ABBAS, HAMAS FUEL LATEST JERUSALEM UNREST — IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF THE THIRD INTIFADA?

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 

 

Contents:

 

Is the Third Intifada Here?: David Brinn, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 5, 2014— There’s a sense of free fall in Jerusalem, of events spinning out of control – they are no longer isolated incidents.

Is the Post-Abbas Mideast Already Here?: Seth Mandel, Commentary, Nov. 5, 2014 — Hamas celebrated an act of suicide terrorism in Jerusalem today that mirrored both late October’s attack at a Jerusalem light rail stop and another attack later today in the West Bank.

The Role of Hamas and Fatah in the Jerusalem Disturbances : Pinhas Inbari, JCPA, Oct. 26, 2014 — The deterioration of the security situation in Jerusalem cannot be understood only on the Israeli-Palestinian level

Palestinians: Stop the Children’s Intifada!: Khaled Abu Toameh, Breaking Israel News, Oct. 30, 2014—The exploitation of children in the fight against Israel has attracted little attention from the international community and the media.

On Topic Links

 

Israeli Leaders, Left and Right, Hold Abbas Responsible for Jerusalem Terror Wave: Dave Bender, Algemeiner, Nov. 5, 2014

Jordan Recalls Envoy From Israel Over 'Unprecedented Escalation in Jerusalem'.: Tovah Lazaroff & Michael Wilner, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 5, 2014

Jerusalem in the Unholy Grip of Religious Fervor: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, Nov. 6, 2014

Israel Surrenders the Temple Mount: Jerold Auerbach, Algemeiner, Nov. 5, 2014

For Israel, Two-State Is No Solution: Naftali Bennett, New York Times, Nov. 5, 2014

 

                             

IS THE THIRD INTIFADA HERE?                                                                           

David Brinn                                                                                                

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 5, 2014

 

There’s a sense of free fall in Jerusalem, of events spinning out of control – they are no longer isolated incidents. And they’re not subsiding – riots on the Temple Mount, ongoing rock attacks on the light rail, rioting in Arab neighborhoods, the attempted assassination of Yehudah Glick, and on Wednesday another fatal sidewalk terrorist attack on the seam line between western and eastern Jerusalem. Anyone who lived here through the first and second intifadas will recognize the same jittery, nervous spirit in the streets. It used to be unsafe to board a bus; now it’s unsafe to stand at a bus stop or light rail station. Pedestrians look suspiciously out of the corner of their eyes as they walk on the street.

 

They are no longer isolated incidents. Wednesday’s riot at the Temple Mount was not spontaneous. It was premeditated by Palestinians who gathered the night before with their weapons, prepared for a morning attack on Jewish visitors to the site. A few hours later, Ibrahim al-Acri, a Hamas-affiliated resident of Shuafat, mowed down more than a dozen pedestrians, killing a border policeman – another premeditated act of terrorism that was hailed by Hamas as the act of a “holy martyr” defending so-called “Israeli aggression” at al-Aksa Mosque…Whether it’s the third intifada or a new spin-off, Jerusalem is in the throes of the worst spate of Arab violence against Jewish residents in over a decade. The question is not what to call it. The question is: What are our leaders going to do about it? Build more Jewish housing in post- 1967 Jerusalem neighborhoods? Encourage Jewish groups to buy up more property in Silwan? Increase the maximum punishment for rock throwing? Call to change the status quo on the Temple Mount to enable free Jewish prayer? None of those moves appears to be helpful, and they have in fact exacerbated the situation.

 

However, nothing Israel has done justifies Jordan’s decision Wednesday to recall its ambassador to Israel for consultations, following what it called Israeli ”violations.” That absurd doublespeak – placing the blame for rising Palestinian violence on the Israeli victims – does nothing to calm the situation. And neither does Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas praising Glick’s attacker as a Palestinian hero. It’s clear that the Jerusalem uprising has the backing and support not only of Palestinian terrorist groups but also the PA, purportedly our potential partners in a two-state solution. That eventuality seems farther away with each Palestinian terrorist attack and each security and political response by Israel. All the moves and countermoves seem to be adding fuel to the already scorching fire. Unfortunately, as time has proven, we can’t expect the Palestinian leadership to stop inciting and egging on unrest by creating hysteria over an imaginary Israeli takeover of the Temple Mount – it’s so much easier to foment hate and revenge than it is to actually sit down and try to create a better future for its people. And we can’t expect the current Israeli coalition to take a step back from its policy of building Jewish housing in all parts of Jerusalem or allowing the continuing parade of ministers and politicians onto the Temple Mount campaigning for changing the long-standing status quo.

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s strategy, as expressed at Wednesday’s official state memorial ceremony for slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, is to bring in as much security as necessary to crush this intifada. He has, perhaps rightly, blown off Abbas as a potential partner and sees only a military solution to the battle for Jerusalem. Let’s hope his way is the right one… because the third intifada is apparently here, despite Israel Police Insp.- Gen. Yohanan Danino’s statement to the contrary Wednesday, spoken only an hour or so after the surviving victims of the van attack were whisked away to the hospital. They are no longer isolated incidents.

                                                                       

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IS THE POST-ABBAS MIDEAST ALREADY HERE?                                            

Seth Mandel                                                                                                        

Commentary, Nov. 5, 2014

 

Hamas celebrated an act of suicide terrorism in Jerusalem today that mirrored both late October’s attack at a Jerusalem light rail stop and another attack later today in the West Bank. It is not suicide bombing, but more like a form of Islamist suicide by cop. Terrorists are driving cars into civilians–a tool of attack not new to the conflict but which is currently happening with some regularity–and in the first two attacks the terrorist killed a civilian and the terrorist was also killed, in each case by Israeli police arriving at the scene to stop more violence. In this afternoon’s attack, the third in the last two weeks, the driver of the vehicle sped away.

 

Hamas and other Palestinian “resistance” groups have not, apparently, abandoned suicide terrorism after all and are now engaged in a renewed campaign. This type of violence is, of course, reminiscent of the second intifada, which is why it has Jerusalem on edge. The Palestinians have responded to each attack by rioting, so they are basically in a consistent state of violent agitation.

 

There is something more concerning about this latest round of Palestinian violence, however. Though it is perpetrated in some cases by members of Hamas, it has a spontaneous quality to it, and the riots in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem are keeping the atmosphere that engenders it going seemingly around the clock. And as much as it is reminiscent of past such campaigns of violence, there is indeed something a bit different about this one: it is heralding the arrival of the post-Abbas Palestinian polity. Now it’s true that PA President Mahmoud Abbas is not only still present and accounted for but is also helping to spark the violence by calling for resistance against Jewish civilians in Jerusalem. But Abbas is not leading; he’s merely following in the path of those who started the party without him. Abbas was famously opposed to Yasser Arafat’s decision to launch the second intifada, and he surely knows that chaos and disorder and Hamas-fueled anarchy only undermine his own power. But he can’t stand around with his hands in his pockets either, because support for spilling Jewish blood drives Palestinian popular opinion.

 

If Abbas survives this current attempted intifada–and make no mistake, Abbas is in the crosshairs of Hamas’s terror campaigns as well–it will be nominally and, in fact, quite pathetically. And the current disorder is precisely why Israel has been protecting Abbas and helping him hold power: Abbas is no partner for peace, but he is the least-bad option available. A powerless, irrelevant, or deposed Abbas means these terror campaigns of Iran’s Palestinian proxies are all that remains of concerted Palestinian strategy. Concern over a post-Abbas Middle East is becoming more common. Last month, the Times of Israel’s Haviv Rettig Gur wrote a typically incisive essay on the state of play between Israel and the Arab world, noting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu–often one to embrace ideas that seem absurd only to soon solidify into conventional wisdom–was preparing for this eventuality. Last year Jonathan Schanzer explained, quite rightly, that it was time for Abbas to name a successor to ensure continuity in the peace process.

 

But what if the more dangerous scenario is not an absent Abbas but an irrelevant one? That’s what seems to be playing out right now. It’s possible that an Abbas-led PA is a leaderless PA. There is no old guard and no new blood, but something in between that leaves the Palestinian polity not yet in league with the Islamist fanatics of Hamas in a fluid, precarious state on the precipice. And so we have the vicious yet cartoonish spectacle of the Palestinian president effectively joining a Palestinian intifada that started without him. Arafat wanted an intifada, and he got one. Abbas didn’t, and for a time was able to prevent it. Does Abbas want an intifada now? He can’t possibly be that stupid. But it doesn’t appear to matter. Just what is Abbas actually doing, as leader of the PA? Getting the Palestinians closer to a peace deal? Certainly not; he walked away from it (more than once). Preventing Hamas from setting the terms of the debate? Hardly. Keeping a lid on an angry Palestinian polity inclined to violence? Not anymore. Abbas may or may not get swept away by a new uprising. It’s ironic that what could save him from such a fate is the fact that, increasingly, it might not even be worth the trouble.

 

                                                                       

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THE ROLE OF HAMAS AND FATAH

IN THE JERUSALEM DISTURBANCES                                                                 

Pinhas Inbari                                                                                                                

JCPA, Oct. 26, 2014

 

The deterioration of the security situation in Jerusalem cannot be understood only on the Israeli-Palestinian level; it is umbilically connected to the chaos in the Middle East and to the great struggle between the moderate Sunni regimes and the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to make the Jerusalem issue a rallying cry of the “Arab Storm.” The Brotherhood’s strategy hopes to unite all of the region’s Islamic movements around the idea of the Muslim Caliphate with the Al-Aqsa Mosque as its hub. As demonstrated during Operation Protective Edge, the Brotherhood flaunted the banner “the siege of Gaza” to incite European Muslims to demonstrate in the streets with their leftist allies, thereby advancing the status of Islam on the Christian continent. Today, the Muslim jihadists use the “Save Jerusalem” campaign to again bring millions of agitated Muslims into the streets of Europe.

 

Before the recent hit-and-run terror attack on a Jerusalem light rail platform that killed an American-Israeli infant, the head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Khaled Mashal, published a special announcement calling “on our people to hasten immediately to defend Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, and on the Muslim nation to send a painful message of rage to the world that the Palestinian people and with them the Arab and Islamic nation will not keep quiet about Israeli crime.” Thus, in Hamas’s view it is the Jerusalem issue that can place the Palestinians at the forefront of the revolution unfolding in the Arab world, and of the Muslim awakening in Europe.

 

The clarion call of Al-Aqsa was sounded by the eminent Muslim Brotherhood jurist, Doha-based Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, when in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in February 2011, immediately after the ouster of President Mubarak, he called for Al-Aqsa’s liberation. Subsequently, he published a book titled Jerusalem: The Problem of Every Muslim. In the introduction, the preeminent scholar of the Muslim Brotherhood says, “O nation of Islam, arise, the hour has come, and the hour of danger beckons – to Jerusalem, to Jerusalem – Al-Aqsa, Al-Aqsa!” Sheikh Qaradawi got into a bitter polemic with the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, after Abbas called to inundate Jerusalem with massive Muslim tourism so as to preserve its Muslim nature in the face of  the “Judaization of the city.” Sheikh Qaradawi has ruled that visiting Jerusalem is forbidden so long as it is under Israeli occupation; Jerusalem must be liberated by force and not by “tourism.” The leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, who belongs to the circles closest to Sheikh Qaradawi, stated that “Jerusalem is the capital of the imminently approaching Islamic Caliphate.”

 

In monitoring Hamas’s websites, one gets the impression that pressure to sow discord in Jerusalem greatly intensified after the overthrow of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood there and its designation as a terrorist movement. Meanwhile, a crisis erupted between Saudi Arabia and Qatar over the funding of the Brotherhood branches in the Arab world, including Hamas, based on the claim that these are terror organizations. Presumably, Qatar tried indirectly to help the Brotherhood in Egypt by inspiring support for them on the Jerusalem issue. It is also evident that in Syria, Qatar has funded an attempt to establish terror groups that put Jerusalem at the top of their concerns, such as the “Al-Aqsa Army.” The fact that Khaled Mashal is living in Qatar has helped the Qataris realize that by ratcheting up the Palestinian issue it can reignite the passion of the Arab masses throughout the Arab world in support of the Muslim Brotherhood. As we saw in Operation Protective Edge, Qatar dictated a tough line against a ceasefire in the hope of bringing the Arab masses out into the streets. Qatar failed in the Arab world – but succeeded in Europe.

 

The use of the Jerusalem issue to exert pressure on the Arab world in general has greatly increased the pressure on Jordan, which was recognized in its peace treaty with Israel as custodian of the Jerusalem holy places.9 The pretension of the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood movement to represent the Jerusalem issue has led the Brotherhood in Jordan to censure the Hashemite government in this regard and question whether Jordan is really safeguarding Al-Aqsa. The fact that the Palestinian Authority has joined Hamas’s campaign to “Save Al-Aqsa,” notwithstanding the agreement that the Authority has signed with Jordan, will likely lead to difficulties between the latter two. King Abdullah has harshly castigated Israel on the Jerusalem issue;11  it must be understood that he himself is in distress. During the two previous intifadas, Fatah of Jerusalem in fact took pains to exclude Jerusalem from the sphere of the conflict. Fatah sources say it was indeed the Fatah Tanzim in Jerusalem that told Arafat, “The interest of the residents of east Jerusalem in steadfastness – sumud – requires excluding them from the sphere of violence.” Hence, whereas the West Bank and Gaza engaged in terror, the Fatah Tanzim made the struggle an issue of sumud, such as safeguarding illegal construction; and even though the Second Intifada was dubbed the “Al-Aqsa Intifada,” Fatah took care to distance it from the holy place.

 

Today, the situation is the opposite: quiet Gaza is licking its wounds, the West Bank is also – relatively – quiet, while most of the focus is on Jerusalem. The main reason is a drastic decline in support for Fatah in Jerusalem, so that it is the Islamic movements such as Hamas and the international Hizb ut-Tahrir movement, which advocates a caliphate, that are directing the events. For Fatah there is nothing left but to be pulled along by Hamas.

 

With an eye to the seventh Fatah conference, planned for the end of the year though its date has not yet been set, Abbas met with members of the “Jerusalem district” of Fatah. Fatah sources in Jerusalem say that the makeup of the cadres has been changed so that “street punks” and even the “underworld” have been recruited to foment an intifada in Jerusalem. They have demanded payment for their activity but so far no budget has been provided to them.  Legal costs for those arrested are supposed to have been paid, but receipt of the funds is not certain. Fatah’s Silwan (Jerusalem) branch was quick to glorify the hit-and-run killer of the three-month-old American-Israeli baby, Chaya Zissel Braun, posting an obituary for the murderer on its official Facebook page, and also using the words “heroic Martyr.”

 

On the issue of funding Fatah activity in Jerusalem, eyes are turned to Qatar, the great financier of all the movements that are undermining regional stability, including in Israel. The large sums evidently being used by the websites of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood to wage the Jerusalem campaign indicate that much Qatari money has already flowed their way, and Fatah is now waiting in line. Fatah’s very weak standing in the Al-Aqsa compound was apparent in the attack –wild to the point of life-endangering — on Palestinian religious affairs minister Mahmoud al-Habash when he visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the end of June this year. His attackers were Hamas and Hizbat ut-Tahrir men, and the Palestinian Authority’s security forces had a very hard time rescuing him. The joint attack also conveyed a message that these two movements, which have struggled over hegemony on the Mount, have reconciled and are now acting in unison. Yet everyone is competing for Qatar money – a fact that only spurs local groups towards greater levels of violence. Fatah’s joining of the Al-Aqsa campaign as a wagon hitched to fundamentalist Qatar may well herald a takeover of Ramallah by the radical Islamic movements – unless the Palestinian Authority regains its bearings in time.

 

                                                                       

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PALESTINIANS: STOP THE CHILDREN’S INTIFADA!                                       

Khaled Abu Toameh                                                                                    

Jewish Press, Nov. 4, 2014

 

The exploitation of children in the fight against Israel has attracted little attention from the international community and the media. Human rights groups and the UN have chosen to turn a blind eye to this human rights abuse. Instead of condemning it, these groups are busy denouncing Israel for targeting minors. This strategy works out well for Hamas and Fatah, who can always blame Israel for “deliberately targeting” Palestinian children — an allegation the media in the West often endorses without asking questions. Even more worrying is that the Palestinian groups often reward the families, who then become less motivated to stop their children from risking their lives. Adult activists who encourage and send children to take part in violence should be held accountable, not only by Israel but by their own people. If these adults want an intifada, they should be the first to go out and confront Israeli policemen and soldiers.

 

Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian groups are using children from east Jerusalem and the West Bank in what appears to be a new intifada against Israel. Nearly half of the Palestinians arrested by Jerusalem Police over the past few months are minors. Some of them are as young as nine. These children are being sent to throw stones and firebombs, and launch fireworks at policemen and IDF soldiers, as well as at Israeli civilians and vehicles, including buses and the light rail in Jerusalem. The exploitation of children in the fight against Israel has attracted little attention from the international community and media. Human rights groups and United Nations institutions have chosen to turn a blind eye to these human rights abuses. Instead of condemning those who exploit the children and dispatch them to confront policemen and soldiers, these groups and institutions are busy denouncing Israel for targeting minors.

 

Most of the children’s attacks occur after school, so they are not deprived of education. But sadly, some of the Palestinian minors get killed or wounded in clashes with Israeli security forces. Orwa Hammad, a 14-year-old Palestinian-American boy from the village of Silwad near Ramallah, was shot dead by IDF soldiers last week. The IDF says he was spotted preparing to hurl a firebomb at Israeli vehicles. Earlier, 13-year-old Bahaa Bader was shot dead by IDF soldiers in the village of Beit Likya, also in the Ramallah area. An IDF spokesman said soldiers responded with live fire when residents threw firebombs at them as they were exiting the village. Last month, 16-year-old Mohammed Sinokort from the Wadi al-Joz neighborhood of Jerusalem was killed during a stone-throwing incident.

 

This is not the first time that Palestinian groups use children in the struggle against Israel. During the first intifada, which erupted in 1987, children and women were often at the forefront in clashes with Israeli security personnel…Moreover, the Palestinian groups know that the children who are being sent to confront Israeli soldiers and policemen will not be held accountable. Most of the minors detained by the Jerusalem Police for their involvement in the violence are released to house arrest. In cases where the children are aged nine to 13, they are referred to social welfare authorities without being detained. The majority of these children are going out to throw stones and firebombs at Israelis because they are come from poor families or are lacking in good education and other economic and social privileges. But many of them come from middle-class families and do not live in refugee camps.

 

These children are victims of a campaign of indoctrination and incitement that is being waged by various Palestinian groups such as Hamas and Fatah. It is a campaign that is being waged through the media, mosques, educational institutions and the fiery rhetoric of leaders and activists. What is even more worrying is that the Palestinian groups often reward the families of the children by hiring lawyers and paying fines imposed on them by Israeli courts. As a result, the families are less motivated to stop their children from risking their lives. There are also reports that Fatah and Hamas activists in Jerusalem have been paying children small sums of money to throw stones and firebombs at Israelis and block roads in several Arab neighborhoods.

 

Hamas and Fatah had long discovered that children are one of the most effective tools in the fight against Israel — especially because of the damage Israel sustains in the court of international public opinion. Thus far, it appears that the Palestinian groups have been successful in their effort to depict Israel as a country that deliberately targets Palestinian minors whose only crime is that they “resisted occupation.” Dressing children in military uniforms and allowing them to carry rifles and pistols during rallies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is one way of encouraging them to put their lives at risk. But of course Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian factions do not see anything wrong with this practice. The adult activists who send and encourage children to take part in violence should be held accountable, not only by Israeli authorities, but also by their own people and international human rights organizations. If these adults want an intifada, they should be the first to go out and confront Israeli policemen and soldiers. The time has come for the international community and media to pay attention to their disturbing conduct and demand that Palestinian groups stop hiding behind children.

 

           

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On Topic

 

Israeli Leaders, Left and Right, Hold Abbas Responsible for Jerusalem Terror Wave: Dave Bender, Algemeiner, Nov. 5, 2014 —Multiple Israeli officials on Wednesday condemned Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas for what they charged was his direct and indirect incitement leading to a string of terror attacks, including today’s lethal vehicular assault in Jerusalem.

Jordan Recalls Envoy From Israel Over 'Unprecedented Escalation in Jerusalem'.: Tovah Lazaroff & Michael Wilner, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 5, 2014—Jordan recalled Ambassador to Israel Walid Obeidat for consultations in Amman to protest Israeli “aggression” on the Temple Mount and in Jerusalem in general, further fraying its already tense relationship with the Jewish state.

Jerusalem in the Unholy Grip of Religious Fervor: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, Nov. 6, 2014 —In his ominously titled book, “The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount,” author Gershom Gorenberg quotes a staggering conversation that took place at the Temple Mount immediately after it was captured by Israeli paratroopers on June 7, 1967, while the victorious soldiers still “wandered about the plaza as if they were dreaming.”

Israel Surrenders the Temple Mount: Jerold Auerbach, Algemeiner, Nov. 5, 2014—Since Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, ending nearly two thousand years of Jewish exile and dispersion, only one other moment has rivaled its stunning historical significance.                                                                                                                                                                 

For Israel, Two-State Is No Solution: Naftali Bennett, New York Times, Nov. 5, 2014—Recent events in the Middle East are a reminder of how the old models of peace between Israel and the Palestinians are no longer relevant. The time has come to rethink the two-state solution.

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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