Can Netanyahu reverse the Temple Mount narrative?
This paper has reported this morning that Jerusalem Police have raided a Jerusalem apartment in Ramot, arresting a “right-wing activist” while seizing “extremist right-wing documents” that call on Jews, supposedly, to ascend to Temple Mount.
At the outset, let’s be clear: ascent to the Temple Mount is legal, anchored in High Court for Justice rulings.
But the police seem to seek for themselves an easy job and have in the past, as perhaps now, initiated a high-profile arrest, even adding ominously that they were “preparing for the possibility of clashes between right-wing activists and Palestinians on and around the Temple Mount Tuesday morning…[which] followed a call by Palestinian activists to come and "protect" the Temple mount after right-wing activists said they would ascend to the holy site.”
This is a continuation of a pattern developing in which Muslims begin rumors, act o nthen which in turn bestirs activists to get active and then the police enter, getting themselves a pat on the back for “halting violence and disturbances” but all the while, not acting adequately against those who initiate the unrest – the Waqf and Islamic extremists like the Islamic Movement – Northern Branch.
As colleague blogger http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2012/02/latest-dangerous-arab-rumor-isr... ">Elder of Ziyon observes,
over the past two weekends, Muslim clerics and officials have been pushing false rumors about Israeli designs on the Al Aqsa Mosque. The first time they got Israeli police to bar Jews from peacefully visiting; the second time they started stoning Christian tourists who they claimed were Jewish extremists. Clearly, spreading false rumors is an effective weapon.
And he adds new information:
…emboldened by their success in keeping Judaism's holy site free of Jewish tourists, they have started a new rumor for this week. The Al Aqsa Center has released a statement saying
مركز إعلام القدس يحذر من تقسيم يتهدد المسجد الأقصى بين المسلمين واليهود
That translates as: Jerusalem Information Center warns of a threat to divide the Al Aqsa Mosque between Muslims and Jews.
We’ll ignore the fact that “division” has been on the table for decades. In July 2000,Ehud Barak suggested an administrative and functional division whereby the proposed Palestinian state would gain religious autonomy over the Temple Mount, though Israel proposed that an area be set aside for Jewish prayer on the site and then, prodded by Bill Clinton, agreed to mull another irrational idea: divide the Temple Mount horizontallywhereby the upper part for Arafat, and the lower part, in which the remains of the Temple are buried. Later still, the idea morphed into this: “the Palestinians would get most of the Old City and sovereignty over the Temple Mount, the most sacred place in Judaism” which Jonathan Tobin strongly disagreed with, as he wrote.
EoZ thinks that
“There is only one reason why these rumors are started - to keep Jews off of the holiest site in Judaism. They want to stir up riots because, according to these defenders of Islam, it is better than no one go to the Temple Mount than to allow Jewish "filth" from "desecrating" it. These incitements have worked in the past…”.
Now, I can understand the Islamic approach. I can grasp the American pressure. But why do the police play along with the more violent elements instead of crushing their incitement initiatives, arresting the fomenters of havoc as well as showing what actually happens on the Mount?
Why doesn’t the Hasbarah Ministry have some input (the Ministry for Religious Affairs is a Shas fiefdom and its decisor, R’ Ovadia Yosef, opposes the ascent of Jews to the compound based on his Halachic interpretation and world outlook)?
Is Prime Minister Netanyahu not being careful enough to prevent another debacle of narrative? Will he be forced to declare the Temple Mount a national heritage site likehe has done with a site of Jewish national legacy as Tel Shiloh?