The Ra’am party, which is part of Naftali Bennett’s coalition government, issued this message in Arabic on Friday, following Arab clashes with police on the Temple Mount: “We reject any invasion of Al-Aqsa Mosque and do everything we can to prevent the violation of its sanctity.”
The announcement also states that Ra’am MKs have been working for many weeks to prevent any damage to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. According to the statement, “the real solution lies in preventing any non-Muslim from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque under one pretext or another.”
Now, mind you, while in Hebrew and English, the name “Al-Aqsa Mosque” usually refers only to the mosque at the southern end of the Temple Mount compound, since 1948 and certainly since 1967, many Muslims refer to the entire complex of mosques and structures on the Temple Mount, including the Dome of the Rock, as the “Al-Aqsa Mosque.” Therefore, when an Arab speaker mentions in Arabic the name “Al-Aqsa Mosque,” he or she refers to the whole thing, and when Abbas says non-Muslims should never be allowed in Al Aqsa, he relies on years of Muslim Brotherhood references to the holy compound in its entirety as Al-Aqsa Mosque, which they used to call Beit Almakdas – literally the Holy Temple.
Ra’am’s statement also reads: “We will do our duty for the Al-Aqsa Mosque and defend it from all aggression. There is no room for political considerations when the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque is violated.”
Close to a thousand Arabs clashed with police Friday morning and threw stones from the Temple Mount area down on the heads of Jews in the Kotel Plaza (Arab Rioters on Temple Mount Threw Stones on Jews at the Kotel, Police Breached, 90 Arabs Injured). Before the riots began, a thousand Arabs slept in the compound to prevent what they imagined would be a Jewish Passover sacrifice. Dozens of young people, some of them masked, held a procession in the Temple Mount area at night with Hamas and Fatah flags. The rioters collected stones and wooden planks in preparation, and as soon as the morning prayer had ended, the violent riot began.
Police forces entered the Al-Aqsa mosque to evacuate the rioters and arrested hundreds of them. Police finally cleared the entire compound from people. The Red Crescent reported 152 were injured from gas inhalation and Police sponge bullets. At least two of them were injured seriously. Police said three officers were slightly injured. The clashes lasted about six hours, at the end of which the police allowed the Muslims to reenter the Temple Mount.
Homeland Security Minister Omer Barlev said Friday: “We have no interest in the Temple Mount becoming a hotbed of violence that will harm both the Muslim worshipers there and the Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall.”
Was he depicting an image of Jewish rioters in the Kotel plaza throwing rocks up at the Muslims on the Temple Mount?
Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai said: “A handful of people can’t violate the peace and freedom of worship.”
Someone call Merriam-Webster people and tell them the new definition of a handful of people is a thousand Arabs.
Ra’am MK Mazen Ghanaim sent a letter to Prime Minister Bennett threatening to resign from the coalition: “If the security forces’ activity in the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque is not stopped immediately, I see myself outside the coalition,” he insisted.
Please, God, help MK Ghanaim make good on his threats…
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry Condemned Israel, stating: “These acts are a blatant, reprehensible and unacceptable violation. The Israeli authorities must remove the police and special forces from the compound immediately.”
As usual, the typical headlines of any of these stories go along the line of “it all started when Israel retaliated.” Still, if there’s new violence on the Temple Mount and the police, being an agency in charge of law & order, goes in, maybe Ra’am would go away and take with it the nightmare known as the Lapid-Bennett government.
May your Seder be deep but swift and may you get to the matzos by midnight.