Now Egypt has banned the export of palm fronds, whose ritual use is central to the observance of the Jewish Feast of Sukkoth (Tabernacles). Most American Jews ignore this holiday, one of the three pilgrimage festivals (along with Passover and Shavuot) for which all the men of ancient Israel came to Jerusalem. For observant Jews, though, Sukkoth recreates the liturgy of the Temple and embodies our hope for its restoration. According to press accounts, the Egyptian Agriculture Ministry gave no reason for the ban. Israel is sourcing palm fronds elsewhere.
The reason for Egypt’s ban is obvious: the Islamists who are taking Egypt over by stages hate Judaism–not just the Jewish State, and not just the Jewish people, but the religion itself. By extension, they hate Christianity.
As I explain in my new book How Civilizations Die (and Why Islam Is Dying, Too), Islam asserts the Election of the Arabs in opposition to the Election of Israel. The Jewish religion itself is an affront to Islam, except, of course, when the Arabs can chant, “The Jews are our dogs,” permitting them to practice Judaism under conditions of humiliation and oppression. This silly, petty, pointless act of religious hatred speaks volumes about the character of the new Egyptian regime and the devolution of Egyptian society.