Even Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu has now said tensions re: the Haram Al-Sharif are the cause of the October 2015 violence… But Netanyahu boastfully says Israel did nothing wrong, and he’d never say he did something wrong.
No, according to Netanyahu, the Palestinians are entirely to blame.
Chemi Shalev, US bureau chief for Haaretz, has just written this:
“just as the U.S. has been hard-pressed in the past to accept Israeli explanations that lowly civil servants are solely responsible for the announcements of massive building projects in settlements that have often enraged and embarrassed U.S. administrations – remember the March 2010 debacle during Vice President Joe Biden’s visit – they are likewise finding it difficult to digest that provocative tours by government ministers of the Temple Mount, calls by coalition Members of the Knesset to upend the status quo, religious edicts by venerated rabbis and public chanting by their disciples to burn down the Muslim mosques in order to rebuild the Jewish temple – that all of these could be going on against Netanyahu’s explicit support or implicit consent”… This full analysis by Chemi Shalev is posted here here.
Avi Issacharoff reported this afternoon in the Times of Israel that Netanyahu – who insists he’s maintaining the “Status Quo” on the Haram Al-Sharif (as he defines it, the Status Quo is unwritten) — refuses to return to the Status Quo of 28 September 2000 (when Ariel Sharon’s visit there with a massive amount of armed Israeli security forces, as a result of which the Islamic Waqf lost possession of the keys to the Moghrabi Gate where non-Muslim visitors enter:
“Israel recently rejected a Jordanian proposal that would have seen the Hashemite Kingdom begin to oversee visits to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem instead of Israel, Arab sources told The Times of Israel on Monday. During recent meetings between officials in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Jordanian government, the latter proposed giving the Jordanian-run Muslim Waqf control over entry to the contested holy site — as it had until the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000. Since then Israel has effectively exerted control over entrance to the Temple Mount complex, which is considered Judaism’s holiest site and the third holiest to Muslims.
The current outbreak of violence has been fueled by rumors that Israel is plotting to take over the area, where Jews can currently visit but not pray. Israel has adamantly denied the allegations, saying it has no plans to change the status quo on the Temple Mount, and accused the Palestinians of incitement by spreading the rumors.
(In addition) According to a report in a Kuwaiti Arabic-language paper on Monday, Israeli officials proposed in a clandestine meeting with PA security officials that Palestinian plainclothes police officers be stationed on the Temple Mount. The meeting reportedly took place in Ramallah last Saturday. Undercover Palestinian police had been stationed on the Temple Mount in a similar fashion before the outbreak of the Second Intifada.
(There is no indication in Issacharoff’s report as to whether or not Palestinian security officials agreed…)
The Jordanian suggestion came as France submitted a United Nations proposal for an international presence on the Temple Mount, to ensure that the status quo is upheld. Netanyahu on Saturday slammed the French proposal and the Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned the French ambassador in Israel over the matter”. The Issacharoff report is published here.
Yesterday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said an international presence was not necessary, as Netanyahu has declared he will maintain the “Status Quo” — “Israel understands importance of that status quo. What’s important is to make sure everybody understands what that means”, Kerry noted.
Is Kerry beginning to catch on?