Har HaBayït has once again been in the news, this time because a democratically-elected representative of the Israeli people, MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, had the affront to spend thirteen minutes creeping along the edge of the holiest site in Judaism, located in the heart of the ancient capital of the world’s only Jewish state, in other words, the holiest site in Israel. Well do we recall the thousands of Jews, both in Israel and, especially, in the United States, who had warned and feared that such an outrage might bring World War III down on our heads, from the moment the Israeli people’s choice of “right-wing extremist” Itamar Ben-Gvir became known. Of course Muslims lost it, what else. And of course, Christian and secular dhimmis howl righteous indignation at anyone who upsets Muslims. That’s their support role in jihad.
The U.S. State Department described Itamar Ben-Gvir as, “an ultranationalist whose inclusion in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s new government has troubled the Biden administration.” The Biden Administration, apparently, wasn’t troubled by Ebrahim Raisi becoming the head of the Iranian government. Spokesman Ned Price said that Ben-Gvir’s walk along the edge of Har HaBayït, “has the potential to exacerbate tensions and to provoke violence,” unlike, of course, the State Department’s lifting of the Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) designation from the Houthis (Price insists on according them due respect by using their official name, Ansar-Allah, Helpers of God), who duely responded by immediately escalating its orgy of violence. Thus the State Department’s track record in grasping cause and effect.
But why was Ben-Gvir’s visit to the holiest site in his religion so deeply unsettling to so many who share his reverence for Har HaBayït? I do not know the answer to this question, but some of the things rabbis say to their congregations might throw some light on it. After Itamar Ben-Gvir spoke at a commemoration ceremony for the late Rabbi Meir Kahane in Jerusalem on 10 November 2022, the same Ned “Houthis-are-not-terrorists” Price declared, “celebrating the legacy of a terrorist organisation is abhorrent.” In response to this, the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) criticised Price’s comments on Ben-Gvir attending a commemoration ceremony thirty-two years after Rabbi Kahane’s assassination. CJV Rabbinic Circle Chairperson, Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, responded, “Attending a memorial for a murder victim is hardly ‘celebrating’ terror, especially as Ben-Gvir carefully said that he did not agree with the deceased’s positions.” CJV Israel Regional Vice President Rabbi Steven Pruzansky pointed out:
The bottom line is that Rabbi Kahane never murdered anyone, while the Palestinian Authority, a union of terror organizations, instigates and lauds murders on a daily basis, following the model of its founder, Yasser Arafat, who was a State Department favorite beginning in the 1990’s. The State Department is funding the P.A.’s ongoing support for terror while rushing to wrongly condemn Ben-Gvir for attending a memorial service for someone who died over three decades ago. This reflects both an egregious violation of American law and a blatant double standard, at odds with the State Department’s proclamations of neutral and fair treatment. We can and should expect better from the U.S. Government and its officials.
Rabbi Pinchas Taylor
Clearly, not all rabbis capitulate to terrorism, Israel-bashing, or Islam. Yet, not to be ignored are the disturbing capitulatory preachings and attitudes of some influential rabbis. American rabbi, Pinchas Taylor, for instance, undertook to enlighten his congregation on Islam. Here are some of the highlights:
Is there any insight into God's plan for the world in this religion’s [Islam] development?
Along the way, his congregation hears many dubious claims and blatant obfuscations. Rabbi Taylor tells his congregation that Muslims believe:
Everyone should convert to Islam in order to enjoy Paradise, where he is rewarded with delicious food, drinks and, er, other frills. However, those who refuse to convert to Islam will be doomed to burn in an everlasting fire.
Well, not quite. If the rabbi were honest with his congregation, he would instead have told them:
"Everyone must convert to Islam in order to please Allah. He who pleases Allah by killing and being killed in the cause of Allah, i.e., jihad, immediately upon death gets to enjoy Paradise, where he is rewarded with delicious food, drinks, seventy-two virgins and a permanent erection. However, those who refuse to convert to Islam will be killed, unless they are Jews or Christians, in which case their lives will be spared, so long as they live as broken people under constant oppression and humiliation. Either way, they will be doomed to burn in an everlasting fire."
This way, his congregation might actually come to know something real about Islam, and not be taken by surprise every time “an Arab” kills a Jew, for they will have worked out that each time that happens, the Arab in question is a Muslim. They might then notice that, unlike their Muslim neighbours, Druze Arabs and Christian Arabs don’t seem at all keen on Jew-killing. They might even be equipped enough to recognise when a Muslim is telling them what they want to hear. Specifically on the question of jihad, Rabbi Taylor says (it is worth showing his nervousness here):
15-20% of uh the Muslim population in the world are Shi’a Muslims, who add three more principles to their faith, one of which is jihad. Now we're not going to we're not going to discuss this as a as a main topic just just to mention sort of peripherally that jihad, even the way that it's depicted today on the news and and by certain groups, is not even that, is not the the uh primary way that jihad has been assessed and done in in the in the mind of of Muslims for for the past centuries. There are officially laws and and practices that go into making an official jihad. It's not just, Oh, we don't like these people. Let's start uh randomly killing people. Even in those who even in those Muslims who believe in jihad, and and uh there are certain uh parameters, officially as part of their faith, that are meant to be um locked into place before jihad can be done. So, not to justify any of it, but just but but perhaps some of the things that we see on the news is is is a is a fringe element, unfortunately, that has uh really um given a bad name to the entire Islamic faith.
Rabbi Taylor undertakes “just to mention [jihad] sort of peripherally,” suggesting that there is too much material to cover, and jihad is not that important anyway. He will do them the favour of keeping it short. They do not realise that he also intends to skimp on the truth. The deceit starts with limiting jihad to the Shi’a 15-20% of Muslims. It true that jihad is obligatory on the Shi’a, but it is obligatory on all Muslims. The distinction lies in jihad being a communal obligation, rather than a personal one. Not every Muslims has to do it, but some in every Muslims community have to do it. If no-one in a community “gives a son” to die in the cause of Allah, then the wrath of Allah will descend upon the entire community.
Knowing this, Rabbi Taylor's congregation might begin to put together how come it always turns out that a young person who has blown himself (or herself) up to kill infidels, especially Jews, and more especially in Jerusalem, was known to everyone in their mosque. It is pretty damn obvious from changes in someone’s demeanour and behaviour that they are getting ready to die for Allah, i.e., slay and be slain in the cause of Allah. Why would anyone stop them, let alone report them to the police, if they themselves are spared the wrath of Allah by his sacrifice? If anything, they will encourage them and help them in any way they can. Helping someone go on jihad is also jihad, fun for all the family.
Zakat (alms-giving), Rabbi Taylor said earlier, is a personal obligation on every Muslim. What he failed to mention is that a minimum of 12.5% of zakat allocation must go towards jihad. Had he said it, his congregation might then have begun to put together that every single mosque is a terrorist recruiting and funding operation, and realise that the Israeli dream of “co-existence” and “mixed cities” are simply asking for it.
The rabbi says, “Even the way that it [jihad] is depicted today on the news and by certain groups, is not even that, is not the primary way that jihad has been assessed and done in the mind of Muslims for the past centuries.” Again, this is true, but it is highly misleading. Let us start from the back, “done in the mind of Muslims” implies that jihad is an internal struggle. Yes, there is that, but it is hardly relevant when the other aspect of jihad can cause members of his congregation to get blown to bits on a bus, or run over by a car or truck on a pedestrian street, or knifed to death in a supermarket aisle. The record of jihad “for the past centuries” is well attested. The worldwide jihad bloodlust we see today is exactly “the primary way that jihad has been assessed and done.” The rabbi does not spell out, “the way that it [jihad] is depicted today on the news and by certain groups,” allowing his congregation to imagine whatever they would feel comfortable imagining. Why wouldn’t they just leave it at that?
From this point in, the sermon gets downright creepy. “There are officially laws and and practices that go into making an official jihad. It's not just, Oh, we don't like these people. Let's start randomly killing people. Even in those Muslims who believe in jihad, and there are certain parameters, officially, as part of their faith, that are meant to be locked into place before jihad can be done.” So, if jihad is not as, “depicted today on the news and by certain groups,” then what is this jihad that “can be done”? The rabbi doesn’t say, but in any case, “certain parameters are meant to be locked into place,” before you can do it, without a hint of what these parameters might be.
The rabbi might have mentioned, since he clearly knows, that jihad is not to be done unless you are certain that jihad will succeed. Succeed at what, his congregation might then ask. Why, succeed at killing and being killed in the cause of Allah, what else. “Even for those Muslims who believe in jihad,” implies that there are Muslims who do not believe in jihad. There are no such Muslims, for the moment they cease to believe in jihad, they cease to be Muslims. But the rabbi has seen another opportunity to understate the threat of jihad and seized it.
Jihad is not just random killing, says Rabbi Taylor, correcting how he thinks jihad is depicted today on the news and by certain groups. “It's not just, Oh, we don't like these people. Let's start randomly killing people.” There is nothing random about jihad killings, even the ones he’s telling his congregation are random. Those murdered in jihad are either kufaar (infidels, non-Muslims), or Muslims who are not Muslim enough for the killers.
When the jihad killers are uncertain about the religion of their prospective victims, they have been known to actually check first, and spared those who could convince them that they are Muslim. Otherwise, such as in the case of detonating a suicide vest in a crowded mosque, the killer will have considered the Muslim congregation heretics and deserving of death. When it comes to ploughing a vehicle into a crowd, the reasoning is that their victims are all Australians or Americans or French, etc., and they all have “Muslim blood” on their hands, so must all die. If a Muslim happens to be amongst the infidels murdered, then he will go to Heaven as a “martyr” along with the killers anyway, subhanallah!
In short, jihad killing is far from random. It is coldly calculated according to Shari’a stipulations, or, as Rabbi Taylor ambiguously informs his congregation, “There are officially laws and practices that go into making an official jihad.” When Hamas fires rockets into apartment buildings in Israel, or a terrorist blows up a packed pizzeria on a Saturday evening, or any of the other innumerable murderous ways in which Muslims are permitted to put their creativity to use, these are all in accordance with “officially laws and and practices” for conducting jihad. The rabbi is saying that compliance with official laws makes jihad alright. Such jihad is not lawless; it is not random. The same argument could be made in respect of ISIS sex-slavery. It's not just, Oh, we want those women. Let's start randomly capturing and raping them. They did it strictly in observance of, “official laws and and practices that go into,” capturing, raping and trading in sex slaves. There was nothing either lawless or random about it.
Many in the West, including highly-educated people, purvey the notion of jihad as not just harmless, but actually a virtue. “My jihad is picking my kids up from school. What’s your jihad?” Rabbi Taylor, I’m afraid, is part of the problem here. Rabbi Pinchas Taylor deliberately constructs a wall of vague generalisations and misleading obfuscations behind which to hide the horrors of Islam, thereby offering Islam a place from which to ambush his sedated congregation. In Part 2, a British rabbi shows what happens when an audience member is not impressed with the rabbi protecting Islam.
[Part 2: Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks]
- State Department Ned Price Press Conference Transcript February 16  https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/state-department-ned-price-press-conference-transcript-february-16 It gets worse. Here is Ned Price affirming the undeniable power of diplomacy to force Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons programme, his immediate debunking of his own theory, and then immediately reaffirming his just-debunked theory:
“We believe that diplomacy presents the most viable, durable, sustainable means by which to permanently and verifiably prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. That has always been our focus. Now, it has not always been the focus of the Iranians, and, in fact, they have repeatedly turned their backs on a diplomatic deal in the form of what was on the table, that was, a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA. They did that most recently in September. It hasn’t been on the agenda ever since. We continue to believe that diplomacy presents the most attractive option…” (TV7 Israel News, YouTube, 11 Jan 2023 https://youtu.be/BSOPatdC1_w?t=318)
The Houthis chant, “Death to America! Death to Israel! Curse upon the Jews! Victory to Islam! Allah Akbar!” in their mosques. Lifting their FTO designation is Ned's masterstroke that will make "return to JCPOA compliance" irresistible to Iran.
- "Rabbis call out State Department for double standard on Ben-Gvir and Palestinian terrorism," https://www.jns.org/rabbis-call-out-state-department-for-double-standard-on-ben-gvir-and-palestinian-terrorism/
- “A Jewish Look at Islam,” Rabbi Pinchas Taylor, YouTube, 15 Dec 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQ_f-QMs7qs
- M. A. Khan, Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery, Felibri.com; Robert Spencer, The History of Jihad from Muhammad to ISIS, Bombardier Books, 2018; and Raymond Ibrahim, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, Hachette Go; Reprint edition, 2020.
- When the Pakistan army rampaged through East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), the "scholars" pointedly declared Bangladeshi Muslims heretic specifically so the Pakistani soldiers could rape the women, and rape them they did, on a spectacular scale, all in accordance with, "officially laws and practices that go into making an official jihad."