Friday, April 18, 2014

In (Oiy!) Praise of Self-Restraint

In A distinguished police, Dan Margalit writes about the police behavior during this Passover week.

They closed the Temple Mount to all non-Muslims because they allowed fanatic, violent and extremist Muslim forces to infiltrate the Mount, hole up in Al-Aqsa and collect lethal stones,

(updated new one:

and those didn't come from the police)

waving Hamas, etc. flags and banners

(you notice the souvenir police shield?)

and another now updated:

and when the violence started, could barely contain it and didn't stop it.  And in response, instead of telling the Waqf officials that the Mount was off limits for a week due to the violence and instead of charging those few arrested according to the Law for the Protection of the Holy Places, they closed the Temple Mount to entry off all non-Muslims.

The logic of the Israel Police, the Minister and the Prime Minister.

What does Margalit think about all this?


Violent clashes at the Temple Mount and the Western Wall area go back to the early days of the conflict. The Holy Basin set the region ablaze on multiple occasions, even before the Arabic word intifada (popular uprising) became a household name in Israel...And this week rocks were hurled on visitors, for the umpteenth time. This will undoubtedly happen again.

This place...represents the heart of the conflict...The Muslims on the mountain have never missed an opportunity to instigate violence. The police, however, refused to be provoked this week, despite the barrage of rocks they sustained. They stood there, without being drawn in. This is what I call extreme self-discipline. Such restraint and forbearance is almost unbearable for a human being...The police made a wise decision by holding fire...The police's conduct serves Israel well. Israel wants the world to see it can accommodate all faiths in the area and wants to make sure things remain in control...The security forces at the Temple Mount should be awarded a citation, each and every one of them. As Pirkei Avot says, a hero is someone who knows how to hold back. I can't think of a better manifestation of that adage.

There is no need for lethal response.

As I noted, an ounce of prevention would have halted all this.

A close-down would be punishment enough. 

The police, to prevent Jews from entering, claim they have 'intelligence' that indicates provocations and danger but it seems they had nothing, because they were looking at the Jews, not the Muslims. They blind-sided themselves.  They were worried what King Abdallah II would say, not what Israel's laws read.

They yielded to violence.

That is something not to be very proud about.

Self-restraint can be self-destructive.


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