Welcome to This Week in Israel.
A couple of housekeeping notes: We will postpone the last of the shuq photos for pics of the great Jerusalem parade that took place on Tuesday.
Second: if you do not receive Barnabus Briefing papers by email, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll add you to the distribution list. This week we put out one on the possibility of an “Intifada III” beginning. Since we know that a good many people missed out on it, we are printing it in its entirety near the end of the column.
We don’t always do this, however, so please remember to email us if you want on the mailing list.
10/7/2009 - Intifada III?; Craziness @ the Temple Mount
Over 7000 Christians from all over the world came to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles celebration. This was promoted and coordinated by the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem. They did a stellar job.
The photos below are just part of that organizations groups. We watched the Jewish response, including many Orthodox people. They were waving, laughing and cheering the various groups as they passed by. This went a long way to crush some of the anti-Christian groups’ propaganda.
Over 70,000 people, mostly Israeli, marched in the parade that actually marched most of the day from way to the south up to the northern part of the city. Businesses promoted their employees participating, towns, kibbutzim, and individuals turned out to show their love of the Holy City. It was very emotional.
He's from Pensacola (Ernie Moore)
Aunt Sam (Ernie Moore)
China (Ernie Moore)
Hong Kong (Ernie Moore)
Mexico (Ernie Moore)
Norway (Ernie Moore)
South Africa (Ernie Moore)
Swiss (Ernie Moore)
This group sang many Israeli songs on the steps.
Thailand (Ernie Moore)
USA (Ernie Moore)
Positive Response (Ernie Moore)
Garfield (Ernie Moore)
This last guy lives near our front door. He thinks he’s family.
GRATEFUL THEY’RE DEAD?
“One of the most popular bands in rock ‘n’ roll history will have its legacy including photos, show tickets, toys, posters and recordings preserved online thanks to A FEDERAL GRANT. THE GRATEFUL DEAD ARCHIVE, HOUSED AT THE MCHENRY LIBRARY, HAS BEEN AWARDED $615,175 BY THE INSTITUTE OF MUSEUM AND LIBRARY SERVICES to photograph and scan collection images and upload them. The public will be able to access the online collection and offer fans the opportunity to contribute to the collection by digitally submitting photos.
“Christine Bunting, head of special collections and archives at McHenry, said the school will use the grant over 2½ years to archive what she said is the world’s largest public collection of Dead memorabilia.
“The ultimate goal of making the archive digital is that everyone will have a Grateful Dead experience,” Bunting said.”
There is a lot of discussion right now about war strategy on Afghanistan. General McChrystal wants 40,000 more soldiers and VP Biden thinks that drone missile strikes and special forces operations against al-Qaeda is smarter.
Hold onto your hats, but I happen to think that Biden is closer to right than the general. Here’s why.
Go back to the beginning of the war. Special ops teams, Combat Air Controllers, fast movers (combat jets) and high altitude bombers teamed with the Northern Tribes ran the Taliban out of the country – those that they didn’t kill.
For great information on this, read Robin Moore’s (no relation) great book, The Hunt for Bin Laden. Here’s a bit of detail on it:
The first wave of U.S. Army Special Forces arrived in Afghanistan in mid-October, 2001; a few months later, they had routed the Taliban and taken control of the country. In fact, writes Robin Moore, "fewer than 100 American soldiers were on the ground when Kabul fell." The Hunt for Bin Laden is both a celebration of the Special Forces, "the most fearsome fighting unit the world has ever known," and a detailed account of how just a few hundred Green Berets, working alongside the Northern Alliance, were able to overcome nearly 100,000 entrenched al-Qaida and Taliban members and take control of Afghanistan in such a short time. Though Special Forces had participated in all of the small conflicts since World War II, the war in Afghanistan was the first time they were in charge of an entire operation.
For these gung-ho soldiers, it was the moment they had been waiting for.
From the beginning, the operation was a blend of cutting-edge and 19th-century weaponry. The Northern Alliance soldiers, though brave and determined, were often outfitted with only rusted rifles and worn-out boots. In one particularly fascinating scene, Moore writes of the Northern Alliance cavalry leading a charge on horseback while American fighter jets roared overhead dropping laser-guided missiles with pinpoint accuracy on Taliban forces. The author of the military classic The Green Berets, Moore knows his subject intimately and his access to the troops on the ground is impressive. This makes the book incredibly detailed, but unquestionably subjective, so those interested in a political overview or an objective look at the policy behind the operation should look elsewhere. This is strictly a heroic portrayal of a military victory and the difficult search for Osama bin Laden, and at times Moore's writing sounds like copy out of Soldier of Fortune magazine. This bombast may not appeal to all readers, but his deep knowledge of Special Forces and his inside information makes this book a must read for those interested not only in this particular conflict but in how guerilla and unconventional warfare is executed. --Shawn Carkonen
Generals like Tommy Franks and many other traditional commanders have long had what I consider a grudge against the special ops soldier, whether Special Forces, Seals or others, and that comes through when one seriously researches their comments. I think it colors their opinions and has hurt both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Before you excoriate me for my own prejudices, let me tell you that I am a fan of all our military – period. But truth be told, the issue here is not taking and holding ground. It is killing the enemy and putting the fear of God in them. Unsavory as that may be to some, it is the truth. Afghanistan is not Ohio. It is as tribal as any of Africa ever was. One does not “nation build” there. One helps the tribal chiefs choose sides, and then works to keep them on your side. These are not people ripe for democratic style government.
I’ll give you a tip: do a bit of research on your own about Karzi’s brother who until recently was broke in the US. Now he’s a multi-millionaire who claims that of course his brother has nothing to do with his success in Afghanistan. Ooooookay.
Obama's French lesson
Oct. 4, 2009
Charles Krauthammer , THE JERUSALEM POST
"President Obama, I support the Americans' outstretched hand. But what did the international community gain from these offers of dialogue? Nothing." - French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Sept. 24
When France chides you for appeasement, you know you're scraping bottom. Just how low we've sunk was demonstrated by the Obama administration's satisfaction when Russia's president said of Iran, after meeting President Obama at the UN, that "sanctions are seldom productive, but they are sometimes inevitable."
You see? The Obama magic. Engagement works. Russia is on board. Except that, as The Washington Post inconveniently pointed out, President Dmitry Medvedev said the same thing a week earlier, and the real power in Russia, Vladimir Putin, had changed not at all in his opposition to additional sanctions. And just to make things clear, when Iran then brazenly test-fired offensive missiles, Russia reacted by declaring that this newest provocation did not warrant the imposition of tougher sanctions.
Do the tally. In return for selling out Poland and the Czech Republic by unilaterally abrogating a missile-defense security arrangement that Russia had demanded be abrogated, we get from Russia ... what? An oblique hint, of possible support, for unspecified sanctions, grudgingly offered and of dubious authority - and, in any case, leading nowhere because the Chinese have remained resolute against any Security Council sanctions.
CONFUSING ENDS and means, the Obama administration strives mightily for shows of allied unity, good feeling and pious concern about Iran's nuclear program - whereas the real objective is stopping that program.
This feel-good posturing is worse than useless, because all the time spent achieving gestures is precious time granted Iran to finish its race to acquire the bomb.
Don't take it from me. Take it from Sarkozy, who could not conceal his astonishment at Obama's naivete.
On Sept. 24, Obama ostentatiously presided over the Security Council. With 14 heads of state (or government) at the table, with an American president at the chair for the first time ever, with every news camera in the world trained on the meeting, it would garner unprecedented worldwide attention.
Unknown to the world, Obama had in his pocket explosive revelations about an illegal uranium enrichment facility that the Iranians had been hiding near Qom. The French and the British were urging him to use this most dramatic of settings to stun the world with the revelation and to call for immediate action.
Obama refused. Not only did he say nothing about it, but, reports Le Monde, Sarkozy was forced to scrap the Qom section of his speech. Obama held the news until a day later - in Pittsburgh. I've got nothing against Pittsburgh (site of the G-20 summit), but a stacked-with-world-leaders Security Council chamber, it is not.
Why forgo the opportunity? Because Obama wanted the Security Council meeting to be about his own dream of a nuclear-free world.
The president, reports The New York Times citing "White House officials," did not want to "dilute" his disarmament resolution "by diverting to Iran." Diversion? It's the most serious security issue in the world. A diversion from what? From a worthless UN disarmament resolution?
Yes. And from Obama's star turn as planetary visionary: "The administration told the French," reports The Wall Street Journal, "that it didn't want to 'spoil the image of success' for Mr. Obama's debut at the UN" Image? Success? Sarkozy could hardly contain himself.
At the council table, with Obama at the chair, he reminded Obama that "we live in a real world, not a virtual world." He explained: "President Obama has even said, 'I dream of a world without (nuclear weapons).' Yet before our very eyes, two countries are currently doing the exact opposite." Sarkozy's unspoken words? "And yet, sacre bleu, he's sitting on Qom!" At the time, we had no idea what Sarkozy was fuming about. Now we do.
Although he could hardly have been surprised by Obama's fecklessness. After all, just a day earlier in addressing the General Assembly, Obama actually said, "No one nation can ... dominate another nation." That adolescent mindlessness was followed with the declaration that "alignments of nations rooted in the cleavages of a long-gone Cold War" in fact "make no sense in an interconnected world." NATO, our alliances with Japan and South Korea, our umbrella over Taiwan, are senseless? What do our allies think when they hear such nonsense?
Bismarck is said to have said: "There is a providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children, and the United States of America." Bismarck never saw Obama at the UN. Sarkozy did.
- The Washington Post Writers Group
Alex Isenstadt did a piece this week about the fact that Senator John McCain is “working behind-the-scenes to reshape the Republican Party in his own center-right image.”
Really? First of all, in our humble-but-most-accurate opinion, McCain is part of what is wrong with the Republican Party. This whole idea that they need to blur their ideological positions to sort of slide everyone into a “big tent” is ludicrous.
It is the middle of the road where McCain tried to snooker all the independents who were closet liberals and get them to vote for him. If I recall it was Newt Gingrich, and before him, Ronald Reagan (not to mention such as Senator Jesse Helms) who stood up and proclaimed America’s greatness, the wonder of the entrepreneurial system otherwise known as capitalism, and our being the greatest nation in the world that swept them into office with remarkable numbers!
We who are real conservatives have about had it with this McCainology of mainstreaming down the conservative voices.
In one town hall that he and his mini-me, Senator Lindsay Graham attended the voters actually laughed at them when they started talking about getting along with Obama and letting him have his way on some areas.
I heard Rush Limbaugh say that the worst thing in the country would be for a third party to rise. That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t answer the need for the real conservatives to either take the party over or just surrender that territory and begin to drain it of the conservatives and put their own boat in the water.
When my wife sees the Ultra Orthodox smoking she is shocked. They smoke and drink? I thought they were seriously religious.
Think how shocked she will be to see Rabbi Ovadia Yosef starring in Carlsberg beer ads!
That’s the truth. Carlsbad puts lots of dollars into his group’s pockets. We don’t know about his own.
But here’s the kicker. They are promoting drinking beer as healthy. Go figger.
BOMB, BOMB IRAN!
Our friend and J-Post writer extraordinaire Haviv Rettig Gur did a piece this week in which he says that a majority of American Jews support military action against Iran to prevent the regime there from building their nukes. 56% in favor and 36 % against.
One wonders how they would react if it really happened?
When Israeli action against Iran was proposed the numbers were even higher.
WHO’S IN CHARGE IN THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY?
Here’s part of a piece by Khaled Abu Toameh that reports on the schizophrenic behaviour of the Arabs under Abbas’ reign.
Analysis: PA's conflicting approaches as different as night and day
Oct. 2, 2009
Khaled Abu Toameh , THE JERUSALEM POST
… But during the night, the Palestinian Authority changes its colors and speaks and acts in a completely different manner. During the night, the Israeli enemy becomes a friend and peace partner with whom it's legitimate to conduct security coordination and eat in fancy restaurants.
DURING OPERATION CAST LEAD, PALESTINIAN SECURITY OFFICERS IN THE WEST BANK PROVIDED ISRAEL WITH VALUABLE INTELLIGENCE THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE ELIMINATION OF MANY HAMAS OPERATIVES AND "MILITARY TARGETS." MOREOVER, THE PA EVEN PRESSURED ISRAEL NOT TO STOP THE WAR UNLESS HAMAS WAS REMOVED FROM POWER. IN OTHER WORDS, THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY WAS TELLING ISRAEL THAT IT SHOULD CONTINUE BOMBING THE GAZA STRIP UNTIL HAMAS SURRENDERED.
PALESTINIAN OFFICIALS, INCLUDING SOME OF MAHMOUD ABBAS'S TOP AIDES, DID NOT HIDE THEIR DISAPPOINTMENT WHEN THE WAR ENDED WITHOUT THE REMOVAL OR COLLAPSE OF HAMAS.
AS SOON AS THE WAR ENDED, THE SAME PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY THAT HAD URGED ISRAEL TO "FINISH OFF THE JOB," AND THAT HAD PROVIDED ISRAEL WITH VITAL INFORMATION ABOUT HAMAS FIGURES AND INSTALLATIONS IN THE GAZA STRIP, STARTED ACCUSING ISRAEL OF COMMITTING "WAR CRIMES." THE PA EVEN APPEALED TO THE HAGUE COURT TO LAUNCH AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE ALLEGED WAR CRIMES. [caps added-EDM]
PEACE AT LAST?
No not between Israel and the PA. Between Hamas and Fatah? As you will soon read in our Barnabus Briefing notes, Abbas has toughened his public positions (see above also). A big part of this is the foolish idea that the Palestinian population doesn’t get any news but what Fatah publishes. They are learning more and more who Abbas really is.
And they aren’t so thrilled by what they are learning.
Will the power struggle end soon? Publicly perhaps but the long knives will still be held behind the leaderships’ backs of both groups.
The benefit to Hamas if they make peace would be more money. Western dollars pour in to Fatah. But that doesn’t mean that Hamas is broke. Not at all. Arab nations still pour millions into the Gaza coffers. Stay tuned.
Do you remember when Bibi went missing a couple of weeks ago? Well, now a Ynetnews.com article this week reports that while he was in Russia he gave the Ruskies a list of Russian scientists who are working on the Iranian nuke program.
How that must have caused the lights to flutter in Moscow!?
How, you ask, did Bibi get such information? Why a little bird told him. A bird named The Institute, or Mossad, if you prefer.
GOLDSTONE REPORT TO THE UN
Hypocrisy is nothing new for the Palestinians. I don’t know if you are aware of the Goldstone Report put together by the UN, but it is big here.
That he is a Jew (South African) and a liberal is one thing. That he would basically plagiarize earlier anti-Israel reports about Cast Lead / Gaza is another.
The Abbas branch of the Palestinians pulled for Israel while the war was going on, then pressed for a war crimes charges afterward especially when the “street” turned against Abbas. It is business as usual here. Israel knows that they have to survive on their own.
IF I WERE KING!
Ever say that? I do, about once a week.
Well, some people ARE king, Abdullah II of Jordan, for instance.
Remember our reports on the projected pipeline from the Red Sea at Eilat up to the Dead Sea to replenish the dwindling levels there? At first it was to be a canal, then the bean-counters decided that a pipeline could be built cheaper and would make controlling flow easier.
It was proposed that Jordan, Israel and the PA would co-op the deal.
This week Jordan announced that they are going ahead alone. Forget the dawdling!
“Jordan has decided to go it alone and build a $2 billion pipeline from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea without help from proposed partners Israel and the Palestinian Authority, an official told AFP.
"Jordan is thirsty and cannot wait any longer," said Fayez Batayneh, the country's chief representative in the mega-project to provide drinking water and begin refilling the Dead Sea, which is on course to dry out by 2050.
"Israel and the Palestinians have raised no objection to Jordan starting on the first phase by itself," Batayneh said.” (ynetnews.com)
The blue and white Bell Jet Ranger has been orbiting above Jerusalem for the past four days. Moving from directly above the Old City with its Temple Mount to the border between East Jerusalem and Jaffe Road, then down into the neighborhood of Silwan and City of David Area, the eye in the sky is looking for flare-up, much like a team of firemen after a major conflagration.
This is Succot week. A time for the Jews to celebrate their Feast of Tabernacles and the Radical Islamist leadership to whip their naïve followers up into a frenzy of rock throwing and muscle flexing.
Ever since Yom Kippur Eve last weekend there have been incidents here in Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem. “Incidents” we will define as Arab youths forming into gangs of up to a couple of hundred and challenging the police, Border Guards and soldiers of the IDF to some “chicken-chesting.”
They hurl rocks, now and then a Molotov cocktail, and when the cops fire a smoke grenade to break them up, they wrap a cloth around their faces and run up and kick it back.
It’s sort of a mini-G-20 riot like Pittsburgh entertained a couple of weeks ago. The rocks are bigger and when hurled by a slingshot can do serious damage. Just ask Goliath.
This is a way that the kids can strut for their sloe-eyed girlfriends later in the month, perhaps even showing a bruise or cut where they got too close to a Border Guard or policeman.
More to the point, it is a way that their racist and rabid leaders can fire up their followers and enrich their coffers back at the mosque in Um al Fhad or other places.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Sunday: A group of Jewish tourists gain entry to the Temple Mount. (More background on these groups later.) The Arabs were previously told that there would be groups of religious Jews trying to a) take over the al Aqsa Mosque, the 3rd most holy Muslim site in the world, or b) the Jews would try to enter the mosque and hold a prayer meeting. Either of these activities of course, is poison to the Arabs.
An estimated 150 Muslims begin to hurl stones at the guide, the tourists and the police escort that every Jewish group has with them. The tourists did the wise thing and fled back outside the Mugrabi Gate.
Police responded and chased the rock throwers back, but when ordered to leave the Temple Mount, they refused. Mexican standoff. The police didn’t want to escalate and the youth wanted to show how tough they were. Eventually they left the Temple Mount.
Understand, it is not unusual for these groups to visit the Temple Mount. Within the past twelve months some sources say the Waqf (Muslim authority over the Temple Mount) has earned an estimated $200,000 allowing tourists up there.
In the aftermath of the incident, the police discovered wheelbarrows filled with more stones placed around the grounds of the Temple Mount. To be fair, and perhaps a bit naïve, you may say, “Well, sure, but that could be the result of clean-up in earlier days, or construction.” That’s true, but on the other hand, knowing the realities of the past, it is equally as easy to believe they are “arms caches” for the rock throwers to move to when pushed back by the police.
The police took the second position and decided that they were being set up by the radical leaders who need a good fight for their annual Succot fund raisers at the mosques.
Police Commissioner Franco issued a decree that all visitors would be banned from the Temple Mount until passions cooled.
Jordan called the Israeli Ambassador in Amman in to yell at him about the terrible actions that Israel is perpetrating against the worshippers on the Temple Mount. Now here’s what is suspect to me.
All the news reports up until now were very low-level, and all were about Arab youth in uncoordinated rock throwing incidents. How and why would Jordan get into the act so quickly and so acidly? Set-up. I remind you that Jordan is 70 percent Palestinian.
ISLAMIC MOVEMENT QUOTE:
This is what their statement said: “We will not be deterred; we will keep going to the site. Al-Aqsa is one of the most important things for us.” References to Al-Aqsa (or Aksa) typically mean the whole Temple Mount not just this particular mosque.
Based on their incitement, Deputy Head of the Islamic Movement Sheikh Kamal Khatib, who lives in Kfar Kana (biblical Cana), and Fatah’s Abdel Kader and three other nameless ones were arrested. They were soon released and their punishment was that they are not allowed into Jerusalem for the next fifteen days.
At first I wondered why the Deputy Head of the Islamic Movement was down here as the front man for all this uproar. Then the next events unfolded and I knew – the big man, Sheikh Raed Salah came to town to play the “head victim” and make a speech near the city of David at Wadi Joz.
You can visit our website for a bit more on all these events and other interesting material (even peaceful items).
As usually happens when there are riots, the police do relent a bit, and did in this case. They allowed only men over 50 years old to attend the prayer atop the Temple Mount.
Additionally they established a security perimeter atop the Temple Mount bordering the area where the Western Wall plaza is located down below. The reason is to keep Arabs from hurling large stones over the top and down onto the heads of Jewish worshippers below, as had previously happened.
ACROSS THE KIDRON
The Kidron Valley separates the Mount of Olives and Temple Mount. The Mt. of Olives is not just a place for Christian pilgrims to view the Old City and Garden of Gethsemane. It is also the premier location for Hassidic Jews to bury their dead. (photos at BarnabusPress.com)
It was also the site of more stoning of Jews. Another gang of Arab youth stoned the Haredi people who were there. Police broke up the mob and did so without injury to themselves or the Arabs.
Jews: You can barely drive in this city. It has been so for a week. Jews from the world over are pouring into Israel. They come to celebrate the high holidays of Yom Kippur and Succot. This week they are shopping, filling every restaurant and especially the streets and sidewalks. You cannot get anywhere without standing on a sidewalk full to overflowing or sitting in traffic jams that move like a glacier. Horns replace shofars. Taxi drivers are thrilled because not only are they constantly busy, but the waiting in traffic keeps the meters ticking right along.
The newest mall in Jerusalem is the Mamilla, located just outside the Jaffe Gate. The crowds look like the line for lifeboats aboard the Titanic. You can barely move. We were there with friends from the US yesterday and the only way we could get a seat was to agree that we didn’t want to eat under their Succah.
Arabs, both Israeli-Arabs and Palestinians, are flocking into the city for the Olympic competition of stone throwing at Haredi or cops. Roused by broadcasts and fliers they are coming in by the hundreds. Some to march and join in the troublemaking, some to just cheer for their village toughs.
The highlight of their coming to town was the rousing curse on Jews everywhere, but especially in Jerusalem by their hero, Salah. Actually I asked a friend just last week why the Israeli government doesn’t just lock him up and toss the key into the Med. He said, “Better the devil they know that the one they don’t.” Agreed.
BLESSING OF THE KOHANIM
The priestly blessing brought 7000 people to the wall on Monday morning and will do the same on Thursday.
The priestly blessing is found in Numbers 6:23-27, Numbers 6:23-27 23 Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,
24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.
Traditionally, the priests blessed the people every morning after the sacrifice at the Temple. Today, many synagogues end their service with this blessing as a benediction.
When recited, the kohen (priest) raises his hands with the palms facing outward and the thumbs of his outspread hands touching. The four fingers on each hand are split into two sets of two fingers each (thus forming the letter Shin, an emblem for Shaddai). You can see this diagram at:
You will note when you see this that the letter has three uprights. Christians, including Messianic Christians, clearly see an implied trinity in this.
By the end of Monday, over 30,000 Jews and tourists here for the Succot celebrations had visited the Western Wall Plaza.
Solomon’s Temple and later Herod’s Temple enlargement stood on what is the Temple Mount. Artifacts are constantly being unearthed which attest to these buildings.
Nevertheless, what Yasser Arafat began continues – the denial of any such edifices ever existing. See Dore Gold’s great book The Battle for Jerusalem for some real in depth information on this, including Muslims who question why the Al Aksa is even special to Muslims at all, and for the story of how Arafat, at Camp David in 2000 tried to convince then President Bill Clinton of the lie. To his credit, Clinton confronted Arafat and refused to accept the tale.
For years Orthodox rabbis refused their followers permission to set foot atop the Temple Mount. Their position was that they might unknowingly tread upon the spot where the Holy of Holies was and desecrate it. That seems a bit far-fetched to me, in light of the three mosques above ground and the two below ground capable of housing 10,000 worshippers, but that was their shtick. Apparently that is eroding today, since more and more rabbis are permitting their people to go atop the Mount’s 35 acres of grounds and look around.
Jews wait in line at the Mugrabi just south of the Western Wall, during specific hours in the morning and again in the afternoon for a tour. They are accompanied by a tour leader and policemen. They are not allowed to pray or even open a book while there. Only one group at a time is permitted up there.
Regardless of what the Rabbis say, the “Law for the Preservation of the Holy Places” which ostensibly permits freedom of access to members of all religions to all Holy sites in Jerusalem has been around since 1967. When the Jordanians ruled, there was no such law.
That “religious-looking” Jews visiting the Temple Mount inflames the Muslims, both there and in general is an understatement.
As Nadav Shragal said in a piece this week, “The sight of thousands of Jews on the Mount… is unjustly perceived by the police as a threat [to security-EDM], as something that disturbs the peace on the mount, as a situation that must be prevented.
One cannot blame the beleaguered police. They have the law, and they have reality. Sometimes the two conflict.
! And… it is not that some Haredi are not also capable of incitement.
For some time now on Shabbat Eve (Friday evenings) Ultra-Orthodox men and youths have been going to the Pool of Siloam at the foot of the City of David, which is also located in the middle of the East Jerusalem Arab neighbor of Silwan.
There they get totally naked and bathe in the outdoor Pool of Siloam. A guard is posted to refuse entry to tourists and Arabs.
Just last week a Jewish man shot a 13 year old boy and a man after an argument ensued over their trespass.
MEMBERS OF THE KNESSET RESPOND TO THE RIOTS
Three members of the government have been quoted in the press here calling for the arrest of Arabs like Salah, Khatib and Kader for “incitement.”
All three radical Arab leaders are probably hoping for their own arrest. It elevates them in the eyes of the Palestinian proletariat.
One of the MKs calling for the arrest of the inciters is Shaul Mofaz, who served Ariel Sharon when he was PM as the IDF Chief of Staff during the time of the Aksa Intifada as some call it, or as it is more commonly known, the Second Intifada.
In a nation with no “separation of church and state” like Israel, it is shocking to Westerners to learn that the State of Israel actually pays the salaries even of these Imams and heads of mosques which are stirring the pots of trouble. But that is the reality.
Debka.com’s report on these recent events, while factual, is also written in a sort of breathless and inflammatory way and at least for now, makes them sound worse than they have been – so far.
Former Jerusalem Police Chief Mickey Levy, who served, like Mofaz, during the worst years of the Second Intifada says, “This [week’s events-EDM] is nothing like the intifada. These are sporadic events that will die down. The public has a very short memory – not a year goes by when there isn’t some sort of clash over the holidays. This is much ado ab out nothing. This is a case of some teenagers throwing stones.”
Mofaz, interestingly agrees.
Actually, I happen to agree with Levy and Mofaz. At least for the moment. I have lived here long enough to have seen it every year, and with intermittent bouts for practice without the holidays.
But here is something to consider:
I was living here during the worst of Intifada II. I remember the way Arafat spoke to the English speaking press and decried the violence and then spoke to the Arab street in radio and print media and whipped them up with talk of shahids - martyrs. The two-faced Ugly One returned from his Camp David Meeting with then PM Barak (now Defense Minister) and Clinton. Barak offered him everything – including East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capitol – and Arafat refused.
Why? Because the Palestinian position has always been all or nothing. He knew he could not get a legitimate peace deal with only part of Israel. The terrorists in both Fatah (the Arafat/Abbas terrorist-political entity) and Hamas are indeed incrementalists, but they cannot face the radicals with half a loaf.
Abbas went to the General Assembly – remember the photo op only a few days ago? – promising the Palestinians that he would not meet with Netanyahu. No talks, no meeting. Nada. Nyet! Then he caved and shook hands after Obama insisted.
Now he’s back home and his followers are furious with him. The answer to that is to stir them up against someone they hate worse than him – the Jews!
And that’s not all. In the proclamation on Monday from the Palestinian Authority that said, “We call on the Palestinian public to confront Israel and its plans, that are intended to prevent the Palestinian people from fulfilling their aspirations of establishing a Palestinian state in the occupied territories. … Israel’s attempts to conduct Jewish prayer services in the Aqsa compound [Temple Mount-EDM], [and urged the world -EDM] “to force Israel to halt its efforts to Jewify the city.”
This inflammatory statement was signed by none other than hitherto fore peaceful Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayad!!
This is pure nonsense. Fayad knows that his statement is a lie. He is aware of the realities.
Like the Second Intifada which was blamed on Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount as a means of taking over the al Aksa. But that visit was pre-approved by the Waqf, and there was zero militancy at all.
The first instance was Arafat-led. This time the miscreant is Fayad. The lie is motivated by exactly the same reasons. To turn the Palestinian street’s anger away from the ruling Fatah government in the foyer of a strengthening Hamas in the West Bank just before impending – and long overdue – Palestinian elections.
Arafat whipped up the rag-tag terrorists and Abbas and Fayad are doing the same thing. It’s ever this way. Dictators need an external devil to point to. When that doesn’t work they look to one inside.
Hitler did it using the Jews to blame everything on. Abbas and his crowd are following suit.
One idea – al a Mofaz and Levy – is that things will quiet down next week. Things will revert to the tense normality we live with here. Peace talks will be talked about. Abbas will think he is stronger again. (I doubt this. I think he is in grave danger from a Hamas takeover of all the Palestinian Authority, and have said so for a long time.)
Idea number two: Abbas will, in desperation keep fanning the flames of hatred and there will be an Intifada III.
I hope this does not happen for a number of reasons:
One: it will mean more murders of innocent Israelis.
Two: it will mean that the peace-loving Arabs (in and out of the West Bank) will suffer. I spoke to one Arab friend today. He is noticeably nervous about what might come, but like everyone else cannot predict what it will be.
Three: The thin truce that has been enjoyed for a few years now will evaporate like mist in a wind storm.
With Syria and Iran pushing Hezbollah and Hamas that will mean that the reserves will once more be activated, war will ensue and on top of that, with the nuclear threat in Iran, Israel may indeed send the jets to pay Ahmadinejad a visit.
ON TOP OF ALL THIS IS OBAMA
As one European leader said this week, “People may or may not like Obama, but no one fears him.”
In this part of the world it is healthy to have one’s enemies fear him, if only a little bit.
I remind you to go to our website, www.BarnabusPress.com. We post our weekly radio broadcasts on Tuesday and our column This Week in Israel on Wednesdays.
You can reach me at email@example.com if you have input, want to provide us with input or just visit.
Pray for us as we continue to be your eyes and ears in the Middle East.
(This will replace Moore’s Musings for this week.)
Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
Psalm 25:22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.
Psalm 60:12 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.
Psalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
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