Who is Really Desecrating Holy Sites?
The ultimate goal is to turn the conflict into a religious war between Jews and Muslims. If anyone is desecrating the holy site, it is those who smuggle petrol bombs and stones into the compound to use them against visitors.
Tensions have been mounting in recent months in Jerusalem over visits by Jews to the Temple Mount, or al-Haram al-Sharif [the Noble Sanctuary].
There is nothing new about Jews visiting the holy site: this has been taking place since 1967.
The visits, which are being held in coordination with the Israeli authorities, have triggered many confrontations between the Israeli police and Palestinian protesters.
Palestinians claim that the mere presence of Jewish visitors is a "desecration" of the holy site.
That is why some Palestinians have been resorting to violence to stop Jews from visiting the holy site.
The Palestinians say they are only trying to prevent Jews from destroying the mosques and rebuilding the Third Holy Temple.
But the truth is that the vast majority of Jews visiting the holy site are no different from other non-Muslim tourists who come to the area every day.
The Israeli authorities, in fact, require all visitors to the holy site to respect the feelings of Muslims by appearing in modest dress and without weapons.
Moreover, Jews visiting the compound are not allowed to bring sacred Jewish objects [prayer shawls, prayer books, etc].
Some Palestinians, however, are now exploiting these visits to incite the Arabs and Muslims against Israel.
Throwing stones, empty bottles, shoes and petrol bombs at the Jewish visitors and the policemen accompanying them has become almost a daily practice.
This, in addition to regular demonstrations that are staged at the holy site, where protesters chant slogans against Israel, Jews, the US and even some "moderate" Muslims.
The protests are primarily aimed at dragging Arabs and Muslims into war with Israel under the pretext that the Jews are plotting to destroy the Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. The ultimate goal is to turn the conflict into a religious war between Jews and Muslims.
Some Palestinians are hoping that the current protests against visits by Jews will spark another intifada [supposedly spontaneous uprising], like the one that erupted after former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's tour of the holy site in September 2000.
Then, the Palestinian Authority depicted Sharon's visit as part of a Jewish conspiracy to destroy the mosques.
Those who are now using the visits by Jews to initiate violence and incite violence against Israel and others are hoping that Arab and Islamic armies will launch a war against Israel over its "desecration" of the holy site.
If anyone is desecrating the holy site, it is those who smuggle petrol bombs and stones into the compound to use them against visitors.
Reader comments on this item
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Comment on this item
by Khaled Abu Toameh
To understand what drives a young Palestinian to carry out such a deadly attack, one needs to look at the statements of Palestinian Authority leaders during the past few weeks.
The anti-Israel campaign of incitement reached its peak with Abbas's speech at the UN a few weeks ago, when he accused Israel of waging a "war of genocide" in the Gaza Strip. Abbas made no reference to Hamas's crimes against both Israelis and Palestinians.
Whatever his motives, it is clear that the man who carried out the most recent attack, was influenced by the messages that Abbas and and the Palestinian Authority leadership have been sending their people.
by Richard Kemp
Would General Allen -- or any other general today -- recommend contracting out his country's defenses if it were his country at stake? Of course not.
The Iranian regime remains dedicated to undermining and ultimately destroying the State of Israel. The Islamic State also has Israel in its sights and would certainly use the West Bank as a point from which to attack, if it were open to them.
There can be no two-state solution and no sovereign Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan, however desirable those things might be. The stark military reality is that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from the West Bank.
Fatah leaders ally themselves with the terrorists of Hamas, and, like Hamas, they continue to reject the every existence of the State of Israel.
If Western leaders actually want to help, they should use all diplomatic and economic means to make it clear to the Palestinians that they will never achieve an independent and sovereign state while they remain set on the destruction of the State of Israel.
by Louis René Beres
The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.
by Timon Dias
It looks as if this new law is meant to serve as a severe roadblock to parties that would like to dismantle the EU in a democratic and peaceful way from within.
A rather dull semantic trick pro-EU figures usually apply, is calling their opponents "anti-Europe."
by Alan M. Dershowitz