There is an almost surreal aspect to this particular eruption of conflict: Israel has been plunged into a terror war because of a false assertion that it intends to allow Jewish prayer at the holiest place in Judaism. This rather begs the question of why Israel would not allow Jewish prayer at the holiest place in Judaism, which it captured and liberated, to a great outpouring of Jewish emotion in the 1967 war.
The answer? Utilizing the rabbinical halachic consensus that forbids Jews from setting foot on the Temple Mount for fear of desecrating the site of the Holy of Holies, Israel’s defense minister 48 years ago, Moshe Dayan, took the pragmatic decision not to fully realize renewed Jewish sovereignty at the Temple Mount, and therefore not to risk a religious confrontation with the Muslim world. Instead, Israel opted to bar Jewish prayer there and to permit the Jordanian-run Waqf authority to continue to administer the Muslim holy places. That Israeli forbearance has all too evidently been misunderstood and misrepresented among many Palestinians as evidence that the Jewish state has no genuine attachment to the Mount. That Israeli forbearance is now rewarded with violence.
Just as Israel must acknowledge and respect the Muslim attachment to the Haram al-Sharif — as its policies since 1967 have done — so, too, the Palestinians must acknowledge and respect the Jewish attachment to the Temple Mount. Arafat emphatically failed to do so. Abbas now has what may be one last chance.
And how? By continuing to presume the Arabs-who-call-themselves-Palestinians will change their 48 year old pattern of thought and behavior, itself based on a previous pattern of "Al-Aqsa is in danger".
That's what written at the Third Arab Congress in 1920
And the theme of the 1931 Jerusalem Al-Aqsa Congress.
One last chance for Abbas?