Photo: AFP
Scene of Wednesday's terror attack in Jerusalem. 'The government must provide the answers'
Photo: AFP
Shimon Shiffer

Government must take responsibility for Jerusalem terror

Op-ed: Instead of pointing an accusing finger at Abbas, it's time for Netanyahu to take action and deal with the roots of the conflict.

The answer to the question why a baby's blood was shed in Israel's capital Wednesday evening should be provided to the state's residents by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ministers, not by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas or anyone else. We have a government here, and it is responsible for what takes place within its borders.



There is a sense of despair in the reactions produced by the prime minister, the ministers and the different spokespeople following the manifestations of a Palestinian uprising in Jerusalem – manifestations which have been increasing and have not received the proper attention only because of the war in the south.


Netanyahu is accusing Abbas of incitement, the ministers are threatening that the proper response will include an expansion of the Jewish settlement in the Jerusalem district, which will infiltrate of the heart of Arab neighborhoods, and the defense establishment spokespeople are still explaining that the attacks are carried out by lone terrorists and are not an organized intifada.


I would like to suggest that all those who are responding, from the prime minister to the very last minister, stop babbling. Take responsibility. Give us complete personal safety. In Jerusalem, Israel's united capital, the citizens – both Jews and Arabs – are entitled to full equality in duties and rights.

Whoever thought that an accusing finger could be pointed at the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and the Islamic State is now helplessly facing a reality in which the explosive materials could ignite not only the Jerusalem district but all of Israel.


Unfortunately, Netanyahu is avoiding any initiative which could soothe the flames. He preferred to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat while, not far from his official residence on Jerusalem's Balfour Street, the Palestinians raised the standard of revolt against what they refer to as "the Israeli occupation."


Some things can be done: First of all, Israel must launch negotiations resolving the status of the sites scared to the Jews, Muslims and Christians on the Temple Mount and in East Jerusalem; the status quo sanctified by Netanyahu in Jerusalem will not help calm things down.


In addition, the governmental system must stop letting private bodies invade neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. If they continue to do so, the Palestinian response will likely be aggravated. If we united the city, we can't set fire to it with our own hands.


As irritating as this may sound, after Operation Protective Edge the Palestinians realized that the Israelis only understand the language of force. This will be proved early next week, when a Hamas delegation and an Israeli delegation continue the negotiations in Cairo on the Gaza Strip's reconstruction.


The American administration is following the wave of violence in Jerusalem with growing concern. The Americans believe that the mistrust between Netanyahu and Abbas is so deep that they had better let the two rivals work it out on their own, and are not rushing to place a proposal for an agreement on the table.


And so Netanyahu and his ministers – those who are encouraging the ongoing takeover and entry into the Arab neighborhoods, and those who are quietly talking about the need to resume the negotiations with Abbas – are now required to act.

And I am not talking about increasing the number of police and Shin Bet units which are already deploying in Jerusalem, but about the need to deal with the roots of the conflict, offer solutions which will prove to the very last Palestinian in Jerusalem that the Israelis have no intention of leaving them without a geographic living space.


All this, of course, must be accompanied with determination which will make it clear to the Palestinians that anyone who dares throw a stone at Israelis or tries to attack public transportation in the capital's different neighborhoods will be punished mercilessly.


פרסום ראשון: 10.23.14, 14:23
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