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A Palestinian Terrorist Organization Is Participating in German Parliamentary Elections

Sept. 5 2017

When reports emerged that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)—a leftist organization with a bloodstained history—had teamed up with the Marxist-Leninist party of Germany to field candidates in upcoming elections, some Israeli and German parliamentarians petitioned the interior minister to ban the group. But the official, Thomas de Maizière, has declined to do so. The editors of the Jerusalem Post comment:

[I]f the PFLP and those who support it do not qualify as terrorists deserving of restrictions on their political activity, we don’t know who does. First led by George Habash, the PFLP has gone from airplane hijackings and attacks on air terminals and buses in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s to shootings and suicide bombings in the 2000s. Its most recent large attack took place in a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem, on November 8, 2014. Four worshipers and a policeman were killed with axes, knives, and a gun, and seven were wounded.

Anyone actively affiliated with the PFLP should be outed for going beyond the pale of legitimate political activism and not allowed to run for a seat in the German legislature.

We don’t know what explains the very different reactions on the part of the German government to True Religion [an organization that served as a front for fundraising for jihadist groups], which was banned, and the PFLP, which was not. Could it be that de Maizière and others in the German government view violence directed against Israelis through a different lens from similar threats directed at Germans? We hope not.

Even if de Maizière and others in the German government do not have much sympathy for Israelis and contextualize terrorism directed against them within the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they should know that terrorists tend not to sweat such distinctions. PFLP terrorists have no qualms murdering Germans, or anyone else for that matter, to further their goals. Is this the sort of ideology that should be given legitimacy in the Bundestag?

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Germany, Israeli-German relations, Palestinian terror, PFLP, Politics & Current Affairs

The Movement to Return Jewish Worship to the Temple Mount Has Gone Mainstream

Sept. 25 2017

During the eruption of violence against Israelis in Jerusalem this summer, and the subsequent struggle over metal detectors, the Islamic authorities briefly boycotted the Temple Mount. As a result, Jewish visitors, normally prohibited from praying there, immediately began to do so. Meir Soloveichik puts the episode in context and describes its meaning:

The Temple Mount is fast becoming a pilgrimage site for religious Jews. In the past, most abstained from visiting out of concern that they might enter a sacred area in a state of ritual impurity, but many now believe that, with a knowledge of the layout, history, and religious laws pertaining to the location, it is permissible to visit certain parts of the Temple Mount plaza. They thus visit the site under religious guidance—immersing first in a ritual bath, or mikveh—and tread only in specific areas. What was once a trickle of pilgrims has become a stream, and this year they numbered in the many thousands. . . .

[Indeed, a] sea change has taken place in the past fifteen years: . . . the segment of Jews visiting the Temple Mount is becoming more and more mainstream, supported by rabbis noted for their liberalism in social or religious affairs. . . .

Visiting Jews were, for a brief and brilliant moment [this summer], able to utter several words of prayer without interference. The Israeli media published photos of a diverse group of Jews standing on the Temple Mount reciting the kaddish, so close to where their ancestors, on Yom Kippur, had once stood listening to the high priest pronounce the Name of God. Soon after this kaddish, the [status quo ante] returned; Jews again were no longer free to pray at the site toward which all Jewish prayer has been directed for thousands of years. But images of that one unimpeded kaddish remain; to study them is to look back on the miraculous and heartbreaking past half-century in Jerusalem, to celebrate what has been achieved, and to mourn what might have been.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Judaism, Palestinian terror, Religion & Holidays, Temple Mount