Killings in Jerusalem synagogue hurts cause of peace.
Just as Israel was fading from the crisis stage and all eyes were trained on ISIS as the only real serious threat, militant Palestinians were involved in three separate deadly terrorist attacks in Jerusalem to break the cease fire that had amazingly pretty much held up since the Gaza mess ended.
The most inflaming of these was yesterday’s attack in a synagogue by two armed Palestinians, reportedly with meat cleavers and pistols, that killed four Rabbis, a policeman, and injured eight other worshipers. This was the worst attack in Jerusalem in six years. The response from Israelis of almost all stripes is as you can imagine. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, already under terrific pressure because of incidents at the Western Wall and the always controversial Temple Mount said that there now is a “battle for Jerusalem,” and vowed that “Israel intended to win it.” Netanyahu also called this a “terrible attack at a time of prayer” and condemned the “shouts of joy” from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip after news of the killings were broadcast.
I suppose there are some who think that thus inflaming the Israeli public like this will help in getting a two-state solution more to their liking. But historically, such attacks have been carried out in the name of Palestinian factions opposing Abbas and those who were willing to settle for a separate state living alongside Israel. As of this writing we don’t know which organizations will take “credit” for the massacre. Hamas has vowed to make the whole of the former Palestine (Israel, the West Bank and by implication Jordan) an Islamic state ruled by Sharia law. They are often joined by a number of smaller terrorist groups, both of a more secular bent, and ISIS-like Palestinian Islamics, who all agree on the destruction of the Jewish state.
In reality, these horrifying terrorist acts only serve the far right in Israel, some of whom have unsuccessfully lobbied for taking over the Temple Mount, some even for taking over all of the old city of Jerusalem and, some for expanding beyond current plans for incorporating parts of East Jerusalem into the Jewish state. There are very small, but intensely religious groups, who want all of the biblical lands of Israel. They have been marginalized by all governments of Israel to date, but they support Netanyahu, and even their extremist voices get amplified by tragedies such as this.
The cause of peace, no matter which plan for a two-state solution is put forth, has suffered a serious blow.