Israel’s security cabinet has correctly decided to leave the metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount, rather than give in to the threats and violence. No doubt, Muslim violence will ensue, but lives will ultimately be saved.
One thing that has almost been forgotten with all the noise surrounding this issue is that Jordan actually wanted to install security cameras up there a little over a year ago – before giving in to threats by palestinians – who were afraid the cameras would incriminate their own people.
The Palestinians argue that the cameras would be used by Israel to identify and arrest Muslim worshipers and activists opposed to visits by Jews to the Temple Mount. In recent months, scores of male and female activists calling themselves murabitun and murabitat have been harassing non-Muslims touring the Temple Mount under police protection.
The Jerusalem Police has detained several activists, some of whom have been served with orders barring them from entering the Temple Mount compound for weeks and months for security reasons.
Last month, the Jordanian government announced that the security cameras would be installed “within days.” The Jordanians even dispatched a team of engineers and technicians to the site to prepare for their installation.
However, many Palestinians said that they would prevent the Jordanians from installing the cameras. The Palestinians rejected Jordan’s assurances that the cameras would not be installed inside al-Aksa Mosque and would not be used by Israel to crack down on activists.
I would add that these “activists” are not just those harassing people but also actual terrorists, like those who murdered the two Israeli police officers with weapons stored in a the mosque.
And what were the threats? Just to break the cameras. There were no threats to stage days of rage, launch a wave of terrorism, or anything else they are now threatening. Again, my theory as to why the double standard seems to hold true.
What is also interesting is the official reason Jordan proffered for wanting to install the cameras to begin with.
(Jordanian Prime Minister) Ensour said that the goal of the cameras was to document “recurring assaults” by Israelis on the sanctity of the holy site. He said that the cameras would have brought legal, political and media benefits” to the Muslims.
There are no such recurring assaults – only from the Muslim side. Sure, there have been sporadic incidents from non-Muslims over the last 50 years: the Australian Christian who tried to set fire to Al-Aqsa in 1969, the Jewish terrorist who shot people up there in 1982; and plots to blow up the mosques in 1974, 1977, 1983 and 1984. But nothing since. It is clear the main threats to people up there come from the Muslims objecting to the presence of infidels.
Once again, this shows how this issue is being used as a political bludgeon against Israel – and has been for a while.
Update: Another revealing, double standard: Abbas supported the Jordanian initiative last year:
The announcement that the plan would be dropped came shortly after Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh met in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and discussed with him the crisis surrounding the cameras. After the meeting, Abbas voiced support for the Jordanian initiative.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has reached out to US President Donald Trump’s top Middle East advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, asking him to exert pressure on Israel to remove metal detectors installed at the entrance of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in response to a deadly terror attack the area last Friday.