Dayenu – Enough Already…writes Michael Kuttner

April 17, 2014 by Michael Kuttner
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One of the amazing characteristics inherent in the Israeli approach to life is the refusal to be cowed by threats, implied or overt, and to live life to the full at every opportunity.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

Thus, during this holiday, as at every holiday break, the roads are jammed with Israeli families on their way to nature reserves, the beach or a myriad of other attractions which are available for the enjoyment of young and old alike. Despite problems which would daunt and defeat other nations and induce waves of depression amongst the population, Israelis know how to celebrate not only happy events but also to “look on the bright side of life.” This time of the year sees an influx of Jewish pilgrims, as in times of old, arriving to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Pesach but also Christians coming to celebrate Easter. At the same time and in a reverse exodus of Biblical proportions, Ben Gurion airport is jammed with Israelis traveling to Turkey and other destinations which seem totally questionable at this particular time. Nevertheless, what ever the logic, religious and secular alike, take this opportunity to enjoy food and family.


For those of us who find eternal meaning in the story and observance of Passover, the words we recite at the Seder meal are as relevant today as they were when they were written. That is why when we listened to the news bulletin in the evening of the first day it came as a shock but no surprise to learn that once again a Jewish family on their way to celebrate with relations and friends, had been shot at and a loving husband and father murdered and his wife and child injured. In yet another manifestation of what we continue to face in every generation, an entire family’s life has been ripped apart.


Predictable as the lovely spring like weather we have been experiencing during the Passover holiday has been the ongoing incitement emanating from Ramallah which in turn produces such acts of violence, mayhem and murder. Concurrent with this has been the predictable mayhem on the Temple Mount, orchestrated and carried out by supporters of those Palestinian Arab officials who profess to be the guardians of religious tolerance and freedom.


Passover is one of the three Pilgrim Festivals and therefore what better time to visit the Temple Mount than at this time? Knowing this, Moslem mobs incited by inflammatory sermons from Mosques and poisoned by statements issued on a daily basis, riot, hurl rocks and physically attack peaceful Jewish pilgrims ascending Judaism’s most sacred place. In 1967, our military and politicians loudly proclaimed that the Temple Mount, after 2,000 years, was in our hands. At the same time we guaranteed freedom of worship for all, something which had not previously existed for Jews and then in an act of magnanimous folly handed over the keys to the Arab religious authorities. Those who believed we would be showered with praise for handing back control of the Mount to those who had previously barred us from entering there, were doomed to be disappointed. Instead all we received has been a steady stream of hate and delegitimisation. Contrary to the claim that the Temple Mount is now accessible to Jews the exact opposite has in fact been the case. As soon as the rocks start flying and Jews are prevented from exercising their right to worship, the police close the area and ban Jews from being there. So here we have the situation after 47 years in which the same incitement and violent behavior once again prevents visits to the Temple Mount.


Instead of dealing with the root cause of the problem, the authorities instead ban Jews. Even worse, instead of making sure that the whole world is aware of what is actually happening, there seems to be a cone of silence smothering any outrage. The same skewed thinking is evident when it comes to terror attacks. First we apprehend the perpetrators, then we give them a fair trial and after they are proven guilty they are jailed. In jail they enjoy good food and are even able to study for a degree. Meanwhile they are hailed as heroes by officials in Gaza and Ramallah. This is what the PA Minister of Religious Affairs stated last Month:


They are not criminals,  

their hands committed no crime, 

they are an authentic element
of the Palestinian movement.

Two days after the ambush of an Israeli family on their way to celebrate Passover, this same Minister said:

We condemn the killing of any person. The principle of killing and violence is completely unacceptable.


Now what should any intelligent person take from this? Those of us who are not seduced by double speak, recognise lies and duplicity without any hesitation. This is not an isolated incident or example. It has been standard fare since the 1920’s at least. However, proving that there are fools born every minute, within 24 hours of this latest terrorist outrage, a delegation of leftist politicians made a Pesach pilgrimage of their own. They did not go to the grieving family nor did they visit the Temple Mount. Instead they trotted off to Ramallah for talks with Abbas in another aborted effort to prove that peace and brotherhood is just around the corner.

To make matters worse, after some time these same terrorists are released as a futile gesture to a fake peace process. If they are lucky they will have schools, summer camps and squares named after them.

In a final insult to our intelligence, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has blamed Israel for the Islamic riots and complained to the United Nations. This, from the same country which barred Jews from praying at the Western Wall and ethnically cleansed them from the entire eastern part of Jerusalem.

The time is long overdue when we should be saying DAYENU – enough of this senseless stupidity. If we do not, we run the risk of making ourselves open to every sort of extortion and outrageous demand by those who believe we are easy targets. Now is the time to finally put an end to a long running farce.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.

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