One of the fascinating aspects of the Palestine-Israel conflict is the fervour sustained by the two sides, regardless of their location.
It is a global phenomenon: from South America to Norway via the Antipodes and Africa, Palestinian and Jewish communities hold fast to their respective national histories, culture and rights.
Yet somehow, the recent condemnation issued by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America to the PA following its avowal to stop the “Judaization of Jerusalem” rankles.
The vehemence with which the spokesperson stands against the actions of Palestinians in Jerusalem gives the impression that Jews are unable to visit the holy city, though in reality it is much easier for a Jewish American to enter the country than say, a Palestinian American.
While one would be welcomed with a fanfare stopping just short of bugles, the other would be subjected to a lengthy, tedious exercise in passport scrutinization, questioning and harsh glares – this often being on a good day.
All to enter a country that is rightly theirs; but not, according to the director of public policy at the The Orthodox Union, Nathan Diament:
The Palestinians, determined to deny Jewish history and our connection to our eternal capital of Jerusalem, plotted violence as evidenced by stores of rocks and other materials discovered by the Israeli police.
Jerusalem has been at the center of Jewish life and faith for thousands of years. Just days ago, at the close of Yom Kippur, Jews around the world declared, as we have for thousands of years, the hope and prayer ‘Next Year in Jerusalem.
A majority of Jews, in the U.S. and Israel, continue to oppose relinquishing Jewish sovereignty over our eternal capital.
The enemies of our people recognize this, and seek to deny our history. In the face of all this we reaffirm that ‘for the sake of Zion we will not be silent’ and we will not allow history to be denied. [Source]
Note: the Palestinians seek to deny Jewish history with “stores of rocks” – it could almost make you weep when read in comparison to the brutality eked out by IDF soldiers and settlers armed with rifles, axes, tanks and bulldozers.
Most significant is the rhetoric: replace “Jewish” with “Palestinian,” “Palestinians” with “Israelis,” and “Zion” with “our faith” and the tirade could just as easily have emanated from a Palestinian speaker.
And therein lies the rub: the two sides are so close, bound intractably over the same soil, the same heritage and the same land that it is both impossible and wishfully feasible for a solution to be found.