Friday, September 16, 2005

Mosques and Synagogues II

I've unsuccesfully tried to argue that leaving the synagouges in Gaza constitutued a michshol, or a snare. Though the Palestenians who built the fires that consumed those shuls are certainly criminals, Jewish law enjoins us not to put snares in front of others. In my view, the synagouges were snares. And though this does not excuse the behavior of the Palestenians, some responsibility belongs to those who voted to leave the shuls intact.

I say I was unsuccesful with this argument, not because it's flawed but because I was speaking theoretically. Unfortunately, I've discovered that what I thought was theoretical actually entered the deliberations on the fate of the synagouges. It turns out that there were those on the Israeli right who wanted to leave the synagouges behind for the express purpose of embaressing the Palestenians. In other words, they knew the shuls were a michshol, and they wanted to use them as a michshol.

Here for example is Rabbi Yigal Kaminetzky, the rabbi of Gush Katif, in his petition to the High Court: "Even if there is a concern that Arab rioters would harm the synagogues, it is better that they do it and show their shame to the world, rather than it being done by the government of Israel, which would be remembered for the disgrace forever."

The raw cynicism is hard to miss.