Photo: AFP
Border Guard officer at the Temple Mount during Friday prayer
Photo: AFP
Alex Fishman

Anti-Israel incitement starts at home

Op-ed: Before complaining that Abbas is not doing anything to curb Palestinian incitement, Israel should crack down on its own provocateurs, emanating either from the Islamic Movement, the Knesset's Arab faction or Religious Zionism.

Arab Knesset members must be banned from visiting the Temple Mount on Sunday at all costs. If only one of them is wounded in the head from a stone or from a policeman's bat, we will deteriorate to the unknown again.



The current wave of terror doesn’t have an organized leadership: It's neither Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas nor the Tanzim (a militia associated with Fatah) or Hamas. The Israeli Arabs' official representatives aren't pretending to be behind this violent wave either.


Precisely because of the absence of a leadership leading to an overall conflict, there is a chance that the calming messages will succeed in sending the knives back to the kitchen. In the meantime, Israeli officials are avoiding statements on an impending quiet. But the truth is that at least in the West Bank, the number of violent incidents is on the decline.


The Muslim Brotherhood is riding this wave. The call for a third intifada came from Israel, from the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, which is very close to Hamas. The incitement began here, and the first violent conflict which ignited the current wave began with a provocation of Israeli Arabs, members of the Islamic Movement, who holed up, armed, on the Temple Mount on the eve of the Jewish New Year.


MK Jamal Zahalka confronting police at the Temple Mount. The ball is in the Israeli government's court (Photo: Avichai Menachem)
MK Jamal Zahalka confronting police at the Temple Mount. The ball is in the Israeli government's court (Photo: Avichai Menachem)


So before Israel complains that Abbas doesn’t want do anything and is failing to curb incitement in his home, Israel should look at what it is doing to stop the provocateurs holding Israeli identity cards. It should look at what it is doing against the leaders of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, and what it is doing against those rabbis and leaders of the Religious Zionism movement who have turned visits to the Temple Mount and the construction of the third temple into a patriotic act.


Since Rosh Hashana, Israel has been under a coordinated media attack from four different wings of the Muslim Brotherhood: The Islamic Movement in Israel, Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the Muslim Brotherhood in East Jerusalem and the Muslim Brotherhood in the West Bank. The media outlet leading the incitement is al-Jazeera. This coordinated attack is fanning the flames, sending Palestinians to the streets and encouraging stabbings and the murder of Jews wherever they are.


Hamas, which feels it is being relegated to the back of the stage in the holy battle over the Temple Mount, did its share with 5,000 protestors marching on the Gaza broder fence, allowing the organization to present its contribution to the battle to the Arab world in the form of seven victims shot by IDF soldiers.


Hamas is now at a crossroads. The main question the faction heads are likely dealing with is whether to resume the rocket fire in response to the killing of the seven Palestinians on the fences. If rockets will be launched from the Gaza Strip on Sunday, it will be a rerun of last summer's events, when tensions in the West Bank led to a conflict in the south.


The Israeli Arabs' contribution to the battle is currently reflected in violent activities by groups of young people, with a focus on the Islamic Movement's youth. They have no organized leadership behind them, and so like in the West Bank, this fire can be suffocated within several days to several weeks. The spontaneous stabbers, in Israel and the West Bank, are usually young people with no record of security activities either.


Arab MKs' visits to the Temple Mount are an attempt to sabotage the calming of the situation. We all know that the MKs of the secular, pan-Arabist Balad party, like Jamal Zahalka and Haneen Zoabi, have teamed up with fundamentalist religious movements sponsored by the Muslim Brotherhood. A clear example is their involvement in the Marmara affair.


There is no point in trying to address this group's logic, as they are cooperating with the Islamic Movement's incitement trends, but the rest of the Arab MKs should ask themselves where they want to lead their public. It's not by chance that a Nazareth-based Arab newspaper reported that even Abbas had turned to the leaders of the Arab public in Israel and asked them to exercise discretion. The Palestinian Authority has an interest in curbing this wave too.


The ball is now in the Israeli government's court. Don’t let them visit the Temple Mount.


פרסום ראשון: 10.11.15, 12:57
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