I have been trying to keep my mouth shut, but the excessive amount of hyperbole from every direction has been getting out of hand. Over the last week or two we have been expending so much energy arguing over the tactical decisions of the Israeli government and police regarding the Temple Mount, yet in doing so we have been missing the big picture. Let me take you back to the year 2000, the start of what is commonly known as the 2nd Intifada, otherwise known as the Oslo War. When and why did it start? On September 29 opposition leader Ariel Sharon went up to the Temple Mount. This sparked outrage and riots throughout the Arab world, providing the spark for the start of a massive wave of violence. Or so they wanted you to believe. You see that was the PLO narrative; that’s what the people behind the violence wanted us to believe. So the Israeli media spent months debating the wisdom of Sharon ascending the Mount. Yet we later learned through intelligence and declassified government documents that these riots and attacks were planned several months in advance by Yasser Arafat. They had nothing to do with Sharon going up to the Mount and they would have happened regardless. Fast forward to 2017 and the same story repeats itself. We will spend weeks talking about metal detectors and cameras, but that’s exactly what they want us to talk about. The other side wants us to blame ourselves for the violence, to beat each other up over where we went wrong in the decision-making process. But these riots have nothing to do with metal detectors. They are not a response to our actions. They were planned well in advance – if not by the PLO, then by the representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood (Islamic Movement) in Israel, with funding from overseas. So let’s focus on the big picture. We are in a long war. There are things we can do to minimize the violence, but there is no tactical measure employed by the police or IDF that is going to end it. You want to talk about changing the government’s strategic policies regarding Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria? Fine. That is part of the big picture. But let’s stop bickering over tactical measures and fueling the enemy’s narrative.
Thanks to Aharon HaCohen for this article