It was a decision that none of us should ever have to face.
Israel had left Gaza and emptied the Synagogues of all religious artefacts but for whatever reasons, chose to not to dismantle and re-situate the buildings inside the Green Line.
What to do next?
Ariel Sharon initially wanted to destroy them, to avoid the inevitable desecration by the Palestinians. A cursory glance at history told him that some Arabs do not respect our places of worship. A case in point was the destruction and desecration of numerous Synagogues in Jerusalem between 1948 and ’67 by the Jordanian Army. They had even taken gravestones from the Mount of Olives and turned them into a walkway.
Destruction seemed to be the only option.
Fortunately, Mr Sharon listened to the arguments put forward by the members of the international Jewish community who stated quite rightly that “if the Jews destroy their own Synagogues (in Gaza), how can they complain when anti-Semites in other countries go about doing the same thing?” In short, destroying Synagogues, regardless of their content goes against every ideal that we hold dear. Think about it. Had the Nazis destroyed only empty synagogues on Kristallnacht, would we have been any less traumatised?
So he took the decision to leave the fate of those twenty one synagogues to the Palestinians. Surprise surprise, when they walked in, they immediately set about desecrating and destroying our former places of worship (and as an aside, I don’t know of a single case where the Israelis ever desecrated a Mosque or Church that they took over – we just don’t do things like that) with a ferociousness that shocked every one of us who saw the pictures.
That some of the Palestinians showed themselves up to be the racist savages that they truly are, on the international stage is really no consolation, nor is the fact that the Palestinian Authority felt the need to raze the Synagogues “to avoid further desecration”.
I believe that the whole messy business could have been avoided had some positive and constructive thinking existed within the minds of the Palestinian leadership.
Yes, to the Palestinians, the Synagogues represented the hateful Jewish occupation. But then again, these monuments had in fact been places of worship. So, why couldn’t someone have put forward the idea of using these extremely well constructed buildings to house new edifices such as Mosques, clinics or schools?
Why not promote the idea that a house of G-d – the very same Deity respected by Judaism, Islam and Christianity – could be used as a tool to build the future Palestinians State?
Why not build instead of destroy?
Why not consecrate instead of desecrate?
I truly believe that the Palestinians actions, in destroying these special buildings will return to haunt them. If they really want to establish a responsible, peaceful and democratic State, the last thing they should be doing is disrespecting the buildings that are deemed as being Holy to another religion.
In short, if you treat G-d with disrespect, don’t be surprised if He takes every dream you have (of conquering that land) and throws it back in your face. The Palestinians who burned and hacked away at our Synagogues will get their just desserts.
In the Bible, Numbers 13:22, the Spies (from ten of the tribes) who scouted out the Land of Israel said “'The land, through which we have passed to spy it out, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof” and I predict, without a doubt, that Gaza will indeed eat up her current inhabitants, only this time, none of them will be amongst my brethren.
Divine Retribution will take place because it always has.