To say that the situation is outrageous would be to minimize it. And so I will not say it.
The game being played by the PA and its supporters, as well as by Jordan, is simple: Muslim violence has been fomented on the Temple Mount, and then when Israeli security acts appropriately to put down that violence, fingers are pointed at Israel as being the “cause” of the problem.”
Beyond manipulation of the situation, and distortions, there are the accusations that have no basis in fact whatsoever.
All of this is possible because Muslims have no religious injunction to adhere to truth in all situations. Built into Islam is a principle of lying, if it is to non-Muslims (infidels) and if it advances the honor or the cause of Islam. This propensity – lying for the sake of Allah – is known as taqiyya. Within Islam, it is considered acceptable under certain circumstances to bear false witness, and certainly to misrepresent to the media. What is more, a common tactic, when under scrutiny or when faced with accusations, is to reverse the situation and claim victimhood.
The problem is that Westerners unfamiliar with the way in which Islam operates, are oblivious to what is going on.
A sample of what is taking place:
- Official Fatah spokesman in Jerusalem Rafat Alayan said on PA TV that
“Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli extreme right are acting to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque, not only to divide it by times and areas… They want to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and build the alleged Temple on the ruins of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
- Mahmoud Abbas of the PA claimed that over Rosh Hashana the hours during which Jews were permitted to be on the Mount had been extended and this was the first step in taking over. I checked on this with Rabbi Yehuda Glick, head of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation. His response was succinct:
“No way!” It never happens that we get “extra hours,”
The fact is that during the Muslim holiday of Eid el-Adha, which overlapped Yom Kippur, Jews were prevented from going up.
- On Tuesday, after a meeting with President Hollande in France, Abbas warned Netanyahu to “stop the chaos.” He described the situation as “a very dangerous one that is liable to lead to an eruption of an intifada, which we are not interested in.”
So, if there is an intifada (some say it’s already in process, and I would not necessarily disagree), it will be Israel’s fault, not the fault of the Arab “victims.” Right? Hollande seemed to buy this.
- Yesterday, in Moscow for the dedication of a new mosque, Abbas spoke about “institutionalized aggression against Al-Aksa” and called on the international community to protect the holy Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem and to ensure freedom of worship as it had been until June 1967, especially with regard to prayer at the Al-Aksa Mosque. (Emphasis added)
Please note this carefully. He is referring to the time period when the Temple Mount was in exclusively Jordanian hands (albeit illegally) and not a single Jew had access. This is what they are aiming for. Real “freedom of worship.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s responded that bringing pipe bombs and explosives into the Al-Aksa Mosque is the true change in the status quo and one that will not be tolerated by Israel (emphasis added):
”We have no plans to change them, but we also have no intention of allowing anyone to cause the deterioration of the arrangements on the Temple Mount by resorting to explosive and widespread violence.
“We are not altering the status quo. Those who incite with baseless, wild provocations – as if Israel is trying to prevent Muslim prayer on the Temple Mount or wants to destroy the mosques, or other wild things that are being said – they are the ones who are inciting. This incitement comes from the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Movement in Israel, Hamas, and – to our chagrin – also with the active participation of the Palestinian Authority.”
Those worried about the situation in Jerusalem, he said, would
“do best to direct their criticism, not towards Jerusalem, but rather towards Ramallah, Gaza and agitators in the Galilee, and unfortunately, towards Turkey, from where incitement issues forth on a daily, even hourly, basis, not only to throw firebombs, but also something new – bringing explosives and pipe bombs onto the Temple Mount.”
At the beginning of the week, five members of the Knesset’s Joint Arab List went to visit King Abdullah in Jordan. These are some of the Israeli parliamentarians who are better equipped in their inclinations to be PA parliamentarians. The delegation was headed by Ahmed Tibi, former advisor to Arafat.
At any rate, Abdullah told them that the Mount is for Muslim prayer only.
”’King Abdullah’s words were sharp and determined, and they showed his anger about what is occurring at al-Aksa and in Jerusalem,’ Tibi said, adding that the king told the delegation he would take measures if the situation continued.
”According to the MKs, Abdullah wondered why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would pursue actions that could cause an explosive situation. The king also indicated that he was following events on the Temple Mount closely and it would be an important subject in meetings with world leaders at the UN next week.” (Emphasis added here and above)
Abdullah is a piece of work, craven and manipulative. Note here, as above, how he puts responsibility for the violence on Netanyahu. Classic taqiyya. As to “taking measures,” he referred in several public contexts to the relationship between Jordan and Israel, implying that the peace treaty might be at risk.
“Any more provocation in Jerusalem will affect the relationship between Jordan and Israel.” “Provocation.”
The Israeli government was not intimidated by these veiled threats, however, and was instead quite forthright in response:
”According to a Channel 2 report on Monday, Israel communicated to Jordan that it should not be shirking its own responsibility at the Temple Mount and that it was in fact the Jordanian Wakf that has allowed the rioters who were armed with stones to sleep in al-Aksa Mosque.” (Emphasis added)
A note of explanation here: The wakf is the Islamic trust, responsible for Muslim holy sites on the Mount. There are, in reality, two wakfs, one Jordanian and one Palestinian, which are in some competition. For a short period after Oslo, the Palestinian wakf had considerable authority, but has been overshadowed at present by the Jordanian wakf. Actually, the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan accords Jordan a special status on the Mount.
What has always been disturbing to me (among the many things that are disturbing to me) is that the wakf behaves as if it is responsible for the entire Mount (over which Israel has sovereignty) and not just the specific Muslim holy sites – mosques and the Dome of the Rock. There is considerable confusion on this issue, with the wakf usurping more and more power.
The Arabic for Temple Mount (Hebrew: Har Habayit) is Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), but frequently when Arabs refer to “Al Aksa,” they mean the entire compound on which it is located.
There are multiple reports that Abdullah refuses to take calls from Netanyahu or to meet with him secretly to dissipate the on-going tension. These reports say that the king does not want to create a “business as usual” atmosphere under the current circumstances.
At least publicly, our prime minister appears unruffled by this.
Before I move away from the topic of the PA and Abbas, let me mention that rumors are flying fast and furious again with regard to what Abbas intends to do in the near future: resign from the presidency of the PA (which is not really his, as his term long ago expired), disband the PA, discontinue security cooperation with Israel, etc. etc. Much of this is nonsense. The PA, without IDF protection, for example, would be swallowed up by Hamas in no time.
Since talk is cheap, we’ll wait to see what actually transpires.
It made the news today that when (if?) there are PA elections, Marwan Barghouti – who is popular with the Palestinian Arab street – will probably run. This is according to MK Basel Ghattas of the Joint Arab List, who visited Barghouti in Israel prison yesterday. Barghouti is serving five life sentences plus 40 years for five murders and an attempted murder. And that’s just what they got him on. He was a prime instigator and organizer of the second intifada.
That someone who should never see the light of day again should be the most popular candidate in PA polls says a great deal about the Palestinian Arabs. They are not seeking a man of peace. That he should be able to run would be an outrage. My fear is that he might win and then, supported by a compliant international community, demand release from prison – something that absolutely should never happen.
Abbas has declared he will have a “bombshell” at the end of his talk at the UN, coming next week. OK. Abbas’s inclination to go the international route is no longer a new situation.
When the UN opens its fall 2015 session in a matter of days, the PA – as an observer state – will have its flag flying along with the flags of member states at its headquarters in NY. This is because the General Assembly approved a petition on this.
The only “victory” here for Abbas is the PR value of having achieved this. There is no legal import, although the PA is claiming this is a step towards UN membership.
The resolution applied to observer status entities. Thus, the Vatican, which also has observer status, was similarly accorded the right to fly its flag. In fact, the PA had listed the Vatican as co-sponsor of the effort. The Vatican, however, requested that its name be removed from the resolution.
New, tougher rules, approved by the Security Cabinet, are being put into place with regard to violence in Jerusalem. This has not been a simple situation to report upon, because certain proposals were advanced, and then withdrawn. There is a desire to be tougher, coupled with an unease that there will be incidents that inflame the mob (or, perhaps that increase international hostility to Israel). There was also tension between law enforcement authorities/the government and the attorney-general regarding what should be permitted. Unfortunate. My own inclination is definitely towards the tougher stance.
As I understand it, snipers can now shoot live rounds from Ruger rifles – a weapon less lethal, lower power, than some others – at anyone throwing firebombs or rocks in a manner that places lives at risk. The key is to fire only when life is threatened.
Additionally, there will be additional checkpoints put up in Arab areas of the city. There will be complaints from NGOs posing as human rights organizations, regarding the inconvenience to Arabs, Arab right to freedom of movement, etc. Too bad.
Part of the problem we must contend with as we seek to control Arab violence in and around Jerusalem, is that many of the perpetrators are underage. “Children,” we are told. “How tough can you be on children?” These “children” are taught violence however, have violence modeled for them, and can also kill.
Sometimes they are arrested. But another approach is also being put into place now as well – with regard to making parents responsible. The idea is to levy monetary penalties against the parents, something that might make them pay closer attention to what their kids are doing.
All decisions on this are not yet in place.
On Tuesday, a young Arab woman attempted to stab an IDF soldier at a checkpoint in Hevron. She was warned, and then shot in the leg. Later in the day she succumbed to her wounds. Naturally, there are charges that she was “unarmed” and simply shot in cold blood by the IDF.
In another incident in the Hevron area, a young Arab man apparently accidentally blew himself when the explosive he was handling went off prematurely. We are accused of killing him for no reason as well.
Russia – an ally of Syria’s president Assad – is moving into Syria. Of this there is no doubt.
“Satellite photos taken in mid-September and obtained by IHS Jane’s show Russian forces developing two additional military facilities near Syria’s Mediterranean coast, Rob Munks, editor of IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review, said on Tuesday…
“Russia has been dramatically increasing its forces at an air base south of Latakiya, a stronghold of Syrian President Bashar Assad, including positioning combat planes and helicopters as well as tanks and accommodation blocks.”
Unquestionably the result of US weakness in this region, the situation is greatly unsettling. Thus I think it was with considerable wisdom that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took himself to Russia for quick consultations with President Vladimir Putin on the outskirts of Moscow on Monday. To underscore the seriousness of the meeting, Netanyahu was accompanied by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen.Herzl Halevi.
General Eisenkot is shown in the photo , on the left, in a meeting with his counterpart, Russian Army General Valery Vasilevich Gerasimov – apparently an historic first.
Following the meeting, which was reported to have been held in a cordial atmosphere, Netanyahu told diplomatic journalists that:
“I made clear our policy to try to prevent through various means the transfer of lethal weapons from Syria to Hezbollah, which is actually done at the direction of Iran.”
The goal of the meeting, he said, was to avoid “misunderstandings” between the IDF and Russian forces.
“We established a mechanism to prevent those misunderstandings. This is something very important for Israel’s security.”
Subsequently it was announced that:
“The IDF and Russian military will set up a joint working group to coordinate their Syria-related activities in the aerial, naval, and electromagnetic arenas.”
Russia is in Syria to bolster Assad and assist in the fighting against ISIS. Apparently there will be no problem for Russia as Israel continues to move against all attempts by Syria to arm Hezbollah.
My time has run out…
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.
If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.
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