In essence, Israel surrendered to violent threats

Israeli sovereignty over the Old City has been further diminished.

By Jonathan S Tobin, ISRAEL HAYOM

There is no way to see the outcome of the standoff over metal detectors at the Temple Mount as a triumph for Israel’s government. After first refusing to remove them despite threats of Palestinian demonstrations and violence, and then seeing the beginning of what might be a new “stabbing intifada,” the reversal in response to what amounts to blackmail from Jordan will not help Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s popularity, although it may help him in Washington.

No matter how it tries to spin the measures that will replace the detectors as providing the same or better security, it still looks as though the Israeli government surrendered to violent threats. The same Palestinian Authority that fomented this controversy and that should be held responsible for the bloodshed — the original terror attack at the Temple Mount that killed two policemen and the subsequent slaughter in Halamish as well as the attack on the Israeli Embassy in Amman — will claim victory.

The Palestinians have once again proved that they can exercise a veto over Israeli policy in Jerusalem even in the aftermath of a bloody terror attack and a reasonable decision to heighten security. Israeli sovereignty over the Old City has been further diminished. That will allow both Netanyahu’s critics to his right as well as centrist and left-wing opponents to decry what they are calling poor crisis ?management and weakness.

But if there is one silver lining in a cloud-filled sky, it is the way events have served as a tutorial in the complexity and irrationality of the conflict for the Trump administration. The president needs to realize that his ambition to leverage Saudi and Jordanian influence over the Palestinians into brokering the “ultimate deal” is a hopeless quest.

The sequence of events demonstrated that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is not a real estate transaction in which compromise and smart negotiating can achieve a result. The willingness of Palestinians to take to the streets and even murder Jews over the detectors is proof that the core issues are not territory, settlements or security measures, but existential and religious concerns that are not currently susceptible to compromise.

Whether U.S. mediator Jason Greenblatt’s arrival in the region encouraged a solution in the aftermath of the attack on the embassy is unclear. Greenblatt may have provided American cover for the resolution of the standoff in which the safe return to Israel of an embassy guard who shot a terrorist attacker was traded for the detectors’ removal.

But if Greenblatt, the president, or a State Department that continues to recycle the same myths propagated by the Obama administration thinks the moral of the story is that more or better U.S. diplomacy will provide a path to a peace agreement, they weren’t paying attention to what preceded Netanyahu’s retreat. Everything that led from the initial terrorist attack to the decision to take down the metal detectors testifies to a conflict that is rooted in a Palestinian political culture in which intolerance for the Jewish presence in the country is decisive.

Netanyahu’s critics can point to a series of decisions that were bound to lead to an escalation of the problem. Any measure, even one as reasonable as putting up metal detectors at a holy site where guns were just smuggled in to carry out a double murder, was going to be interpreted by Palestinians as an intolerable offense to their national pride and faith. But the reason why that led to further murder and ultimately an Israeli retreat to avoid more bloodshed is the “Al-Aqsa is in danger” narrative that Palestinian leaders, including the supposedly moderate President Mahmoud Abbas, have employed for a century to ramp up hostility to the Jews.

The basis for the canard about Israel planning to harm the Temple Mount mosques is a desire to keep the historic plateau — the most sacred spot in Judaism where Jews are currently forbidden to pray in order to keep the peace — as well as the rest of the city and the country free of Jewish influence. The victory won by the Palestinians is one that will only encourage the same refusal to compromise that has doomed every peace initiative for a century, not to mention the 24 years since the Oslo Accords were signed.

President Donald Trump may think he can split the difference on real estate, but surely not even he thinks he can do the same with respect to religion. So long as that is true, the impetus to push Netanyahu to compromise on territory is pointless. While the prime minister may have gotten a black eye from the latest Temple Mount episode, the same events that wound up humiliating him may also serve to deter any desire by Trump to repeat the mistakes of his predecessors and exert further pressure on Israel.?

Jonathan S. Tobin is opinion editor of and a contributing writer for National Review. Twitter @jonathans_tobin.?

July 25, 2017 | 10 Comments » | 696 views

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10 Comments / 10 Comments

  1. This is a TEST because I had log in trouble which caused Ted lots of trouble and precious time, which I regret.
    In effect, Israel caved in. Regardless of how it was perceived amongst the govt who made the decision, this is the perception of thr world, specifically the Arabs.

    “If we put enough pressure on the Jews they’ll break”….

    Now….knowing that we can only go by what is seen in the news reports and etc…. (believe 1/2 what you read and 1/4 of what you hear)

    They had a golden opportunity to settle matters once and for all, and the Jordan contretemps should have been grabbed with both hands quickly.

    The Israel Govt, should have made two comments.

    1) “The Metal Detectors Stay and there is nothing more to be said”. We will use full force to ensure that they do stay.

    2) Please send back the wounded security guard, and the rest of the Embassy staff to Israel..immediately…if not, we-will-come- and- get- them.

    This would “shake them up” in no uncertain terms. The time for useless, time-wasting, Political Correct diplomacy, has llloong ago passed, and Jewish fools have only prolonged it with a plethora of “learned treatises” and enough bloviation to have filled a fleet of a hundred Hindenburg airships. maybe a thousand.

    Contrary to what you might believe, I myself am a peacefully inclined person, and in my past have negotiated and compromised many times. But being primarily a “troubleshooter”, with the ability to zoom in on the log jam and the most efficient way to fix it.

    In this case, nothing will solve the Arab -Jew conflict so we must take our own steps since we’ve tried everything else, many times, other than lying down and baring our throats for the knive. There was a time when we even did this…But Remember…. NEVER AGAIN.

  2. Jordan allowed the security guard to leave. In fact, I read they pulled the entire diplomatic staff. Israel has always submitted to blackmail in order to save Jewish lives. The lesson here is that Israel cannot afford to have an embassy in Jordan. It’s just a hostage situation waiting to happen. And, it’s unnecessary, in the age of internet, hot lines and air travel.

  3. the most sacred spot in Judaism where Jews are currently forbidden to pray [in order to keep the peace]

    Once again we see that “self-determination” is for suckers.

    “Keeping the peace”, in a feature article that reminds us of recent, vicious, multiple homicides (including smack in the middle of where the ‘peace’ is intended to be kept), is really quite an amusing, twisted irony.

  4. @ Sebastien Zorn:

    I agree with you, Jordan is only across the River, a few miles away, an Embassy there may have been a good thing when they signed the peace treaty, just to show that there were m=ormal relations with san Arab country. But that has very long outlived it’s usefulness, and it wa only PR usefulness anyway. All the time, during the Embassy tenure, Jew hatred was abundant, and they had laws such as the death penalty for selling property to a Jew. So what could anyone realistically hope for from such bloodthirsty and hateful barbarians. Any communications between the two countries could be better and more safely applied as Sebastien suggests, and also show what little trust we place in their integrity without say it out aloud.. This would stop the fake false smiles and other drek known as politics and diplomacy, because the whole filthy situation has progressed far, far past this.

  5. @ Abolish_public_education:

    And what about those innocent people ascending the Mount, who might mumble a prayer, or just move their lips who are hauled away by the police…… We haven’t heard much of this lately…Now which police are they who do this…. The same police of whom 2 were just killed, or purely Wakf police…..??

    What they need is a good dose of ammonia spray in their eyes when they come to abuse Jewish worshippers. And I hope that the Govt. one day, will gather enough iron to strengthen it’s spine, and allow and order such a thing.

  6. @ Edgar G.:
    David Singer has not responded to a single one of my criticisms — I can no longer reply. He also cannot stand humor — which I find suspicious in and of itself. I do not know whether Zahran can be trusted but I do know the king definitely can not be trusted. And the parliament. Oh my god. They actually, praised the murders. I shouldn’t be surprised. They praised the murder of Jewish children! Most of them!!

    If it were up to me, they’d simply expel all hostile anti-Zionist elements from Greater Israel and killl anybody who so much as looks sideways at a rock, a killer car, or a knife, much less a gun, a missile, or a bomb. But, it isn’t up to me. So, we wait. And hope Israel’s playing for time will pay off in the long run.

  7. @ Sebastien Zorn:

    A guy with no sense of humour is far too self-important for lowly you to deal with. He obviously has a grouch, and that;s easy to see, from his own statements. He’s been working at whatever he does, feeling more and more important, but becoming more and more impotent,,,,for 38 years with NO results. And he sees others jumping in and doing what he couldn’t. And if he still hasn’t been able to get anything moving after all that time, he knows he never will, so naturally he’ll disparage them sutomatically without even knowing what they’re doing, but knowing it’s something.. ..

    You may recall that as soon as Zahran’s Plan came on site I went for it in a big way. It sounds just the thing . He presented to the public the situation in Jordan that we had no idea was so bad. Naturally it depends on whether the US will back it or not. That’s critical, but if Israel pushes it to America then it should get the backing it needs. Zahran expects to be in the US on a speaking tour or something, and meeting some of the big wheels there. Ted posted that he knows him quite well for the past 6-7 years and they keep in touch.

  8. @ Edgar G.:
    I’m open-minded. Ahs me sainted fahder used to say, “As long as it doesn’t frighten the horses.”

    And you reminded me of the chestnut — I’m sure you know it — “A rabbi, to show his humility before God, cries out in the middle of a service, Oh, Lord, I am nobody! The cantor, not to be bested, also cries out, Oh, Lord, I am nobody! The shamus, deeply moved, follows suit and cries, Oh, Lord, I am nobody! The rabbi turns to the cantor and says, Look who thinks he’s nobody! (Arthur Naiman, Every Goy’s Guide to Yiddish) ”

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