The above events described in my headline did not occur in some benighted antisemitic country, and the police in question do not act under the command of a tyrannical dictatorship. This occurred in the Jewish sovereign State of Israel and the police involved are the Israeli police force.
The Tower reports on the Muslim violence that triggered the closure (emphases are mine):
Masked Palestinian youth attacked a group of Israeli Jews and tourists on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Monday, the second such attack in two days.
Six Palestinians were arrested after throwing rocks and other objects at visitors and Border Police officers at the site, which is the holiest in Judaism and home to al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam. Police eventually forced the suspects into the mosque itself, allowing the group of 262 tourists and 33 Israelis to continue their visit. No injuries were reported.
“The violence is the result of Muslim worshipers objecting to Jewish visitors during [the Muslim holy month of Ramadan],” The Jerusalem Post reported.
So it wasn’t connected to a particular act of violence, or even – Heaven forfend! – an act of prayer by those infidel Jews that instigated this bout of Muslim supremacist violence. It was simply a case of (yet more) anti-Jewish hatred. And it’s not as if the Muslims are being restricted in any way. It was the mere presence of Jews that set off the Muslims’ short fuse:
Israel has allowed hundreds of thousands of Muslims to visit al-Aqsa for Friday prayers since the beginning of Ramadan. Jews were prohibited from visiting the Temple Mount during the last 10 days of Ramadan over the past two years, but a similar ban was not enforced this year.
Nonetheless, Jewish and other non-Muslim visitation to the site remains highly restricted; the Islamic Waqf, which administers the site, allows non-Muslims to use only one of the complex’s eleven entrances, and non-Muslims are forbidden from praying, singing, or making any kind of religious display.
Watch this scene of disgraceful Muslim rioting at such a holy site:
The Times of Israel describes the Temple Mount as “closed to tourists”.
Police on Tuesday announced that Jerusalem’s Temple Mount would be closed to tourists for three days and that extra forces would be deployed to prevent rioting at the religious site in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Palestinians threw rocks at Israeli police at the contested holy site Tuesday morning, and a stone struck a 73-year-old Jewish woman in the Western Wall plaza, which is overlooked by the mount. She suffered minor injuries and received medical treatment on site.
In response to the stone-throwing, police entered the compound to prevent further incidents, arresting 16 people for their involvement in the disturbances. A police spokesman said the situation was “under control.”
“After assessing the situation this morning, the Jerusalem District Police decided that the Temple Mount will be closed today to visitors,” Jerusalem District Police spokesperson Luba Samri said in a statement.
“Likewise, it was decided that the mount will be closed to visitors also on Wednesday and Thursday. Police are ready with backup forces to maintain the quiet on the mount and to prevent rioting. Any disruption will be dealt with firmly.”
Muslim worshipers will continue to have access to the site, home to the third-holiest site in Islam, the Al-Aqsa Mosque. In Judaism, it is the holiest site and is venerated as the location of the First and Second Temples.
“The police are continuing ongoing dialogue with the local leadership and the Waqf, and demanding that they prevent any disruption in arrangements on the mount and preserve the peace,” Samri said.
What use is there in “ongoing dialogue” if at the first sign of Muslim violence it is the Jews (and other non-Muslims) who are punished? That leaves veto power in the hands of the Muslim fanatics, rather than taking back our sovereignty from these supremacists.
Even if the Temple Mount were the Muslims’ holiest site, purely as an “educational moment” it is they, the instigators of this disgusting violence, who should be punished, pour encourager les autres as the French phrase so aptly puts it.
But we can hardly blame the police, or at least not solely. They act on instructions of the government. If they are told to enable non-Muslims to visit, even if not to pray, on the Temple Mount, then they would (hopefully) work to restrain the rioting Muslims in order to permit such visits. But if their instructions are simply to keep the peace, then obviously the easy way out is simply to prevent non-Muslims from visiting in the first place. This is not a solution. It is a temporary fix which will eventually rip at the seams as the Muslim extremists get an appetite for more gains.
I also object to the word “tourists” in the ToI article, whether as a quote from the police or as an editorial decision. It is misleading for it conjures up an image of foreigners in sun-hats and laden with cameras. In practice these are not the only visitors to the Temple Mount. Jewish visitors, Israeli or otherwise, wishing to see their religion’s holiest site, are also considers “tourists”, i.e. not fully belonging, “just visiting”, whereas Muslims are treated as the rightful owners. Nothing could be further from the truth; it is a complete reversal of historical facts.
Of course we should not be surprised at this furious Muslim objection to the most unintrusive Jewish visitor to the Har Habayit (the Temple Mount). Just look at the most gross threat made yesterday by a senior aide to Mahmoud Abbas’ aide: “If I see an Israeli I’ll slit his throat“:
A senior Palestinian Authority official said yesterday (Monday), that if he saw an Israeli he’d ‘slit his throat’.
The official is Fatah Central Committee member and adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Sultan Abu al-Einein.
In an interview with the Donia Al Watan site discussing the matter of normalization of relations with Israel and the talks currently ongoing between Israeli and Palestinian Authority representatives, the Fatah member said: “I am against discussions, talks, meetings, and any kind of normalization with the Israeli occupiers.”
He also commented on meetings with Israelis being attended by other members of Fatah, such as Ahmad al-Majdalani, another Fatah Central committee member, and Muhammad al-Madani, head of the committee for interaction with the Israelis.
“If Abu Mazen [Abbas], tries to make me participate in meetings that include Jews I will forcefully refuse. I will not have any interaction with Israeli society unless I get kidnapped by extremist settlers,”
Why would he even mention settlers in this context? They have made no threats to anyone! Neither have any other Israelis. The threats are a one-way street only. The only people getting knifed to death are Israelis by Palestinian Muslims.
Actually I should edit the previous paragraph. There are some Palestinians who are under threat of death – by other Palestinians, if they dare commit such a terrible crime as sell land to Jews, as Khaled Abu Toameh reports at the Gatestone Institute:
- The renewed campaign against Palestinians suspected of selling real estate to Jews is also part of the belief that the entire land is Muslim-owned, and no Muslim is entitled to give up even one inch of it to a non-Muslim. In other words, it is forbidden for a Muslim to sell his home or land to a Jew or Christian. This would be the nail in the coffin of any Palestinian leader who attempts to make any territorial compromise as part of a peace agreement with Israel.
- This campaign has raised fears that Palestinians may resume extrajudicial executions of suspected land dealers.
The salient point of this phenomenon is the following:
- This campaign undermines Palestinians’ long-standing claim that Jews “illegally seize” Arab-owned houses and land in Jerusalem. It seems that rather than illegal seizure, Jews have been paying willing Arabs cold hard cash for the properties.
So the Palestinians and the Muslims lie. Is anyone surprised? Our problem is that these lies are not merely a moral failure. They lead to very real violence against people, both Muslims and Jews. Where are our leaders to confront them?