Posted tagged ‘Palestinian rioters’

Newsflash: Jerusalem Not on Fire!

December 10, 2017

Newsflash: Jerusalem Not on Fire!, Gatestone InstituteBassam Tawil, December 10, 2017

(Please see also, Palestinian protests won’t swell into mass resistance so long as Arab rulers and Iran see no gain. — DM)

“More journalists than protesters…” — Björn Stritzel, German journalist.

Protests against Israel and the US are not uncommon on the streets of Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem. But for the “war correspondents,” there is nothing more exciting than standing behind burning tires and stone throwers and reporting from the heart of the “clashes.” Such scenes make the journalists look as if they are in the middle of a battlefield and are risking their lives to bring the story home to their viewers. They might even receive an award for their “courageous” reporting from danger zones!

Jerusalem is tense, and has long been so, because the Palestinians have not yet managed to come to terms with Israel’s right to exist. That is the real story. The Palestinians rage and rage for only one reason: because Israel exists. Put that in a story and publish it.

The Palestinians declared a three-day-long “rage” spree over US President Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Thus far, however, it seems that the real anger is showing up in the international media, not on the Palestinian street.

Question: How many foreign journalists does it take to cover the Palestinian reaction to Trump’s announcement? Answer: As many as the Israel-Palestinian-conflict-obsessed-West can manage to send.

The massive presence of the international media in Jerusalem and the West Bank has taken even the Palestinians by surprise. Since Trump’s announcement on December 6, dozens of additional journalists and camera crews have converged on Israel to cover “the big story.”

The American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem, once a favorite haunt of international reporters, is once again packed with journalists from around the world.

Some of these reporters, including those working for American networks, have been flown in from their working posts in London, Paris, Cairo and New York to cover what many of them are already calling the “New Palestinian Intifada.” But is it really a new intifada, or is it simply wishful thinking on the part of the swarm of Palestinian and foreign reporters?

In the past few days, we have seen wild exaggeration in the media as to what is really happening in and around the Old City of Jerusalem. What is evident, however, is that the number of journalists and photographers covering the protests in the city has thus far exceeded the number of Palestinian protesters.

Let us start with Friday, December 8, the final day of the announced Palestinian “rage.” The Palestinian Authority, Hamas and other Palestinian groups told us to expect mass rallies and protests after Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. So did the reporters.

By early morning, at least six television production trucks were stationed in the small parking lot outside the Damascus Gate, the main entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. The trucks belonged to various television stations were presumably brought there to film live broadcasts of the anticipated mass protests. Another 70-80 journalists and photographers were waiting, some impatiently, for the Muslim worshippers to finish their prayers and start their protests against President Trump’s announcement.

What we got in the end was a small and peaceful protest of some 40 Palestinians, who chanted slogans against Israel, the US and Arab leaders — including Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, who was dubbed a “traitor” and “Israeli spy.”

Björn Stritzel, an honest and brave German journalist, tweeted from the scene: “More journalists than protesters after Friday prayers.”

The media frenzy was echoed by several other reporters. “Three days of ‘rage’ have passed since Trump’s Jerusalem declaration and Armageddon hasn’t arrived,” remarked journalist Oren Kessler. “One is loath to make predictions of continued calm in the region, but thus far the doomsday prophecies have not materialized.”

French journalist Piotr Smolar, who also waited for the “big” protest, wrote: “Dozens and dozens of journalists at Damascus gate, where nothing has happened until now.”

Joe Dyke, a reporter with Agence France Press (AFP), tweeted this photo showing more journalists than protesters at Damascus Gate. He wrote: “Small Palestinian protest at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem broken up by the Israeli police. They seemed to object to a picture of Trump as a toilet.”

Dyke later reported that he had “just walked through Jerusalem’s Old City and the situation is very calm. More police on streets but no issues as yet. Tourists milling about.”

The following day, Saturday December 9, we witnessed a repetition of the same scenario in Jerusalem. The city was relatively quiet, but the presence of journalists and photographers loomed large. At noon, a small group of Palestinians (25-30) staged a protest on the main business thoroughfare of east Jerusalem, Salah Eddin Street, while chanting slogans against Israel and the US.

Here is how the journalist Seth Frantzman of The Jerusalem Post, who was at the scene, described the situation: “There are more people with cameras here than anyone clashing (with police) at the moment.”

Frantzman later had this to say about the “clash”: “There are as many media and onlookers taking photos here as there are youth and police waiting for the clashes.”

There are nearly 300,000 Arabs living in Jerusalem, and the truth is that the vast majority did not take part in any of the small protests, which were staged deliberately as a show for the dozens of journalists who converged on the city. In fact, there were more protesters on the streets of Berlin, Cairo, Valencia (Spain) and Istanbul than in Jerusalem itself. With the exception of the two incidents at Damascus Gate and Salah Eddin Street, the remaining 28 Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem were mostly quiet, with nothing dramatic happening.

The bored journalists were forced to don their helmets and bullet-proof vests and head to the West Bank, in the hope of capturing scenes of the “New Intifada.” What they found in the West Bank, however, was not unusual: minor “clashes” between stone throwers and Israeli soldiers occur almost every day.

Protests against Israel and the US are not uncommon on the streets of Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem. But for the “war correspondents,” there is nothing more exciting than standing behind burning tires and stone throwers and reporting from the heart of the “clashes.” Such scenes make the journalists look as if they are in the middle of a battlefield and are risking their lives to bring the story home to their viewers. They might even receive an award for their “courageous” reporting from danger zones!

That is what happens when you are afraid to go to Yemen, Libya, Syria or Iraq to cover the real bloodshed.

Let us be frank. The large number of journalists dispatched to Israel expected — even hoped — that Trump’s announcement would trigger a new Palestinian intifada.

This way, the media could blame Trump for “igniting violence,” instigating instability and “derailing” the peace process. It is all about media-based Trump-hatred. Of course, it is also about media-based Israel-hatred, searching for any excuse to blame the Jews for the “suffering” of the Palestinians. The journalists, however, will not let those pesky facts get in their way; they continue to report as if Jerusalem is engulfed in flames. The reality on the ground, though, is far from that.

A Palestinian man uses a slingshot to hurl stones at Israeli border police near Ramallah, on December 9, 2017. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

  • “More journalists than protesters…” — Björn Stritzel, German journalist.
  • Protests against Israel and the US are not uncommon on the streets of Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem. But for the “war correspondents,” there is nothing more exciting than standing behind burning tires and stone throwers and reporting from the heart of the “clashes.” Such scenes make the journalists look as if they are in the middle of a battlefield and are risking their lives to bring the story home to their viewers. They might even receive an award for their “courageous” reporting from danger zones!
  • Jerusalem is tense, and has long been so, because the Palestinians have not yet managed to come to terms with Israel’s right to exist. That is the real story. The Palestinians rage and rage for only one reason: because Israel exists. Put that in a story and publish it.

The Palestinians declared a three-day-long “rage” spree over US President Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Thus far, however, it seems that the real anger is showing up in the international media, not on the Palestinian street.

Question: How many foreign journalists does it take to cover the Palestinian reaction to Trump’s announcement? Answer: As many as the Israel-Palestinian-conflict-obsessed-West can manage to send.

The massive presence of the international media in Jerusalem and the West Bank has taken even the Palestinians by surprise. Since Trump’s announcement on December 6, dozens of additional journalists and camera crews have converged on Israel to cover “the big story.”

The American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem, once a favorite haunt of international reporters, is once again packed with journalists from around the world.

Some of these reporters, including those working for American networks, have been flown in from their working posts in London, Paris, Cairo and New York to cover what many of them are already calling the “New Palestinian Intifada.” But is it really a new intifada, or is it simply wishful thinking on the part of the swarm of Palestinian and foreign reporters?

In the past few days, we have seen wild exaggeration in the media as to what is really happening in and around the Old City of Jerusalem. What is evident, however, is that the number of journalists and photographers covering the protests in the city has thus far exceeded the number of Palestinian protesters.

Let us start with Friday, December 8, the final day of the announced Palestinian “rage.” The Palestinian Authority, Hamas and other Palestinian groups told us to expect mass rallies and protests after Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. So did the reporters.

By early morning, at least six television production trucks were stationed in the small parking lot outside the Damascus Gate, the main entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. The trucks belonged to various television stations were presumably brought there to film live broadcasts of the anticipated mass protests. Another 70-80 journalists and photographers were waiting, some impatiently, for the Muslim worshippers to finish their prayers and start their protests against President Trump’s announcement.

What we got in the end was a small and peaceful protest of some 40 Palestinians, who chanted slogans against Israel, the US and Arab leaders — including Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, who was dubbed a “traitor” and “Israeli spy.”

Björn Stritzel, an honest and brave German journalist, tweeted from the scene: “More journalists than protesters after Friday prayers.”

The media frenzy was echoed by several other reporters. “Three days of ‘rage’ have passed since Trump’s Jerusalem declaration and Armageddon hasn’t arrived,” remarked journalist Oren Kessler. “One is loath to make predictions of continued calm in the region, but thus far the doomsday prophecies have not materialized.”

French journalist Piotr Smolar, who also waited for the “big” protest, wrote: “Dozens and dozens of journalists at Damascus gate, where nothing has happened until now.”

Joe Dyke, a reporter with Agence France Press (AFP), tweeted this photo showing more journalists than protesters at Damascus Gate. He wrote: “Small Palestinian protest at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem broken up by the Israeli police. They seemed to object to a picture of Trump as a toilet.”

Dyke later reported that he had “just walked through Jerusalem’s Old City and the situation is very calm. More police on streets but no issues as yet. Tourists milling about.”

The following day, Saturday December 9, we witnessed a repetition of the same scenario in Jerusalem. The city was relatively quiet, but the presence of journalists and photographers loomed large. At noon, a small group of Palestinians (25-30) staged a protest on the main business thoroughfare of east Jerusalem, Salah Eddin Street, while chanting slogans against Israel and the US.

Here is how the journalist Seth Frantzman of The Jerusalem Post, who was at the scene, described the situation: “There are more people with cameras here than anyone clashing (with police) at the moment.”

Frantzman later had this to say about the “clash”: “There are as many media and onlookers taking photos here as there are youth and police waiting for the clashes.”

There are nearly 300,000 Arabs living in Jerusalem, and the truth is that the vast majority did not take part in any of the small protests, which were staged deliberately as a show for the dozens of journalists who converged on the city. In fact, there were more protesters on the streets of Berlin, Cairo, Valencia (Spain) and Istanbul than in Jerusalem itself. With the exception of the two incidents at Damascus Gate and Salah Eddin Street, the remaining 28 Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem were mostly quiet, with nothing dramatic happening.

The bored journalists were forced to don their helmets and bullet-proof vests and head to the West Bank, in the hope of capturing scenes of the “New Intifada.” What they found in the West Bank, however, was not unusual: minor “clashes” between stone throwers and Israeli soldiers occur almost every day.

Protests against Israel and the US are not uncommon on the streets of Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem. But for the “war correspondents,” there is nothing more exciting than standing behind burning tires and stone throwers and reporting from the heart of the “clashes.” Such scenes make the journalists look as if they are in the middle of a battlefield and are risking their lives to bring the story home to their viewers. They might even receive an award for their “courageous” reporting from danger zones!

That is what happens when you are afraid to go to Yemen, Libya, Syria or Iraq to cover the real bloodshed.

Let us be frank. The large number of journalists dispatched to Israel expected — even hoped — that Trump’s announcement would trigger a new Palestinian intifada.

This way, the media could blame Trump for “igniting violence,” instigating instability and “derailing” the peace process. It is all about media-based Trump-hatred. Of course, it is also about media-based Israel-hatred, searching for any excuse to blame the Jews for the “suffering” of the Palestinians. The journalists, however, will not let those pesky facts get in their way; they continue to report as if Jerusalem is engulfed in flames. The reality on the ground, though, is far from that.

Palestinian protests won’t swell into mass resistance so long as Arab rulers and Iran see no gain

December 9, 2017

Palestinian protests won’t swell into mass resistance so long as Arab rulers and Iran see no gain, DEBKAfile, December 9, 2017

All the same, it would be premature to completely rule out a major escalation being sparked by some unforeseen event. For instance, a cell of Tanzim, the armed wing of Abbas’ Fatah party, may decide to join Hamas, the Iranian-backed Jihad Islami and the extremist Popular Front – all of them with a long record of terrorism – for a spectacular terrorist attack on an Israeli or American target.  For the time being, there is no sign of this building up. The ordinary Palestinian man in the street has a job to go to on Sunday and appears to have settled on a moderate demonstration of protest for Trump’s Jerusalem strategy.

***************************************

The Palestinian Hamas finds itself shouting alone for a massive armed uprising, raising only muted echoes in the Arab world and the Palestinian street in protest at the US president’s Jerusalem decision. Most adult Palestinians, when asked, admit they see no point in sending their sons in harm’s way. Yet Israel’s mainstream media astonishingly report with great bombast every Hamas threat as though a world power is threatening World War III.

The Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip have it in their power to unleash a barrage of rockets against their Israeli neighbors that would be damaging and lethal enough to trigger a major confrontation with Israel’s Defense Forces. They have done this before, but not so far now. In the exchange of blows Friday night, Dec. 8, Hamas clearly pulled its punches, showing that its rhetoric was just that. Smaller factions were allowed to fire off a few short-range rockets of low accuracy in the direction of Beersheba, Ashkelon, Ashdod and Israeli locations next door to the Gaza Strip. Most exploded on open ground or fell short while still in Gazan air space; one exploded harmlessly on a Sderot street and one was intercepted by an Iron Dome battery. Two Hamas activists were killed in Israeli retaliatory air strikes against three Hamas military facilities in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas leaders understand that their leeway for extreme action is narrower than ever before. They are a lone voice, are woefully short of funds, have no real backers in the Arab world and their popularity in the wider Palestinian community is waning.

By the time the anti-US, anti-Israel Palestinian protests reached their third day, Saturday, the following picture was taking shape:

The Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) decided against taking up Hamas’ call to arms when together they could have ignited a major conflagration. After all, President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital left in ruins the diplomatic campaign he led for years as his signature for unilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood.

In the phone conversation he held with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Wednesday, shortly after Trump announced his decision on Jerusalem, Abu Mazen briefly considered joining the Hamas call for an extreme response. He pulled back when he realized that Haniyeh’s plan was to use the Jerusalem crisis as his pretext for hanging onto rule in the Gaza Strip. This would have wrecked the “reconciliation” deal in which Egypt invested long months as broker, in the hope of unifying the two Palestinian factions and bringing the Gaza Strip under Palestinian Authority rule. When Abu Mazen saw Haniyeh’s game, he backed away. The anti-Trump rallies in West Bank towns Thursday and Friday were consequently modest, compared with so many convulsions in the past.

Iran too pulled back from putting in its oar for inflaming Palestinian ire, because it has bigger fish to fry – even through Hizballah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah pushed hard for Tehran to instruct Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip to escalate the anti-Trump protest. Tehran’s attention is fixed on the turning-point in the Yemen civil war at Saudi Arabia’s back door, generated by the Revolutionary Guards success, in conjunction with Hizballah, to assassinate former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, after he switched sides from the Houthi insurgents to the Saudi-led coalition fighting them. The Houthis were then directed to wipe out the opposition by executing hundreds of officers and commanders loyal to Saleh.

The Palestinians are also small beer in the calculations of most members of the Arab League. Arab foreign ministers convened in Cairo Saturday, Dec. 9, for an “emergency session on Jerusalem.”  But it was summoned by the Palestinian Authority and one other Arab leader, Jordan’s King Abdullah, who has fallen out with most of his colleagues, badly enough for Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, for instance, to cut of financial assistance to Amman.

Abu Mazen found Saudi Arabia and other senior Arab League members otherwise engaged. Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman was busy replacing Adel Al-Jubeir as foreign minister with his brother, Prince Khaled bin Salman, and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi showed no interest in the session. Abbas quickly saw which way the wind was blowing in the Palestinians Arab hinterland.

In New York too, the emergency UN Secretary Council session on Jerusalem, after hearing the PA’s complaint against President Trump, ended with a joint expression of “disappointment” by the ambassadors of France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK. “We disagree with the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” they said. “The status of Jerusalem must be determined through negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians leading to a final status agreement.” After that, the “disappointed” powers returned home.

All the same, it would be premature to completely rule out a major escalation being sparked by some unforeseen event. For instance, a cell of Tanzim, the armed wing of Abbas’ Fatah party, may decide to join Hamas, the Iranian-backed Jihad Islami and the extremist Popular Front – all of them with a long record of terrorism – for a spectacular terrorist attack on an Israeli or American target.  For the time being, there is no sign of this building up. The ordinary Palestinian man in the street has a job to go to on Sunday and appears to have settled on a moderate demonstration of protest for Trump’s Jerusalem strategy.

Abbas lacks important Arab support against Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem

December 7, 2017

Abbas lacks important Arab support against Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, DEBKAfile, December 7, 2017

Israeli soldiers clash with Palestinians during a protest in the West Bank city of Hebron, following US President Donald Trump’s announcement that he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, on December 7, 2017. Photo by Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90

It is no secret in Ramallah or Nablus that King Abdullah of Jordan has fallen out of favor with the majority of Arab rulers, especially the Saudi crown prince and strongman, the UAE emir and the Egyptian president.  DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources reveal that Riyadh has gone so far as to cut off financial assistance to Amman.

*************************************

The Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas only found Jordan’s King Abdullah and Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan to back him up Thursday, Dec. 7, in the first 24 hours after US President Donald Trump’s announced recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Arab street’s first response was also minor in scale and pitch – less than 100 protesters at most of the rallies. Prepared for an outbreak of “the third Palestinian intifada (uprising)”, foreign correspondents arrived on the scene kitted up in helmets and vests, only to find a fairly low-key event to cover rather than a violent backlash. The Palestinian sources reported 140 injured so far, most of them from inhaling gas and three from rubber bullets.

The Palestinians were called out by their leaders to stage massive protest marches in East Jerusalem, Hebron, Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin and Tulkarm, as well as at the Gaza border fence.  Stones were hurled at Israeli troops and tires set on fire for the cameras, but nothing more lethal at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, for instance, than bottles of water. Only in Hebron did real clashes occur between security forces and protesters. They were broken up with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets.

Extra Israeli security and military forces have been mobilized for the weekly Muslim Friday prayers at the mosques and Saturday. Will Palestinian protesters then turn out in force, as they have so many times before?

It must be said that, while most Arab and Muslim rulers have gone through the motions of condemning Trump’s pro-Israeli act, few are actively opposing it, which the Palestinian street has not been slow to notice. Their zeal for a violent confrontation with Israeli security forces is therefore less than expected – especially after their leader Abu Mazen had to fall back on the Jordanian king and Turkish president for support, instead of finding a rousing condemnation from the entire Arab leadership.

It is no secret in Ramallah or Nablus that King Abdullah of Jordan has fallen out of favor with the majority of Arab rulers, especially the Saudi crown prince and strongman, the UAE emir and the Egyptian president.  DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources reveal that Riyadh has gone so far as to cut off financial assistance to Amman.

Jordan has always been good friends with Turkey and so Abdullah flew to Ankara Wednesday to find a backer ahead of the Trump announcement. However, the ordinary Palestinian has a low opinion of President Erdogan and his efforts to set up an anti-American, Anti-Israel Islamic Front never found much response in Palestinian towns.

And so Abu Mazen’s panicky visit to Amman to talk with Abdullah is not expected to change the mood on the Palestinian street. At the same time, the situation is inflammable enough to catch fire in a trice. A large-scale Palestinian terrorist attack against Israel is always on the cards, and the potential for Israeli security forces facing a raging mob  to inflict a large number of casualties cannot be ruled out for triggering a major outbreak.

Israel’s public diplomacy challenge

July 26, 2017

Israel’s public diplomacy challenge, Israel Hayom, Ariel Bolstein, July 26, 2017

Paradoxically, Israel’s willingness to look for compromise, to soothe and appease, does nothing to help shatter the lies. Sometimes the opposite is true.

We have conceded too much and we have shown that we are too willing to compromise. Of course, the world rightly assumes that no nation would willingly give up what is rightly theirs, and so millions watching from the sidelines throw their support behind the violent side that refuses to compromise.

***********************

The Jewish state is facing a growing public diplomacy problem following the events of the past few days. The anti-Israel front is trying to alter global perception of the reality in the Middle East. They attack Israel on every front — canceling history in one fell swoop (with the stroke of a pen in the case of the U.N.’s anti-Israel resolutions). They distort actual events and whitewash Islamist terror.

Under the cover of extreme anti-Israel propaganda, incitement in the Muslim world is on the rise. All those who claim the crown among the believers of the religion of Muhammad are going out of their way to portray themselves as “defenders of the mosques” from the Zionists. As usual, facts are of no importance. There is no threat to the freedom of religion, including the religion of Islam, in areas under Israeli control. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan knows this, but he has mastered the art of propaganda and knows how to use it deviously and efficiently. What is the best way to distract public opinion at home from violations of human rights, from the purging of a country of all those with different opinions, from newspapers being shut down and Turkey’s transformation into a dictatorship? That’s right: Making false accusations against Israel to blind the believers and distract them from their real troubles.

Paradoxically, Israel’s willingness to look for compromise, to soothe and appease, does nothing to help shatter the lies. Sometimes the opposite is true. The world can accept one country or another’s insistence on a particular position, even if they don’t agree with it, but will find it difficult to accept a lack of clarity and changing positions. Hesitation is the greatest enemy of any public diplomacy campaign. We should therefore ask ourselves why Israel’s enemies — those who do not shy away from violence and murder; those who never concede and perceive every one of our concessions as a sign of weakness — are so good at convincing so many of their righteousness. The answer, or at least one of the answers, can be found in the question. We have conceded too much and we have shown that we are too willing to compromise. Of course, the world rightly assumes that no nation would willingly give up what is rightly theirs, and so millions watching from the sidelines throw their support behind the violent side that refuses to compromise.

We must refine our message and focus our efforts on emphasizing our rights and not the rights of others. Our right to the land of Israel, to Jerusalem and to the Temple Mount is indisputable, and the time has come to realize this right with the uncompromising implementation of Israeli sovereignty throughout the country. A hundred years ago, the Jews realized there could be no Zionism without Zion. Now we must realize there can be no Zionist public diplomacy without explaining Zion to the world.

There are situations when it is wise (or unavoidable) to make tactical concessions on the ground. But we must never backtrack on policies that we have clearly communicated to the world. We pay dearly for these types of concessions, losing entire populations that switch over to our enemies’ side. We must present the world with a firm position that actualizes our sovereignty throughout the country by what the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin called “the virtue of our right.” Our path to a public diplomacy victory is long, but determination and an insistence on our rights will take us there.

Ariel Bolstein is the founder of the Israel advocacy organization Faces of Israel.

Palestinians, Mother of Terrorist, Celebrate Slaughter of Jewish Family

July 24, 2017

Palestinians, Mother of Terrorist, Celebrate Slaughter of Jewish Family, Front Page MagazineJoseph Klein, July 24, 2017

(Another good opportunity for an American veto at the UN Security Council. — DM)

The United Nations Security Council is meeting in closed session Monday morning to discuss the crisis. Sweden, Egypt and France requested the special meeting. None of these countries have supported Israel in dealing with the ever present threat of Palestinian terrorism. They have bought into the Palestinians’ victimhood narrative.

**********************************

Palestinian mother extolled her 19-year old son’s “accomplishment” in the name of Allah. She exclaimed:  “Praise Allah. I am proud of my son. May Allah be pleased with him.” The mother was not celebrating her son’s graduation, new job, marriage, fatherhood or some other life-affirming event. Rather, she was celebrating the deaths that her terrorist offspring, Omar al-Abed, brought to a Jewish family on July 21st.  The family was about to sit down for a Sabbath dinner and to celebrate the birth of a grandson that same day when the Palestinian terrorist prodigy invaded the family’s home. Wielding a knife, he proceeded to kill a grandfather, his daughter and his son, and to seriously wound the grandmother. The massacre ended only after a neighbor, who belongs to an elite IDF unit and was home on leave, heard cries for help from the house and shot the terrorist. Al-Abed was eventually handcuffed and taken to a hospital for treatment of his wounds.  

The terrorist’s mother was joined in her celebration by Palestinians dancing in the street in Gaza. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh reportedly phoned Omar al-Abed’s father to congratulate him for what his son had done to bring “pride to the nation.” 

The trigger for this latest spurt of violence was said to be Israel’s decision to install metal detectors at the entrances leading to the Temple Mount. Israel took this action in response to the killings by terrorists on July 14th of two Israeli police officers guarding the holy site. The murders were carried out by Arab Israeli citizens who used guns previously smuggled into the compound. Israel installed metal detectors to prevent any further smuggling of arms.

Palestinian violence has been spreading since then, resulting in the deaths of four Palestinian rioters in confrontations with Israeli security forces trying to restore calm.

The spiraling violence is being spurred on by Muslim religious leaders and Palestinian officials claiming that Israel’s security actions were defiling the Al Aqsa mosque situated on the Temple Mount. Omar al-Abed picked up on this theme in the “will” he posted on Facebook three hours before his cowardly attack. He said he was acting against “the sons of apes and pigs who defile Al Aqsa.” Hoping for martyrdom, he posted: “I will go to heaven. How sweet death is for the sake of God, his prophet and for Al-Aqsa mosque.” The 19-year old terrorist, who is the apple of his mother’s eye, did not get his wish and will now have to answer for his crimes. No doubt, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will reward the terrorist’s family with a generous stipend while he remains in Israeli custody. That’s the way Abbas operates.

After first mouthing an insincere condemnation of the murderous attack on the police guarding the Temple Mount, Abbas has exploited the situation ever since. He announced that he was going to suspend all contacts with Israel until the metal detectors were removed. Abbas reached out to the United States and the so-called “international community” to pressure Israel into cancelling its heightened security measures. He reportedly said that unless Israel backed down, tensions over access to the holy site could spiral out of control. The United Nations Security Council is meeting in closed session Monday morning to discuss the crisis. Sweden, Egypt and France requested the special meeting. None of these countries have supported Israel in dealing with the ever present threat of Palestinian terrorism. They have bought into the Palestinians’ victimhood narrative.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government has been holding firm so far on its latest security measures. Tzachi Hanegbi, the minister for regional development and a senior member of the ruling Likud party, told Army Radio: “They (metal detectors) will remain. The murderers will never tell us how to search the murderers. If they (Palestinians) do not want to enter the mosque, then let them not enter the mosque.”

However, there is some division within the Israeli government on the utility of the metal detectors. Senior security officials have reportedly warned that the potential danger the metal detectors may pose in being used as a pretext for widespread violence may outweigh their usefulness. Thus, the government could be preparing a way to replace the metal detectors with a less controversial alternative. Israel has begun installing sophisticated security cameras at one of the entrances. While security officials have told Israeli media that the cameras are meant to complement the metal detectors, not replace them, the cameras may provide the Israeli government with a face saving way to defuse the immediate crisis. Prime Minister Netanyahu hinted as much when he said at his weekly cabinet meeting, “The only thing we want is to ensure no one can again take weapons in and carry out another attack. We’re willing to examine alternatives to the metal detectors, so long as the alternative ensures the prevention of the next attack.”

However, it is unlikely that any alternative security measure the Israelis institute will quell the rising level of violence. Indeed, it could have the opposite effect. Already, Abbas is said to be protesting the installation of the cameras. Only the Palestinians have the right to determine what security measures are appropriate outside the entrance to the site of their mosque, he said on Sunday. Moreover, some Muslim religious leaders may argue that photographing of people and other living animate moving beings is forbidden in Islam. They would likely rail against the “Zionist infidel occupiers” taking pictures of Muslim worshippers entering the “sacred” site of a mosque over which the Palestinians claim exclusive sovereignty.

The Palestinian grand mufti, the acting Palestinian chief justice and the Jordanian-sponsored Waqf religious trust issued a no-compromise joint statement:

“We stress our absolute rejection of the electronic gates, and of all measures by the Occupation (Israel) that would change the historical and religious status in Jerusalem and its sacred sites, foremost the blessed Aqsa mosque.” (Emphasis added)

Palestinians continue to reject all paths to a reasonable compromise on any issue related to the conflict that they created in the first place by not accepting a two-state solution seven decades ago. There is no reason to expect any different outcome this time. As Debkafile put it so well: “The Palestinians are consistent in their tactics: First shed Israeli blood, then tell the world they are victims and as martyrs are justified in seeking revenge.” As usual, much of the “international community,” as represented in the UN, will fall for this charade.

Preventing an intifada

July 23, 2017

Preventing an intifada, Israel Hayom, Yoav Limor, July 23, 2017

(How likely is that Jordan, much of the population of which is “Palestinian,” will provide significant help in diminishing the current crisis? — DM)

The one scenario Israel strives to avoid at this point is a third intifada, a senior defense source said over the weekend. The words “third intifada” have been at the heart of every security assessment held over the past week and this time, defense officials are saying it outright. This is also the scenario which the Shin Bet security agency and the IDF have been increasingly warning about over the past few days, and one that various overt and covert elements on the ground have made into a very real possibility.

Those comparing the unrest of the past week to the wave of mostly lone-wolf terrorism that erupted in October 2015 are wrong. The current crisis represents a much more slippery slope because it is fueled by religious rage. Past waves of terrorism, including the Second Intifada, the attempts to use security prisoners’ hunger strikes to agitate the Palestinian street, and other flare-ups in recent years, were more rationally motivated.

In the past, flare-ups were led by political forces seeking national gains by means of violence. This time the unrest is emotionally motivated, driven by the false notion that Al-Aqsa mosque is “in danger” of Israeli takeover. Israel’s repeated statements that it has no intention whatsoever to change the status quo on the Temple Mount continue to fall on deaf ears. The perceived threat to Al-Aqsa resonates across the Muslim world and generates a very negative trend, as evident by the hundreds of thousands of social media posts echoing the need to defend the holy site.

Another indication was the reaction on the Palestinian street to the gruesome terrorist attack in the Samaria community of Halamish, where a terrorist murdered three members of the Salomon family on Friday. The glory and support showered on the terrorist was unusual even for a society that regularly glorifies terrorists, raising concerns that others might very well follow in his footsteps.

The ease with which the terrorist managed to enter Halamish — despite the security fence surrounding it and the alert, which according to the initial investigation was mishandled by the rapid response team in the community — is likely to spur others to act. Several individuals have already openly said as much on social media. The defense establishment’s immediate challenge, therefore, is to prevent copycat attacks.

The decision to deploy large security contingents on the ground is meant to do just that: prevent terrorist attacks and lend the residents a sense of security. Past experience has shown that this would most likely be only partially successful as well as slow to happen, as it takes time to get a solid hold on an area, seal any breaches to the fence and exhaust intelligence.

Palestinian security forces took an active part in efforts to curb the last wave of terrorism, mostly over their own concerns of losing control over the Palestinian population. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ announcement over the weekend that the PA was suspending all security ties with Israel will undermine the Palestinian Authority, but it may also cost Israeli lives.

Israeli effort to curtail further security deterioration will therefore focus on four fronts: in Jerusalem, by the police; in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip, by the military; and overseas, by the Shin Bet, which will try to prevent terrorist attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets abroad. The defense establishment’s working assumption is that this situation will be somewhat prolonged. The IDF has already diverted troops in a way that would sustain this special state of alert for at least a month, and it is preparing for the possibility that it will take longer to resolve.

But this operational effort is only part of the plan, alongside significant diplomatic efforts. The Diplomatic-Security Cabinet decided to keep the metal detectors installed last week on the Temple Mount, but according to Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, whose interview with Al Jazeera over the weekend meant to allay the concerns of the Arab street, the cabinet is currently seeking alternative solutions.

While the search for metal detector-free security measures continues, Israel must also find ways to assuage the concerns expressed by Arab leaders. The anti-Israeli consensus in recent days — at a time when Israel was able to make progress vis-a-vis many Middle East nations based on the shared need to curtail Iran’s regional ambitions and the joint war on Islamic State — is very troubling and must be addressed immediately.

The main effort in this respect must be directed at Jordan: As the nation controlling the Islamic trust that manages Al-Aqsa mosque, Amman plays a special role on the holy site and that should be leveraged when discussing the various alternatives and compromises.

Israel believes that even if an agreement is reached on a diplomatic level, some “braking distance” would still be required until the unrest on the ground is quelled. For this reason, “calm” will be the operative word in the coming days, as there is a need to calm the situation on the ground and tone down the rhetoric so as to facilitate an effective war on terror while minimizing any harm to civilians on both sides. This is a particularly complicated operation in terms of security and diplomacy, but it is essential if we are to avoid an unwanted escalation that would lead to a third intifada.

Metal Detectors and Palestinian Lies

July 22, 2017

Metal Detectors and Palestinian Lies, Gatestone InstituteBassam Tawil, July 22, 2017

(Please see also, This is a war for sovereign control of Temple Mt. — DM)

This incitement began more than two years ago, when Palestinian and Waqf leaders started telling their people and the rest of the world that Israel was planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and that Jews visiting the Temple Mount were “defiling with their filthy feet” an Islamic holy site. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was the first to pronounce this blood libel, which triggered a wave of knife and car-ramming attacks against Israelis that continues to this day.

**********************************

The slain police officers were stationed there to ensure the safety of Muslim worshippers. The Palestinian spin doctors are attempting to divert attention from the terror attack by making it look as if the crisis began when Israel installed the metal detectors and not when two police officers were murdered.

First, the security measures, including the placement of the metal detectors, was not an Israeli initiative but came as a direct and necessary response to a specific terror attack. The Israeli government did not convene and take a decision to install the metal detectors in order to alter the status quo or stop Muslims from praying.

Second, it was the Palestinians who took the decision not to enter into the Temple Mount unless the metal detectors are removed. The Palestinians and the Waqf are lying to the world by telling it that Israel is denying Muslims access to their holy sites.

The Palestinian opposition to the metal detectors at the Temple Mount means one thing only: that the Palestinians are determined to turn the holy site into a weapons cache and use it as a launching pad to carry out terror attacks against Israelis. If the mosque were then actually destroyed in the process, guess who would be blamed? Possibly that is even the real agenda.

The controversy surrounding the Israeli authorities’ decision to place metal detectors at the gates of the Temple Mount calls to mind the famous Arab saying, “he beat me and cried then came to me to complain.” This inversion of reality is a common among perpetrators who pretend to be victims.

The decision to install the metal detectors came after Arab terrorists murdered two Israeli police officers at the Temple Mount on July 14. The three terrorists — Israeli Arab citizens from the city of Umm al-Fahm — used a submachine gun and knives to carry out their attack. The weapons were easily smuggled into the Temple Mount thanks to Muslim worshippers not having been required to pass through metal detectors or undergo body searches by policemen stationed at the gates.

Incredibly, the Palestinians have since been waging daily protests against the new Israeli security measures, demanding that the metal detectors be removed from the entrances to the Temple Mount. As part of the protests, Palestinian leaders have urged Muslim worshippers not to enter the Temple Mount through the metal detectors and instead to pray at the entrances to the holy site.

The Palestinian Authority (PA), Jordan and other Arab and Islamic countries are accusing Israel of violating the status quo at the Temple Mount by installing the metal detectors.

One listens in vain for a denouncement of the terrorists who murdered the two Israeli police officers — these are the people responsible for defiling the sanctity of the holy site.

We also hear no condemnation of the murder of the officers, who belong to the Druze community in Israel and who were entrusted with preserving law and order at the Temple Mount. The slain officers were stationed there to ensure the safety of Muslim worshippers.

On the contrary — many Palestinians and Arabs have applauded the terror attack as a “heroic operation” against the “Zionist enemy.” The three terrorists, who were killed by Israeli policemen during the attack, are being hailed as “martyrs” and “heroes” who sacrificed their lives in defense of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Sadly, many Israeli Arab leaders have refused to condemn the terror attack carried out by three of their fellow citizens.

The metal detectors have one goal: to prevent terrorists from smuggling weapons into the Temple Mount. That is the act that should be viewed as a desecration of a holy site.

Yet, rather than supporting the Israelis’ attempt to thwart bloodshed on this sacred soil, the Palestinians and other Arabs blame Israel for seeking to safeguard the well-being of all people — not least of all Muslim worshipers — through basic security measures.

The Palestinian spin doctors are attempting to divert attention from the terror attack by making it look as if the crisis began when Israel installed the metal detectors and not when two police officers were murdered.

The Palestinians and other Arabs are now crying to the international community that Israel is seeking to change the status quo at the Temple Mount through a series of security measures. They are also trying to make it look as if Israel is preventing Muslim worshippers from entering and praying at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The facts, however, tell a rather different story.

First, the security measures, including the placement of the metal detectors, was not an Israeli initiative but came as a direct and necessary response to a specific terror attack. The Israeli government did not convene and take a decision to install the metal detectors in order to alter the status quo or stop Muslims from praying.

Second, it was the Palestinians who took the decision not to enter into the Temple Mount unless the metal detectors are removed. Palestinian leaders and officials the Waqf (a religious trust that manages the Temple Mount compound) were the ones who urged Muslim worshippers to stay away from the Temple Mount and hold prayers in the streets and public squares in protest against the metal detectors. The Muslim worshippers prefer to pray in the streets and public squares rather than enter the Temple Mount through metal detectors. But now the Palestinians and the Waqf are lying to the world by telling it that Israel is denying Muslims access to their holy sites.

Approximately 4,000 Palestinian Muslims pray outside the entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem, on July 19, 2017, in protest at the installation of metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

The Palestinian propaganda machine is working overtime to market the false impression that the metal detectors are part of an Israeli scheme to spark a religious war with Muslims and destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It appears, however, that quite the opposite is true. The incitement of Palestinian and Waqf officials suggests that it is they who are hell-bent on triggering a religious war with Israel and Jews.

This incitement began more than two years ago, when Palestinian and Waqf leaders started telling their people and the rest of the world that Israel was planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and that Jews visiting the Temple Mount were “defiling with their filthy feet” an Islamic holy site. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was the first to pronounce this blood libel, which triggered a wave of knife and car-ramming attacks against Israelis that continues to this day.

The three terrorists who carried out the July 14 attack were acting precisely in accordance with the instructions of Abbas and other Palestinian and Muslim leaders: that it is the duty of Muslims to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque from Jews. In that sense, this attack should be seen in the context of the ongoing wave of terror attacks against Israel that began in late 2015 and which is known as the “Knife Intifada.”

Since then, the Palestinians have been using visits by Jews to the Temple Mount as an excuse to launch terror attacks against Israel. Palestinian officials and media outlets continue to depict these peaceful visits as “violent raids by Jewish settler gangs into the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” The truth, however, is that no Jew has set foot inside the mosque. The visits are restricted to tours of the Temple Mount compound — something that non-Muslim tourists have been doing since 1968.

In reality, it is the Palestinians themselves who are desecrating the sanctity of the Temple Mount, using the site to launch violent attacks against Jews by hurling stones at Jews praying at the nearby Western Wall.

They have also been smuggling various types of weapons into the Temple Mount in order to throw firebombs and stones at Jewish visitors and policemen. The Palestinian leadership and Waqf officials have also encouraged Muslims to harass Jewish visitors and police officers by hurling insults at them.

Last year, the Palestinians thwarted a plan by Jordan to install dozens of security cameras at the Temple Mount. The cameras were supposed to refute or confirm Palestinian allegations that Israel was plotting to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Jordanians backed off from their plan after Palestinian intimidation, including the threat to destroy the cameras.

Why protest the plan? The Palestinians were afraid that their violence, harassment and amassing of weapons to attack Jewish visitors and police officers would be captured on camera.

Redux: Palestinian are twisting reality again, only this time with metal detectors. They are worried that the metal detectors will stop them from smuggling knives and firearms into the Temple Mount.

One wonders — if the draw of the Al-Aqsa Mosque is prayer, why worry about metal detectors? Thousands of Palestinians pass every day through metal detectors on their way into Israel, and all that happens is that they get to work. Similarly, Palestinians and Israelis alike pass every day through metal detectors at shopping malls and state institutions, such as the Post Office, the National Insurance Institute, hospitals and medical centers. Where is the outcry?

The Palestinian opposition to the metal detectors at the Temple Mount means one thing only: that the Palestinians are determined to turn the holy site into a weapons cache and use it as a launching pad to carry out terror attacks against Israelis. If the mosque were then actually destroyed in the process, guess who would be blamed? Possibly that is even the real agenda. Who among the international community would like to sign off on that?