I am in Israel as I write this, having been in Jerusalem with Partners for Progressive Israel’s symposium a few days this week and having in fact toured the city with Daniel Seidemann (“Coming To Terms With ‘Reality’ Of Jerusalem,” N.Y. Minute, Nov. 14).
Our tour was in fact limited in its scope by the danger of venturing into east Jerusalem where the city’s 300,000 Arabs live in squalor and neglect, and where for the last four months rioting and police confrontations have been a nightly occurrence. The riots have been “incited” not by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as Prime Minister Netanyahu insists, but by irresponsible Israeli citizens, supported by Likud politicians, who have demanded that Jews be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount, which their own rabbinic law and tradition have until now forbidden them to do.
This is needless and foolish provocation in a national climate of new outbursts of Palestinian terror, Israeli police shootings of young Palestinians, the torching of mosques, and fears of a new intifada.
The Jewish Week is to be commended for coming to grips with these unpleasant facts. One can only hope that the Israeli government can do so in turn.