Excerpts from his latest on the Temple Mount incident:
...the spark for the latest incidents is a case of mistaken identity...Sheikh Kamal Khatib, the number two figure in the radical wing of the Islamic Movement, told me this week that "Jewish groups want to destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque." Before Yom Kippur, he claimed, a Temple Mount Faithful leaflet called on Jews to "conquer Al-Aqsa."
Since the Faithful is seen as a fringe group even by the Jewish far-right fringe, it's no surprise that the leaflet didn't make it into the Israeli press. [hello? did you see the leaflet? did it say what you heard an inciteful provocateur claim it said?] Then again, the Hebrew media has paid little attention to the growing number of religious rightists visiting the Mount to assert Jewish ownership. [are you kidding? loads of articles including photo displays even in Haaretz] A publicist for far-right organizations told me that "hundreds of Jews" have been visiting the site weekly, usually in organized groups. [that, at least, is true]
...Khatib reiterated the common Palestinian claim that Jews have no historical connection to the site – a claim that can infuriate Israeli Jews across the political spectrum. [but is it true - or false, Gershom?]
Still, the lack of an obvious catalyst -- a tunnel, a cornerstone -- only underlines wider political tensions. [catalyst or excuse?]
When diplomacy appears deadlocked, the chances of violence rise, and Jerusalem's most holy space is always available as a pretext... [ah, finally, a proper term]
And there are people that just gobble this stuff up.
I checked around and found two handbills, none of which mention "conquer the Mount" and I checked what I received in the mail from The Temple Mount Faithful and it only mentions the "Arab conquest" of the Temple Mount.
This is from five of the activist groups to ascend on the eve of Yom Kippur (the day of the event when the French group got stoned) and it definitely is not overly exuberant:
and neither is this Kiryat Arba flyer:
Comments to Gershom here.