When Passover, Easter and Ramadan take place at the same time, security-services officials know to be on high alert. The likelihood of violence is high.
(That had been the case in April 2022, when the three holy feasts overlapped. There were 160 injuries and 400 arrests atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.)
This year in April, dozens of armed Muslim extremists barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount. Israeli forces had to clear them out. There were 50 injuries and 400 arrests.
Rocket attacks from Gaza, Lebanon and Syria ensued. From the south, north and east, dozens of missiles were fired at Israel.
There was more: A terror attack in the Jordan Valley on April 7. A British-Israeli mother, Lucy Dee, 48, and two of her four daughters (Maia, 20, and Rina, 15) were ambushed in their car by Palestinian-Arab terrorists and crashed. The terrorists drove by a second time, firing 20 shots to ensure there were no survivors. It was all witnessed by Rabbi Leo Dee, who was driving in a separate car just ahead of his wife and daughters.
In Tel Aviv the same night, a car-ramming by another Palestinian killed Alessandro Parini, an Italian tourist, and injured five others.
Days earlier, media reports showed the heads of two terrorist organizations, Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas and Hassan Nasrallah of Hizbullah, conferring in Beirut. They sat in front of pictures of Iranian imams Ayatollah Khomeini and his successor, Ali Khameini.
A coincidence? Hardly. Iran has been the puppet master of terror in the Middle East for many years. While engaged in a furious nuclear-arms program, Iran uses regional proxies to wreak terror in Israel. The world turns the other way, telling Israel to reduce tensions, and meekly urging Iran not to pursue nuclear weaponry. Ask an Israeli how he or she thinks that’s working out. That’s not diplomacy; that’s international cowardice.
Meanwhile, Israel’s population has been polarized by internal politics. Democracy isn’t threatened, but the sensationalist, hysterical headlines suggest tyranny is imminent.
The economy has been reeling, too. In the high-tech sector alone, 100,000 jobs have been lost since the pandemic.
What does the future hold?
Have faith and fear not! Recall the Passover story: The Israelites stood at the banks of the Red Sea as the Egyptian army with its horses and chariots was descending on them. The Israelites appeared doomed. But God provided a way through the sea (Ex. 14:22). So it will be again.
Israelis will remain faithful and diligent. I am inspired by the report about Rachel Kafri, a woman from Nahariya in northern Israel (The Jerusalem Post, April 10, 2023). Aged 102, but wanting more time with her five children, 14 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren, she recently had a pacemaker implanted by her cardiologist, Prof. Shaul Atar, at the Galilee Medical Center. She is the oldest-ever recipient of the device, which uses electrical impulses to regulate the heartbeat. This personifies the indomitable spirit of the Jewish people in a nutshell.