Clashes in Jerusalem
Sir, – In your editorial “A time for diplomacy” (July 21st), you write that the recent disturbances over the Temple Mount are the result of “another miscalculation over the Jerusalem shrine by an Israeli administration.”
A truer representation of the facts is that the latest escalation began on July 14th with a terror attack launched from the Temple Mount during which two Israeli policemen, both of whom were Israeli Arabs, were murdered. The Israeli authorities promptly instituted necessary security measures, to avoid a repeat of the terror attack, until it was safe to resume normal access to the holy sites. Such security measures are common in religious sites throughout the world, such as the Kaaba in Mecca, the Vatican, and the Western Wall, as well as many tourist sites, shopping malls and airports.
What made the attack at the Temple Mount particularly awful was that it took place on a site holy to both Jews and Muslims, which shows that such terrorists are motivated more by hatred of Jews than love of Islam.
Your editorial says that on Friday last “a Palestinian stabbed three Israelis in the occupied West Bank.” This is a curious use of language when the reality was that there was a home invasion and a Palestinian stabbed to death three members of the same family at their Shabbat dinner table, one of them a 70-year-old grandfather, leaving a pool of blood in the kitchen and living room. Alas, this pattern of psychotic, murderous violence and Jew-hatred is all too common, fuelled by incitement by Palestinian propaganda and the words of irresponsible Palestinian leaders.
It is also surely disingenuous to refer to “Palestinian demonstrators” as if they were peaceful, law-abiding citizens when we are really talking about groups of violent protesters looking for confrontation and provoking it.
Fortunately, the statesmanlike response of Israel’s prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah of Jordan has, seemingly, defused the current tension, and the Israeli government has decided to remove the metal detectors from Temple Mount, while keeping a close eye on the site so as to keep it open and safe for peaceful worship by Muslims and Jews, Israelis and Palestinians, alike. – Yours, etc,
Ambassador of Israel,