UPDATES 10 am Israel time, Tuesday, September 17 2013:
**Violence in Jenin overnight: Israeli security forces attempting to capture a wanted terrorist were attacked by Palestinian rifle fire, grenades, and Molotov cocktails. The terrorist was eventually shot and killed.
**The Border Guards and police captured three terrorists in Qalandia last night. All were in the possession of weapons.
**In Akko last night, Arabs held a demonstration to commemorate events in the Lebanon War back in the 1980s. Note the Palestinian flag:
**Four Palestinians were arrested today and charged with desecrating the cemetery at Kibbutz Mizra on Yom Kippur. 30 tombstones were either broken or defaced.
A remarkable discussion took place yesterday in a meeting of the Knesset Interior Committee. The reason for the discussion was the terrible treatment that Jews have received over the last two months on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem--treatment that has seen the police continually prohibit Jews from even going to Judaism’s holiest place except for on rare occasions, and the Palestinians continually engage in full-scale “rock” throwing assaults on Jewish worshipers who did manage to get there during the few hours when police did permit Jews to enter.
The discussion is remarkable because it crystallizes so many issues, but two in particular: the absurd Jewish idea of “tolerance” in the face of the enemy, and the Arab canard that there is no Jewish history in Jerusalem.
It is important to realize that all of those who participated in the discussion are members of the Israeli Knesset (except for Yehuda Glick–see below). And you should know that this was a screaming match with all sides shouting at each other continuously. Basically, the committee was split along two lines.
On one side there were MK and Chairwoman Miri Regev (Likud Beiteinu); MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud Beiteinu); MK Orit Struck, (Bayit Yehudi); and MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli, (Bayit Yehudi).
On the other side were MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta’al); MK Abu Arar (Ra’am-Ta’al-Mada; and MK David Tsur (Hatnua-Tzipi Livni party).
Yehuda Glick of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation attended and participated as a witness.
In the following discussion, your humble servant has interpolated his own comments in [brackets]. Also please note that some comments are based on paraphrased comments as reported by the Jerusalem Post journalist in the room.
[Note Miri Regev’s conciliatory comments that follow. The Temple Mount is for Jews and Muslims.]
Miri Regev: “We will allow Jews to visit the Mount, and we don’t want to disturb Muslims who are praying. Why don’t the police decide that if Muslims don’t allow Jews to visit without disturbances, we’ll have days for Jews to access the Mount and days for Muslims?”
[Note Ahmed Tibi’s response that follows. There is no place for Jews on the Mount. Israel is a transitory phenomenon that will pass away just like the Crusaders. He then threatens war and violence and repeats the canard that it was Sharon who sparked the second intifada.]
Ahmed Tibi: “Jewish worshipers disturb Muslim worshipers. The occupation is temporary and the government in east Jerusalem is temporary. The Crusaders passed, the British passed and so will the Israelis. Any change in the current situation on the Temple Mount will be seen as a declaration of war and will set off violence. You need to use your judgment and think about whether you want to spark a fire in the most sensitive place in the region. Ariel Sharon’s stupid surprise visit [in 2000] was enough to set off an intifada.”
At this point Abu Arar agreed with Tibi.
[Note Moshe Feiglin’s history lesson. The Temple Mount was established by Jews 1600 years before Mohammed was born and 1700 years before the Al-Aksa Mosque and Dome of the Rock were ever built.]
Moshe Feiglin (to Tibi and Arar): “Let’s review some history. . . The First and Second Temples were on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for many years, when your ancestors were worshiping idols and the sun and the moon in Saudi Arabia or wherever.”
[But as Abu Arar rants in the following short response, the Palestinians now claim Jewish history as their own.]
Abu Arar: You think you were in Israel before us?”
Moshe Feiglin: “Yes, long before you.”
[At this point Temple Mount Heritage Foundation founder Yehuda Glick described for the committee the limitations police put on Jews–and the rocks thrown at them on Rosh Hashana. In the middle of his presentation, Abu Arar interrupted with a statement that goes to the heart of the matter–and shows the depth of disinformation disseminated by the PLO/PA.]
Abu Arar: “Why would Jews want to go to the Temple Mount anyway?”
Miri Regev: “Same thing as you, to pray.”
[Note the following attempt of Glick to be “tolerant”.]
Yehuda Glick (to Arar): “I don’t tell you that Mecca isn’t holy. I don’t tell you what’s holy or not for your religion. The Temple Mount is the heart of the Jewish people.”
[At this point, Jerusalem District Police Chief Yossi Parienti described police attempts to protect Jews on the Mount. He pointed out that on Rosh Hashana police arrested five men (out of hundreds) for throwing “rocks” at Jews]
Moshe Feiglin: “If the police put in all this effort and Glick is still pelted with rocks when he visits the Temple Mount on a holy day and can only access a limited area of the site, isn’t that a failure on the police’s part?
The police don’t know the facts. Inspector General Yohanan Danino has written that the Wakf Muslim Religious Trust controls the Mount as a result of a 1968 government decision. Can the police show me the government decision? No. There never was one. The police [are] granting sovereignty over the Temple Mount to a body under Jordanian control without any [Israeli] government decision.”
[Note that David Tsur does not dispute Feiglin’s statement about their never being a government decision. He says that there was a policy.]
David Tsur: “The police are enacting a government policy. We need to have this discussion with Religious Affairs Minister [Naftali Bennett] and the Prime Minister’s Office, not the police.”
[Note that one of the main complaints that Jews have had about the Jerusalem police is their rough “handling” of Jewish families attempting to go to the Mount].
Orit Struck: “Police should make the minimum operative decision to only allow Arab men over 45 to access the Temple Mount on Jewish holidays and [the police should] behave less roughly toward Jewish families with children approaching the site.”
[Note again the following Arab response that the Temple Mount has no connection to Judaism or Jewish history.]
Abu Arar: “Jews have no reason to be on al-Aksa Mount.”
[Note again the Jewish attempt to be tolerant.]
Shuli Moalem-Refaeli: “It doesn’t help you to shout, ‘It’s mine, it’s mine.’ I can do the same thing. Let’s look at the history books. Jews have the right to go to the Temple Mount. It’s my right as much as it’s Tibi’s right, because we’re people whose faiths say the Temple Mount is holy.”
Miri Regev: “Nothing bad will happen if Jews, Muslims and Christians are all allowed to pray at a site that’s holy to them.”
[Note again the intolerance of the Arabs].
Ahmed Tibi: “This is incitement.”
[Note again more tolerance.]
Miri Regev: “We don’t want to close the mosque or even pray there. We just want Jews to be able to go up to the Temple Mount and pray without rocks being thrown at them. In a civilized country, everyone should be able to pray where they want. The status quo needs to change through dialogue.”
If there is one thing this conversation shows, it is that Regev’s final statement is terribly incorrect. The status quo on the Temple Mount will never change through dialogue because there are no Palestinians for Israel to talk to. It is only through the passage of laws that permit Jews to pray on the Mount and to be safeguarded when they do–that the situation will ever change.
Tolerance for the Palestinians is tantamount to surrender.