As defenders of Israel, we are constantly emphasizing that Israel promotes unconditional co-existence and would never stand for such an awful establishment like institutional discrimination.
However, what if I said we were wrong and that Israel does, in fact, actively permit prejudice to flourish?
We as educators commit a severe injustice by failing to recognize this. We are so preoccupied with convincing an obstinate side that apartheid against non-Jews doesn’t exist in Israel that we commit the deprecating mistake of overlooking the institutional discrimination carried out by the Arab population toward the Jewish population.
It is imperative to understand that the situation in Jerusalem is preposterously fluid and more fragile than Derrick Rose’s knees. It would be irresponsible to expect the Israeli government to allow Jewish access to the Temple Mount to submit to the expectations that Jews cease from desecrating Islam’s third-holiest site.
As a Jew, this is an excruciating pill to swallow but one we must swallow for the time being. Altering the conditions on the ground so unilaterally would place countless Jewish lives in danger, which is a direct transgression of the Torah’s most important decree of preserving Jewish life at all costs. Therefore, I will abstain from discussing what The Knesset, Israel’s legislature, must do to abolish this tangible discrimination in the eternal capital of Israel, but comment on what we must do as courageous educators to change this disgraceful status quo.
Judaism stresses the philosophy that our bodies are temples and we should refrain from tarnishing it at all costs. It is why we are forbidden from receiving tattoos and even writing phone numbers on our arms. Yet, we live in a time when it is a daily routine for extremist Arabs to fill their holy mosque with explosives and incitements and our temples with cold blades and piercing bullets.
Is this not a direct desecration of our holy beliefs? Are the Islamist tenants of those who wish us dead more treasured than the Jewish tenants of those who cherish life? We’re not talking about practice, Mecca or Riyadh, but Jerusalem.
We are in the midst of a heartbreaking wave of terror that is plaguing all citizens of Israel. This current wave of terror shall subside, but nevertheless we cannot return to the norm perpetrated by Arab leaders.
Why have the overwhelming majority of those with a shred of interest in the Palestinian narrative never seen one of the countless videos of Jewish security details carrying Jews off the Temple Mount for daring to pray?
Being forbidden from drinking from a water fountain because I am a Jew is the precise definition of racism. This cancerous atmosphere has become accepted by nations and individuals who claim to be champions of democracy and equality. We can no longer yield to this current state of affairs where this racism is accepted, because we don’t want to offend the Muslims of the Levant.
Are we not offended? How is the Palestinian movement so potent when such blatant racism is displayed daily? By all means, let’s work something out and share the Temple Mount instead of accepting such vile racism.
We are subconsciously and unintentionally yielding to this unbelievable view that there is nothing we can do but accept this racist reality. We can no longer overlook the bigotry that is thriving in the very same nation we defend.
This piece was originally published in Central Florida Future and was written by University of Central Florida CAMERA Fellow and President of UCF’s Emet for Israel supported group, Knights for Israel, Ben Suster.