all-hearing, all-knowing. [7:201] Verily, they who are conscious of God bethink themselves [of Him] whenever any dark suggestion from Satan touches them – whereupon, lo! they begin to see [things] clearly, [7:202] even though their [godless] brethren would [like to] draw them into error: and then they cannot fail [to do what is right]. [5:2] …And never let your hatred of people who would bar you from the Inviolable House of Worship lead you into the sin of aggression: but rather help one another in furthering virtue and God-consciousness, and do not help one another in furthering evil and enmity; and remain conscious of God: for, behold, God is severe in retribution! … [5:8] O YOU who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in your devotion to God, bearing witness to the truth in all equity; and never let hatred of anyone lead you into the sin of deviating from justice. Be just: this is closest to being God-conscious. And remain conscious of God: verily, God is aware of all that you do.
It is because the temptation to extreme violence is so common and ‘understandable’ that such warning verses are given in ‘Scriptures’. Because the temptation to blind rage is so easy to fall into, wise men and ‘prophets’ warn people about it and offer suggestions as to how to avoid it. Let those who profess to be followers of the ‘Prophet’ Muhammad pay more heed to his teachings (which, as Muslims believe, are in fact not so much Muhammad’s teachings, but those of Allah and his ‘spirit’ Messenger Gabriel).
As a matter of fact, in what is believed to be the very first ‘revelation’ of permission to fight in the Qur’an (22:39-40), the permission is granted in order to protect all houses of worship (synagogues included):  Permission [to fight] is given to those against whom war is being wrongfully waged – and, verily, God has indeed the power to succour them:  those who have been driven from their homelands against all right for no other reason than their saying, “Our Sustainer is God!” For if God had not enabled people to defend themselves against one another, [all] MONASTERIES and CHURCHES and SYNAGOGUES and MOSQUES – in [all of] which God’s name is abundantly extolled – would surely have been destroyed [ere now]. And God will most certainly succour him who succours His cause: for, verily, God is most powerful, almighty.
In sura (chapter) 2 of the Qur’an, it is forbidden to seek to prevent worship in such religious ‘houses’, or to try to ruin them. The only valid reason to enter a ‘house of worship’ is in “the fear of God” (and the two recent attackers were certainly in violation of this verse): (114) Hence, who could be more wicked than those who bar the mention of God’s name from [any of] His houses of worship and strive for their ruin, [although] they have no right to enter them save in fear [of God]? For them, in this world, there is ignominy in store; and for them, in the life to come, awesome suffering. So for the above given reasons, I make a qualified denunciation of the two attackers – while placing most of the blame on the vicious actions of the “Israeli” government, military, and police which incited the attacks.