For the past month, three of Israel’s most prominent Rabbis worked around the clock to save the synagogues which used to serve the Jewish communities of the Katif district of Gaza from desecration.
These Rabbis saw initial fruit from their endeavors.
The Israeli government cabinet did reverse itself and withdrew its intent to destroy the synagogues.
The Moslem leadership in Gaza also gave the Rabbis a firm commitment to guard the Katif synagogues from destruction.
The precedent: When the Palestinian Authority was established in Gaza in May, 1994, leading Moslem clerics took it upon themselves to guard the ancient synagogue in Gaza from desecration.
That commitment continues to this day.
So what went wrong?
The Palestinian Authority, spawned by the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization under the auspices of the Arab League, would not hear of any such compromise.
From the PLO point of view, the area would have to be completely “JudenRein” and devoid of Jews and Jewish relics.
When it became clear that the PA would indeed destroy these Jewish places of worship, the Rabbis contacted a prominent Jewish American official to see what he could do to get the American government involved.
The American Jewish official contacted the highest levels of the US State Department, which gave him a clear response: If the government of Israel requests us to protect the synagogues, we will assure the protection of the synagogues.
However, the government of Israel would not intervene to ask that the US facilitate the protection of the synagogues.
At 8 a.m. on the morning of September 12, 2005, one hour after the IDF left Katif, PA foreign minister Nabil Shaath appeared on the official PBC “Voice of Palestine”, and ordered his people to demolish the synagogues left in Katif.
The synagogues in Katif were not destroyed by the Islamists of Gaza.
Indeed, the Jewish holy places of worship were burnt by the PLO, yet with the tacit assent of the government of Israel.