Israeli Leaders Follow the Footsteps of King Ahab

Menachem Begin and Moshe Dayan (Image credit: Ya'acov Sa'ar/Government Press Office of Israel)

Friday noon in Jerusalem. In Israel, and especially in Jerusalem, this is the time that all eyes and ears are directed to the Holy Temple Mount.

If you visit the Western Wall on Friday you will see dozens of police vehicles and hundreds of police in position. They are waiting for the tens of thousands of Muslim worshipers to the mosque on the mount to begin their way home.

This is the moment. Will they go peacefully or will they be fired up by the words of “peace” they just heard and attack Jews? This is the ultimate moment of their rage and venting.

As I write, there are ongoing Arab riots in “East Jerusalem” and other places in the areas that we gave to Yasser Arafat in the 1993 Oslo Accords. (The Arabs had to try very hard not to bend over laughing in front of the Jews as they received weapons from their hands - and then proceeded to kill hundreds of them in the second Intifada.)

Over the years there have been endless "good" reasons for the Muslims to vent their anger. It could be the repairing of an approach to the Temple Mount. It could be an unpopular calendar date. It could be the refurbishing of a synagogue in the Jewish quarter. It could be the opening of an archeological site. It could be Israel defending herself from Hezbollah or Hamas.

Any of the above and much more is a good reason to attack Jews.

Lately, the rage has been about a statement by a non-Israeli leader stating that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. The rioters are really going nuts. It is about land; every last inch.

And as we all know, the best way to practice a “peaceful religion” is to rage and attack, and what better time than just after hearing a “peaceful” message from the most respected Muslim religious authority in the land?

When Israel liberated the Jordanian occupied parts of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War (the one in which the Arabs hoped to and promised to commit genocide against the Jews), our very humane Defense Minister Moshe Dayan assured the enemy population there was no reason for them to flee: Stay, it will be fine. We are nice guys, you will see. We Jews are kind, humanitarian.

They did not believe it at first. Are the Jews really that stupid? They kept their heads down in the beginning. I remember when a little old Jewish lady could walk anywhere alone at night. Within a short time, Arabs did indeed feel safe enough to increasingly attack Jews. Little old ladies stayed away from the places we liberated, as did just about every other Jew - including the police.

King Ahab Redux

There is no reason to rehash the criminal blunders of our inept, arrogant "leaders." They’re too well-known and painful. But it is interesting to note that this is not a uniquely modern Jewish phenomenon.

Over 2,700 years ago, King Ahab had a problem with his neighbor to the northeast in what is today Syria (I Kings: 20-22). Then, the kingdom of Aram continually attacked its neighbor Israel. Israel paid tribute, gave slaves and riches and lands, but it wasn't enough - it wasn't about land.

In the great battle of anticipated annihilation launched by King Hadad, G-d intervened, and Hadad’s vast army was routed and destroyed. Only King Hadad and a small retinue survived and hid in a cave. With great fear, they anticipated their momentary gory end.

At that moment, one of his advisors told Hadad that the kings of Israel are merciful. Really? Can't hurt trying. Trembling, with hat in hand, the defeated tyrant meekly left his cave to throw himself at the mercy of the victorious Jewish king.

What do you know? The advisor was right. Ahab invited Hadad to join him in his royal chariot and called him, "my brother." They made trade treaties and even shared idolatrous ceremonies. Now that was a smart move for the sake of peace, Moshe mean King Ahab.

Hadad returned home with a hug from Ahab, and because he was so totally impressed with the magnanimous treatment he received, he immediately raised another army to annihilate the Jews. Poor, kind, silly Ahab was killed in battle after Hadad directed his archers to seek out the Jewish king, which they did.

Why does that Bible lesson come to mind each Friday?

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...הָרִימִי בַכֹּחַ קוֹלֵךְ מְבַשֶּׂרֶת יְרוּשָׁלִָם הָרִימִי אַל תִּירָאִי אִמְרִי לְעָרֵי יְהוּדָה הִנֵּה אֱלֹקֵיכֶם! (ישעיה  מ:ט)

...Raise your voice with strength, herald of Jerusalem; raise it, do not be afraid; say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your G-d!"

(Isaiah 40:9)

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© 2017 by The Jerusalem Herald, a division of Yashar Communications