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Hamas targeted Mamilla Mall because it symbolizes co-existence

Hamas targeted Mamilla Mall because it symbolizes co-existence

While in Jerusalem I stayed at the Mamilla Hotel, just above the open-air Mamilla Mall, near the Jaffa Gate to the Old City.

What struck me about it was how Arabs and Jews intermingled freely — it was a very mixed crowd and a seeming respite from my near miss with stone throwing in East Jerusalem.

Here’s a photo I took my first night in Jerusalem in late July:

Mamilla Mall

(Mamilla Mall, Jerusalem)

It’s also where I met Carl in Jerusalem for drinks.

Back in 2011, when flash mobs were the rage, this dance took place (h/t Quite Normal):

But the coexistence was an illusion.

On September 1 Israeli authorities revealed the arrest of two East Jerusalem Arabs who were part of a Hamas cell in a plot to explode a bomb at the Mamilla Mall, where they worked, via Times of Israel:

Two men, aged 22 and 25, have confessed to planning a terror attack in Jerusalem at the Mamilla Mall, near the Old City, police sources revealed on Sunday [September 1].

The men, who worked as cleaning staff at the mall, planned to use their access to plant a bomb in a trash can at the popular shopping center during the imminent Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) holiday season.

The men are residents of Shuafat and Ras al-Amoud, two East Jerusalem neighborhoods, and therefore have blue Israeli identity cards, allowing them access to Jerusalem without going through the security check that most West Bank Palestinians must undergo.

They were apprehended several weeks ago in a combined operation of the Israel Police, Border Police, IDF and the Shin Bet security agency.

The suspects were reportedly recruited by a Hamas cell operating out of Ramallah. In the course of the operation, the IDF uncovered the Ramallah cell’s bomb-making facility.

Even though Hamas did not succeed in killing civilians, it succeeded in tearing down once again the notion of peaceful coexistence, via JPost:

As dozens of armed soldiers conspicuously patrolled the normally tranquil  upscale Mamilla Mall Sunday, merchants working in the area responded with shock  and disappointment upon learning that two Arab workers planned a terrorist  attack for Rosh Hashana.

“I’ve lived and worked in Jerusalem all my life,  so I grew up in this reality,” said Asaf Shevach, owner of Shevach Judaica Art  Silversmiths. “But this is the first time in Mamilla that something like this  happened, and to hear it was planned by Arabs who worked here was very  upsetting, because they are getting a salary and are citizens of  Jerusalem.”  …

Tal Amit, a  saleswoman at Brands, echoed [the] disappointment that Arabs planned the  attack on the normally tolerant mall.

“I’m already used to this in  Israel, but Mamilla is meant to have Arabs and Jews together to work, shop and  be comfortable, so it’s a little scary that this was planned here,” said Amit.  “You usually don’t see security, but today they’re everywhere.”

Amit  added that she believes the arrests prove that the notion that Arabs and Jews  can work together peacefully is naïve.

“We all want Arabs and Jews to be  able to work together, but it’s not going to happen; because the Arabs may want  to be here, but they don’t feel like they can be together with us – even in  Mamilla.”

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Comments

I’m very disappointed by Amit’s comments in the article itself. Hamas has apparently succeeded in spite of the plot being broken up. It’s very sad that people must be suspicious of even their neighbors now.

Peace cannot be one-sided though, that’s very evident.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Paul. | September 8, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    If my neighbor where I live is a Muslim, I’m going to feed him with a long spoon. Constant vigilance means you stay alive.

      Remember though, vigilance = TRUST and VERIFY, not DISTRUST and ACCUSE.

        Juba Doobai! in reply to Paul. | September 8, 2013 at 5:11 pm

        You ever heard of the Koran? It tells Muslims do not make friends of non-Muslims. I trust that as good Muslims they believe and act on what it says. You ever heard of taqqiyah? The Koran tells Muslims that lying to non-Muslims to advance the interest of Islam is fine (it’s in the interest of Islam to kill those who will not convert or submit themselves to Muslim dominance). Therefore, I profoundly distrust though I will not accuse because no Muslims are counted amongst my friends because trust is at the core of friendship.

        IMO, trust but verify is for those with whom we share a common background, aka Jews and Christians. There was once a Jewish boy who thought the Muslim with whom he’d grown up was his friend. The Jewish boy was disillusioned by getting his throat cut.

        You can hold on to trust but verify wrt Muslims. I’ll attend your funeral.

          Actually, the Talmud has a version of that, “honor him and suspect him”. As someone who lives up here in Northern Israel where there is no “green line”, that’s what I follow. Historically, the Christians were even worse, and although some Christian groups (such as the Catholics) have done at least a partial retraction, for which I give them credit, by no means is it universal.

          I find that this is the best policy. Indeed, my Muslim or Christian neighbor, whether here in Israel or anywhere else in the world (including the world’s least anti-Semitic country, the US) may indeed, when the chips are down, turn against me. In the meantime I will treat him as a friend (although remembering to watch my back).

        sablegsd in reply to Paul. | September 8, 2013 at 5:44 pm

        Really? The koranimals have made it clear for centuries what their plan is. Read the unholy book of evil, as planted by satan. It’s free, on the internet. Watch what they do. That is who they are. Inbred, brain dead, violent, misogynstic, pedophiliac, beast humping, necrophiliac CANNIBALS. There will NEVER be peace, for anyone, unless they are exterminated. They are sub human demon spawn of satan.

Kat Von Clawswits | September 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm

When the stated goal of Palestinian leadership is elimination of Jewish presence from Jerusalem rather than peaceful coexistence in the holy city, why is the U.S. so naive as to believe that peaceful cohabitation is something that can be brokered? The hatred of Arab for Jew has been nurtured by the PLO and Hamas for decades. The strategy of ‘divide and conquer’ is effectively employed by agitators everywhere who seek power, not solutions. See Barack Obama.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Kat Von Clawswits. | September 8, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    The Koran teaches the hatred, look, said the tree, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him. Hamas and the PLO believe what their “holy” book says, is all.

It’s amazing, the naïveté of Israelis.

The two would be bombers are not citizens of Jerusalem. They are members of the Ummah, the dar ul Islam. There is no coexistence with Muslims; the Koran forbids it: da’awa, jizya, or death for those who refuse to enter the dar ul Islam.

Insufficiently Sensitive | September 8, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Targeting the mixed neighborhoods was the Serbian tactic during the 1990 JNA war on Croatia. Example: Vukovar.

The Talmud states, “if someone comes to kill you, you are to kill them.”

That would seem to me to be the solution for ridding Israel of arab terror: kill the arabs in Israel and West Bank. No more terror. Problem solved.

After all, one would not invite poisonous vipers to slither freely in one’s home and not expect to be bitten or killed.
And no expects to be able to civilize or humanize vipers. Arabs are what they are: inherent murderers, thieves and liars without a culture of compassion or morality, and obsessed with sex and false senses of honor.

There are always rare exceptions, but would I want to subject my kith and kin to the possibility that some Arabs are honest, moral and honorable? No.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to mackykam. | September 8, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Man! I thought I was a stone cold, clear eyed realist. You win!

    “Arabs are what they are: inherent murderers, thieves and liars without a culture of compassion or morality, and obsessed with sex and false senses of honor.”

    Yet this is exactly what the Arabs claim the Jews are. So which is it? Are both true or both false?

    If you would look in a mirror, or into a window frame looking at “The enemy” you might just try to find a human being? I know that centuries of distrust and prejudice have pretty much wiped away any semblance of peace, but let’s not call one side or the other “poisonous vipers”. Peace requires two sides to work, yet you don’t win peace by constantly antagonizing the other side, and that’s true for the Islamists as well. If nobody steps forward to be the mature side, guess what happens? NOTHING.

there is no coexistence with the insane death cult named Islam. Muslims need to be expelled from civilized societies.

Before the 1967 Six Day War, there were no West Bank settlements, and no Jews in East Jerusalem. Yet Israel was plagued by terror attacks on civilians. There was no talk of an “illegal” occupation of the West Bank even though Jordan simply annexed it. Here we are 46 years later and nothing is really settled. The whole idea of a two-state solution and peaceful co-existence is and will always be an illusion. The only solution for the Arabs is a Judenfrei Middle East. That’s what they want, and what they have always wanted. So what is to be done? The most feasible solution is to simply continue the status quo indefinitely. There is nothing the Arabs can do about it, and Israel can live with it. The rare terror attack will simply be one of life’s risk like automobile accidents. The non-feasible and optimal solution is transference. Send all the Arabs in the West Bank and Israel to Jordon to join their brothers. Not so unthinkable. After WWII the Allies expelled 16 million ethnic Germans from all over Central Europe, and they weren’t humane about it. Somewhere between a half million and two million died from the brutal conditions that accompanied the transference, mostly women and children. Yes the Allies did just what the Nazis did, seal people into railway boxcars and ship them off. The Allies did exactly what they put people on trial for at Nuremberg. So if the US and the EU condemn Israel for transference, we will have pot calling the kettle black.

    I don’t see why we can’t differentiate between the Arabs in Israel, who, unlike the would-be bombers, are citizens, and the Arabs of the territories. BTW, this is Israeli policy; a party advocating expelling the former is banned from the Knesset.

    I also which my fellow Israelis weren’t so insanely European so as to be unable to stomach the death penalty. Heck, we have so little self-respect that we just decided to follow the EU regarding standard time.

Vitriol runs deep here in the comments thus far against Paul who claims that Jews are as much to blame as Arabs for the failure of peaceful coexistence.

Though some of their comments are brutally harsh reflecting their rage against the evil preached in the Koran I can only say……Bravo!

    Paul in reply to Joy. | September 9, 2013 at 1:20 am

    First off, I never said the Jews are “As much to blame” as the Arabs for the failure of Peaceful co-existence. I said, This is the CLAIM that the Arabs make against the Jews. I am not playing devil’s advocate, I’m simply telling everyone here that all of your ad hominums are not contributing to peaceful coexistence.

    By calling me “Too stupid to live” and Arabs “Poisonous Vipers” and Arabs calling Jews “Subhuman” You continue this insane cycle of conflict. Whatever. You all wish to go lock yourselves in a room and fight it out, be my guest, but don’t expect real Americans to support insanity, on either side.

    Lastly, I’m WELL AWARE OF TAQIYA, and I know that everyone is a liar in their own interest. It’s biblical after all, “THERE ARE NONE THAT ARE GOOD. NO, NOT ONE.”

    “Psalm 14

    For the director of music. Of David.

    1 The fool[a] says in his heart,
    “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
    there is no one who does good.
    2 The Lord looks down from heaven
    on all mankind
    to see if there are any who understand,
    any who seek God.
    3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
    there is no one who does good,
    not even one.
    4 Do all these evildoers know nothing?
    They devour my people as though eating bread;
    they never call on the Lord.
    5 But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
    for God is present in the company of the righteous.
    6 You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,
    but the Lord is their refuge.
    7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
    When the Lord restores his people,
    let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!” (NIV)

    So, if everyone is equally evil in the eyes of the lord, maybe we ought to all repent, and figure out how to make peace work?

    Ya, just slay me like Baruch’s son between the porch and the altar for pointing out the obvious, that’ll solve the ongoing conflict for sure. /sarc

      mzk in reply to Paul. | September 10, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      Y’know, I actually was agreeing with you, until you explained to me, that to accept your point –

      1. I must agree with your idiotic exposition of my (not your) Bible?

      2. I have no idea who Baruch’s son is, but your use of it sounds vaguely anti-Semitic.

      The head of the Palestinians, Yasser Arafat, ordered the murder of two American diplomats. His allies are busy murdering Christians. Yet you start throwing this stuff at me.

“What struck me about it was how Arabs and Jews intermingled freely ”
Yeah and I bet had the numbers been favorable to the Arabs there they would have attacked you.

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