Sunday, September 27, 2009

Religious Tolerance and Coexistence? Naw

Ynet reports:
Eighteen policemen and 17 Muslim worshippers were lightly injured in riots which erupted Sunday morning at the Temple Mount holy site in Jerusalem. The police officers were wounded by stones hurled by rioters and were evacuated to the Shaare Zedek and Hadassah Ein Kerem hospitals in the capital. Eleven people were arrested on suspicion of hurling stones.

The incident began when a group of tourists entered the Temple Mount compound accompanied by a police force. At a certain stage, some 150 worshippers started gathering around them and calling out towards them. Fifteen worshippers were injured by stones and two were lightly hurt by the stun grenades and were evacuated to the al-Maqasid Hospital in east Jerusalem. Adult worshippers attempted to calm things down, while the group of tourists was removed from the site.
And who gets punished?
Following the riots, the police prevented worshippers from entering the compound.
Were those Muslim - or Jewish - "worshippers?

JTA reports:
Following the incident, the Temple Mount was closed to Jewish visitors, though not to Palestinians
But wait! The BBC reports:

Palestinian sources said about 15 people from the Temple Mount Guardians group managed to enter the compound and performed acts of worship in contravention of agreements putting the compound under Muslim control.

At first, Israeli police confirmed this, but later issued a clarification saying the group was in fact made up of non-Jewish French tourists...Other accounts say the tourists were mistaken for members of a large group of religious and right-wing Jews which had gathered at one gate of the compound to press for entry.

I guess the Muslims were expected the Temple Mount Faithful and jumped at the first group they saw. Is that premeditated religious-inspired violence? (see UPDATE below)

And to illustrate the ridiculousness of it, here's an official PA statement from WAFA:
Presidency Spokesperson Nabil Abu Rdeina said Sundaythat East Jerusalem and the its Holy Shrines constitute a red line. In a statement, Abu Rdeina condemned the extremist Jewish aggression in al Aqsa Mosque, where 19 citizens were wounded.

He considered this escalation aims at undermining the efforts to revive the peace process in the Middle East, mainly following the tripartite meeting in New York.

Abu Rdeina holds Israel responsible for the crime against Holy Shrines, calling upon the international community to pressurize Israel to refrain from such acts which would undermine the peace process.

And here's WAFA's report on the incident itself and notice its careful wording:
Sixteen citizens were wounded in clashes between the Israeli Police and Palestinian protesters early Sunday at the The Magharbi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.

According to our correspondent in Jerusalem, the Occupation Authorities closed all the gates of the holy Aqsa Mosque before the Israeli police and soldiers attacked the crowds of the citizens, who gathered in the Mosque for praying .

At dawn,extremist Jewish groups declared their intention to attack the Aqsa Mosque on the occasion of the 'Day of Atonement' Jewish Yom Kippur. The soldiers fired tear gas, and rubber bullets at the crowds, arresting many of the citizens.

The First Aid Arab Union Society said, the Israeli soldiers were shooting on the heads and the chests of the protesters, as what the injured who were received at almaqased hospital in East Jerusalem described ...

Despite the clashes, Jewish extremist continued to pray at the Western Wall – Holy for both Muslims and Jews - in the lead-up to the holiday of Yom Kippur.

You did notice this, right:-
Despite the clashes, Jewish extremist continued to pray at the Western Wall – Holy for both Muslims and Jews
All of a sudden (well, not really, but I'm guesssing you weren't aware), the Western Wall is now a shared Jewish-Muslim holy site. Not only is it that we Jews can't pray above but now the Muslims are annexing (is that legal?) our holy site below.

I wonder: if we offer them shared time and space at the Kotel, will they permit us shared space in time on the Temple Mount?

Hey, I was just asking rhetorically.

But now they are taking it a step further.

Ramallah – Ma'an – Palestinian officials say they expect the current Israeli government to take the region into a period of renewed confrontation, especially in light of Sunday’s violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

In conversations with Ma’an, officials recalled that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also prime minister in 1996 when Israel’s construction of the Western Wall tunnels sparked an uprising that claimed the lives of 70 Palestinians and 17 Israeli soldiers.

...Fundamentally, Palestinian leaders believe that with Netanyahu and his Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, they are facing two politicians who believe they can benefit from renewed violence and security chaos, especially when Israel is facing a kind of international isolation, over ongoing expansion of West Bank settlements.

Palestinian officials told Ma’an that Netanyahu would support a policy of confrontation between Israel and the Palestinians in order to implement his political agenda even if it means bloodshed on both sides.

These officials as well as political analysts believe that Netanyahu-Barak government plans to drag the Palestinians into a military confrontation in order to avoid and avoid commitments to prior political agreements, namely the Road Map peace plan.

Meanwhile, other Palestinian officials believe that Sunday’s events at the Al-Aqsa Mosque were an Israeli attempt to test whether the Palestinians would be ready for a confrontation with Israel in defense of Jerusalem as a Muslim holy site. Israel’s percieved attempts to inflame sensitive religious issues are seen as dangerous, containing the potential to drag the whole region to a new cycle of violence and bloodshed.
All I can say is that if Israeli officials do not reach a solution to the Temple Mount - it will always pop up no matter if the Pals. themselves are guilty of fomenting the violence and initiating a political crises in order to embarrass Israel.



Haaretz has this:

According to legislator Hathem Abdel Kader and other Palestinian sources, the clash erupted in the early morning when Palestinians inside the complex - sacred to both Islam and Judaism - saw a group of 15 religious Jews trying to enter.

The Jews never managed to get into the complex, because several hundred Palestinians, who were on alert for such a possibility, began a loud protest.


Suzanne Pomeranz said...

Two notes:

1) "At dawn,extremist Jewish groups declared their intention to ATTACK the Aqsa Mosque on the occasion of the 'Day of Atonement' Jewish Yom Kippur."
There was NO attack by the Jews who went there only to pray. Everyone knows that no Jew would participate in any sort of "attack" on Yom Kippur!

2) From what I understand, no one tried to enter Al-Aksa Mosque - remember that the PLO and others refer to the entire Temple Mount Compound as "Al-Aksa"...


A Soldier's Mother said...

Thanks for an excellent, clear, honest post. It is amazing how others try to twist the most basic of events. It was clear what was happening but clearly others decided it needed a more "politically correct" spin than the truth.

YMedad said...

ASM: I sometimes get things right