SHANA TOVAH (Happy New Year)!
UPDATES 9 am Israel time, Thursday, September 5 2013:
**We have just started a very long holiday/weekend here in Israel. The Rosh Hashana holiday began last night. It is a two day holiday that continues until Friday night at sundown at which time Shabbat begins. Then Shabbat does not end until sundown on Saturday. All of which means that Israelis are off work and out of school until Sunday morning.
**If you remember yesterday’s map of the alignment of naval forces in the Mediterranean, you will recall that the U.S.S. San Antonio was positioned near Cyprus. As of 12 hours ago, the ship is docked in Haifa for refueling.
The San Antonio is the largest U.S. Naval vessel with stealth features (note some of the unusual shapes on the ship) and is designed as an amphibious transport dock to deliver its contingent of 800 Marines on shore by helicopters and landing craft.
**What began as a drip of leaks from the Palestinians about the content of the so-called “negotiations” with Israel turned into a flood yesterday with different PLO/PA spokesmen rushing to report various details to the media.
As your humble servant suggested yesterday, the entire focus from the Netanyahu-Livni team seems to be on securing an interim agreement. According to the Palestinians, the Israeli-American push is to have Israel agree to temporary borders in return for security considerations from the Palestinians. This agreement would call for Israel to evacuate military bases in Judea and Samaria but keep at least one base in the Jordan Valley.
On the subject of Jewish communities, one Palestinian spokesman declared that Israel had not declared its intention to evacuate any communities–and, in fact, the talks were failing because of this. A different spokesman said that Israel had declared its intention to evacuate some communities, but was intent on keeping 40% of Judea and Samaria–also cause to say that the “talks are going nowhere.”
As was stated yesterday, the talk of an interim agreement is a disaster, with Israel once again making extreme concessions in return for nothing. More than this, the disingenuousness of Netanyahu and Livni is appalling. By only seeking an interim agreement, they will not be forced to submit the “agreement” to a national referendum. By the time a vote is ever taken on a referendum, a de facto Palestinian state will be in full operation.
You will recall, dear reader, that is has become the policy of the Israeli government under Benjamin Netanyahu to encourage vast numbers of Palestinians to visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem—Judaism’s holiest place—on Muslim holidays. In each of the past two years, more than 1,000,000 Muslims have come to the Temple Mount.
Think about that fact for a moment.
The Israeli government has removed checkpoints, torn down barriers, and generally bent over backwards to provide unfettered Muslim access to the Temple Mount. And to make sure that the Muslims are not disturbed while they are holding their viciously anti-Israel, Hamas-led demonstrations on the Mount, the government has actually prohibited Jews from ascending to the site of the First and Second Temples.
In the process, the Israeli government has become the lapdog of the Islamic Wakf–acceding to its every demand no matter how absurd. All the Wakf has to do is threaten violence, and the government closes down the Mount to Jews.
So we come to yesterday.
In response to the fact that Israel police informed the Wakf that about 100 additional number of Jews would be coming to the Mount because of the Rosh Hashana holiday, the Wakf put out an emergency call–via Sheikh Raed Salah and his Islamic movement–to Palestinians to rush to the Mount to protect it from “the Jewish intruders”.
Sixteen buses brought more than 300 Palestinians into the Old City all of whom attempted to enter the Mount through the Chain Gate. Many were able to get through, but the police managed to block some of these “protectors” when they belatedly realized what was going on. Once on the Mount, those that got through immediately began pelting the Jews with “rocks”. When the police intervened to stop the violence, most of the “rock throwers” fled into the Al-Aksa Mosque–into which the police refused to go.
By the end of the episode, seven Palestinians were arrested for throwing “rocks”, their fellow criminals were left un-arrested inside the Mosque, and the Jews were taken off the Mount.
That’s right. The Jews were ordered off the Mount by the Jerusalem police.
Your humble servant just does not have the words for this travesty. The Israeli government actively encouraged more than 1,000,000 Muslims to be on the Mount during Ramadan and now kowtows once again to the Islamic Wakf and removes some 100 Jews trying to celebrate Rosh Hashana from the Mount?
Absolutely, positively, pathetic.
And a gross indictment of the government of Benjamin Netanyahu and all that it stands for.