By Ted Belman
In Behind the Scenes of Netanyahu’s Flip-flop on the Temple Mount we learn that both the Shin Bet and the IDF were against installing the detectors, whereas the police were for it. Notwithstanding that, the Cabinet voted in favour except for Housing Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu) and National Infrastructure Minister Yuval Steinitz who voted against.
A week later, the cabinet reversed itself. The mounting rage both locally and abroad gave impetus to the warnings of the IDF and Shin Bet. They feared massive attacks both in Israel and around the world. Think of the reactions to the Mohammed cartoons. Think of the reactions to Sharon visiting the Temple Mount or Netanyahu opening up the tunnels beneath the Kotel. Things could easily get out of hand at our Embassies around the world and in Israel.
Discretion was the better part of valour.
We have learnt from bitter experience any suggestion about Judaization of the Temple Mount, true or trumped up, can result massive protests and loss of life. I understand that the Cabinet was intimidated and rightly so.
But more must be said. During the Gaza wars and the last Lebanon war, Israel preferred to restore calm rather than seek victory. Also our policies in Judea and Samaria are designed to maintain the status quo rather than to put facts on the ground to better our position.
Netanyahu always reminds us that he is Mr Security and resists making concession that lessen our security. But he never fights for the land or argues that the settlement are legal or the land belongs to us.
We have to pick our battles. Our government should destroy all illegal Arab construction and promote Jewish construction. That’s a battle we can win if we had a government committed to it.
It is the job of the IDF and the Shin Bet to keep us safe. It is the job of the government to secure our rights and enforce our sovereignty. The need to do so should be part of every debate.