Stan Kreis

Peter Beinart Crosses the Rubicon

The last time I was in Israel, I stayed in a hotel atop the Mount of Olives, quite accidentally. I thought about that as I read a harrowing account in the Jerusalem Post about an attack of 20-30 Palestinians against some Jewish visitors to the Mount of Olives, almost resulting in their deaths.

It was an Arab hotel that reminded me of the one in the movie, “The Shining” (yes, the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park). It was a huge hotel with almost no other guests, absolutely no one around until I found someone behind the main desk. It was very dilapidated and every single plant life around the exterior building was dead or dying, like in a Western. The lone desk clerk was friendly, but some among the few personnel serving breakfast in the nearly empty restaurant stared menacingly at us. Or so it seemed. By that time we had learned that the hotel was built by the Jordanians on top of Jewish graves situated in the Mount of Olives for many hundreds of years when they had control of the eastern half of Jerusalem, which they divided off beginning from the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. They would not let Jews have access to it, nor to the Old City which included the Wailing Wall (Western Wall, or Kotel). Their snipers, I understand, used to fire on Jerusalemites in the Western half of the city. They used the Mount of Olives Cemetary headstones as paving stones for streets. Anyway, we had unknowingly booked rooms in a hotel that desecrated our Jewish ancestors on purpose and without purpose. We were ashamed and left right after breakfast, not having been able to sleep most of the night.

We met friendly and welcoming Arabs and seemingly hostile Arabs on the Mount of Olives, and we felt horribly for the plight of the hotel, situated in Israel, without much business, but we could not abide by the misuse of the Mount of Olives Cemetary.

Any hostility between Arabs and Jews, between Muslims and Jews, is disheartening to me, and fills me with pain. But any idea that Jews are to blame for such a situation is just not allowable either and anyone who says differently is just not knowledgeable about the Palestinian and Arab failings, or not willing to acknowledge such failings. That is bad enough. Does one call their child to task for being the object of hate and scorn and threats of death? No, and we shouldn’t be doing so either. But Peter Beinart does for he calls for an economic boycott of the Settlers. Does this include East Jerusalem? What about Maale Adumim? Does not such a call give Jewish sustenance to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement against all of Israel anyway?

But such a boycott is even worse. For it fails to acknowledge that Israel is under siege, and for that matter so is world Jewry (think of the Jewish children murdered recently in Toulouse, France) and that this siege is orchestrated and funded by Arabs and Muslim radicals who are predominant in these communities and national states. And it fails to acknowledge the anti-Semitism of the hate-mongers on the Left, who in groups such as Media Matters, J-Street and the Occupy Movement, submerge their Leftist values to anti-Semitism too.

The article about the recent Mount Olive attack, accessible below, shows that Jew-hatred, the very essence of the Holocaust, is capable of existing even in Israel because the Jews are either unable or unwilling to fight it. Why? Because it is overwhelming and they are under siege. Yet some among us want to objectively hold back the struggle to fight against Jew-hatred. I do not believe such people anymore when they say they act to oppose Israel in order to save it, to wipe Israel of its sins. I believe they act, wittingly or unwittingly, to oppose Israel for other reasons.

I have heard that a Rabbi in our community retorted, when asked if they supported Israel, that they “support Israel from the Left.” Do you support your children, under siege, from the Left? But maybe this explains this curious sentiment and therefore behavior, the behavior of Jews wanting to support Peter Beinart or to seek to undermine those who want to support Israel.

The fact is, what Israel does, and I believe it tries mightily for peace, it does as a process of self-protection and self-preservation. What the Palestinians do, and the Arabs do, to Israel, is driven by their desire to destroy Israel and kill or subdue Jews. The Muslim Brotherhood has the same goals as Al Qaeda, just a different way of achieving them. The actions of the oppressed are not equal to the actions of the oppressor. Israel and the Jews are the oppressed and the Arabs and the Palestinians are the oppressors. This is true, despite the fact that there exist many peaceable and friendly Arabs and Muslims who oppose their leadership and their brothers against Jew-hatred. Instead, these people need to actively support Jews and Israel against the siege and work against their own leadership. Some indeed do that, showing much bravery, but not enough to rely on.

I am sorry for cutting short my stay at the hotel on the Mount of Olives; there were many good people in the Arab community and I do not want to withdraw my economic support as a tourist, but still, I cannot sleep on the graves of Jews purposely destroyed because of Jew-hatred in the Arab and Muslim world. My boycott of them is not the same as their boycott of Israel; nor is my boycott the same as the boycott Peter Beinart proposes against the Settlers.

href=”″ title=”Protect The Mount of Olives, from a Jerusalem Post Editorial”>

About Stan Kreis

Stan Kreis has degrees in sociology, economics and accounting. Therefore he is wise, literate, financially sound and married to Kathryn Bernheimer (she would never marry anyone without such credentials). Grave marker: "the world was his oyster, unfortunately, he ate it and got stomach cramps."

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