Mohamed Jabir is a former member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organization. He used to decorate his home in Hebron with photographs of Osama bin-Laden, and, at one point, considered becoming a suicide bomber. He had a change of heart, realized the evil of violence against innocents, and became a prominent peace activists. Yehuda Glick is an Israeli member of Knesset with the Likud party. He is an active promoter of the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, and is a survivor of an assassination attempt by Jabir’s former terror group. He is also a firm believer in peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Jews, and when the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha rolled in, Glick traveled to Hebron to pay his friend Jabir a visit.
The two men sat on the couch, enjoyed some fruit and sweet pastries and the company of Jabir’s sweet children. Later that day, Glick posted a few photos of the afternoon on his Facebook account. “Inshallah,” he wrote, “may we all live here in peace. Happy holiday.”
To anyone truly interested in peace, the post should’ve been a cause for celebration: Here are two men, a Jew and a Muslim, putting aside their differences, enjoying each other’s company, and suggesting that there’s hope yet for something like a normal life for Israelis and Palestinians who believe in peace and reconciliation. The Palestinian Authority, however, had other ideas: As soon as the photos were made public, it dispatched its secret police to Jabir’s home and arrested him.
Sadly, Abbas’s goons weren’t the only ones persecuting Jabir for having coffee with a Jew. The Palestinian’s family, too, was quick to denounce him, issuing a statement saying that they no longer considered Jabir their relative and that his actions were “a betrayal of the homeland.”
Glick, on his end, called on the PA to release Jabir immediately. His friend’s arrest, he told Israel Army Radio, “proves that the Palestinian Authority is invested in war, not peace. If they so much as harm a hair on his head, they should be held responsible.”
Liel Leibovitz is editor at large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One. He is the editor of Zionism: The Tablet Guide.