UPDATES 5 pm Israel time, Sunday, October 26 2014:
–>Israel moved to Fall time last night, moving the clock back by one hour.
–>As predicted yesterday on israelstreet, the Egyptians announced today that they are indefinitely postponing indirect talks between Israel and Hamas, scheduled to begin tomorrow in Cairo.
What can we expect? Obviously, southern Israelis can expect a steady increase in Hamas missiles in the coming weeks and months.
This is especially true as Egypt tightens the screws on the terrorists in Gaza whom they are certain carried out the attacks on Egyptian soldiers two days ago. This morning, Egyptian officials declared that in addition to closing the Rafah Crossing, they are on the verge of moving Bedouins out of a 3 km zone that abuts Gaza and turning the area into a buffer zone.
How many times have southern Israelis heard all of this before?
How many times have we heard Benjamin Netanyahu tell Israelis living on the Gaza border that “We will not allow Hamas to fire a drizzle of missiles. We will not allow missiles to become a daily reality for those living in the Gaza border communities.”
Tens of times, perhaps even a hundred times.
Repeated, by the way, by a host of Defense Ministers and IDF Chiefs of Staff including Ehud Barak, Boogie Ya’alon, Gabi Ashkenazi, and Benny Gantz.
And what happened?
Hamas continued firing missiles at will, and running to bomb shelters has become a daily reality of everyone living in the Eshkol, Sha’ar Hanegev, and Chof Ashkelon regions.
In this context, PM Netanyahu’s words in Jerusalem yesterday rang particularly hollow. Blathering about how his government would end violence in our capital, Netanyahu solemnly intoned: “In recent days we have reinforced the city with a thousand police officers, border police and specialized units. We will not allow rock throwing and disorder to become a reality in the capital.”
Under what rock, your humble servant wonders, has Benjamin Netanyahu been living during the last year while the violence in Jerusalem spiraled out of control–so much out of control that the thought that one thousand additional police will quell the ongoing disturbances is sheer fantasy.
But Netanyahu wasn’t finished. After blathering the above nonsense, he added this: “It is not a coincidence that there are radical Islamist sources attempting to inflame the Israeli capital, and we will operate all force necessary to decisively and responsibly thwart their efforts.”
Of course there are radical Islamist sources attempting to inflame the Israeli capital, but the irony is that it is the Netanyahu government that permitted the radical Islamists to gain a foothold on the Temple Mount from which they have spread their violence throughout the city.
How can Israel quell the violence in Jerusalem?
1. All radical Islamist groups must immediately be eliminated from the Temple Mount. The idea that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Salafist, and even IS followers have taken over Judaism’s holiest place is an Israeli forfeiture of sovereignty of appalling dimensions. The fact that these groups can “hold classes”, preach sermons, and parade around the Mount with flags must be put to an end.
Does Benjamin Netanyahu have the guts to do this? Obviously not. All Netanyahu can robotically mouth are the words “status quo” as he repeatedly says “We must not interfere with the status quo.”
2. All city services to neighborhoods where the most violence is taking place should be immediately suspended. Cut off the electricity, halt buses and the light rail, eliminate telephone service.
Does Benjamin Netanyahu have the guts to do this? Obviously not. If he couldn’t turn off the pipeline of electricity, water, and fuel into Gaza during the recent war, he certainly will not do so in the predominantly Arab neighborhoods of the capital.
3. Instead of 1000 added soldiers, the security forces need at least 10 times that many. There are simply too many flashpoints in the eastern neighborhoods for a minimal force to handle. Netanyahu should take a lesson from President Sisi and impose curfews and even martial law if necessary.
Does Benjamin Netanyahu have the guts to do this? Obviously not. As long as Netanyahu has Tzipi Livni as Israel’s Justice Minister, Yair Lapid as a primary coalition partner, and Yitzhak Aharonovitch as the Internal Security Minister, no crackdown will occur.
In sum, there is no end in sight for the violence in Jerusalem, not as long as Netanyahu refuses to face the reality of the situation.