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Uri Orbach Photo: Tomer Barzide
Uri Orbach Photo: Tomer Barzide

Playing with fire

People who torch mosques don’t get implications of their acts

Uri Orbach
Published: 12.14.09, 00:06 / Israel Opinion

It’s insulting to even be asked to “condemn the torching of the mosque at the village of Yasuf.” Of course I condemn it, with no ifs or buts, and even without a comment about the silence that followed the torching of Josef’s Tomb. Aside from this act being despicable and ugly and dangerous and thuggish, it’s also revolting and disgusting.


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The truth is that hurting innocent people is much graver than damaging innocent holy sites, but we are not holding a “what’s graver” competition here. After all, hurting people is already a “regular matter” around here and part of the “rules of the games” – both for us and mostly for the Muslims.


Meanwhile, damaging holy sites shows that you deeply hate your enemy and that despise his faith and emotions, while not at all recognizing your enemy’s right to be different than you.


Hence, attacks on holy sites prompt anger and shame. Because when there is no other choice, you are allowed to become one’s enemy, but you must not act as a lawless rioter.


I really don’t know who torched the mosque, yet to my regret I do know that among us too there are people who are capable of such acts; people who smell fuel in the air and instead of seeking a bucket of water look for a match.


In addition to few such nutcases, there are always a few more who would back them and declare that “the settlement freeze is a graver matter.”


But what does one thing have to do with the other? Will the bad fire end the freeze or deepen it? Don’t the arsonists understand that beyond the despicable act they committed, torching a mosque creates grave danger to them and their friends in Samaria’s wonderful communities, and also to residents of Tel Aviv?


Don’t the arsonists understand, whoever they may be, that Israel’s enemies have enough reasons to hurt Jews and the State of Israel, and there is no need to provide them with more fuel for murderous acts and vengeance, hysterics, and hypocrisy?


No, the people with the match don’t understand it.


Uri Orbach is a Knesset member on behalf of Jewish Home


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