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October 9, 2015 0

Terror in Israel, A Reality We Know Too Well

By: Car­ole Nuriel, ADL’s Jerusalem Office

Over the past two weeks, a wave of ter­ror has once again hit Israel. For those of us who grew up in Israel dur­ing the 1980s, this is an unfor­tu­nate real­ity we know all too well. Israelis suf­fered through two intifadas, waves of ter­ror attacks includ­ing sui­cide bombs, shoot­ings, run-over attacks, stone throw­ing and Molo­tov cock­tails. Yet there is a feel­ing now that this par­tic­u­lar wave of ter­ror is dif­fer­ent. There are a few rea­sons for this:

•       The ter­ror­ists’ pro­file: They come both from Pales­tin­ian areas in the West Bank and from Israeli Arab communities

•       Most of them are rel­a­tively young, some even teenagers

Obvi­ously, another change is the use of social media:  some of the ter­ror­ists have declared their inten­tion to carry out attacks on social media. This tool, which has become the new “city square”, pro­vides a plat­form for recruit­ment, incite­ment, how-tos, as well as for orga­niz­ing crowds to demon­strate and riot against Israeli secu­rity forces.

Israel violence

In many ways, this wave of vio­lence rep­re­sents an on-the-ground ver­sion of the recent Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza, which indis­crim­i­nately tar­geted Israeli civil­ians through­out the coun­try. This wave may have started in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, but quickly caught fire to the rest of the coun­try, and is now tar­get­ing cities like Kiryat Gat, Petach Tikva, Tel Aviv and Afula. Much like Hamas’ rock­ets, much of the fear Israelis are now feel­ing is because of the sense that no place in the coun­try is immune from ter­ror attacks.

Anx­i­ety is felt every­where, as is the nature of ter­ror­ism. I live in Modi’in and have taken Road 443 to Jerusalem daily for the past eight years. How­ever, dur­ing the last few months I haven’t felt safe dri­ving on 443, espe­cially with my kids, as there have been numer­ous stone and Molo­tov cock­tail throw­ing inci­dents on this road. I now feel safer tak­ing High­way 1, even though it means a longer drive to Jerusalem. Indeed, many Modi’in res­i­dents don’t drive on 443 any­more. Some­thing has def­i­nitely changed. Just today, I received a notice that secu­rity check­points will be erected at all entrances to the city, and secu­rity in all edu­ca­tional insti­tu­tions will be increased.

Polls have shown that there is a gen­eral pub­lic con­sen­sus among Pales­tini­ans against ter­ror­ism. But last week we wit­nessed another kind of evil, one which greatly wor­ries me. Dur­ing Sat­ur­day night’s ter­ri­ble stab­bing in the Old City of Jerusalem, Adele Ben­nett, whose hus­band was killed and she her­self stabbed, was report­edly spat on and laughed at by Arab bystanders as she ran to get help with a knife still in her back. What can be more insult­ing, upset­ting and inhu­mane than this inde­cent act?

But this is not only about ter­ror, it’s also about incite­ment to vio­lence. Many of those riot­ing claim Israel is attempt­ing to change the sta­tus quo on Tem­ple Mount. This holy place to both Judaism and Islam has been the focus of clashes and provo­ca­tions for years. It is hard to ignore the dan­ger­ous actions and dis­course of the Islamic Move­ment in Israel, who have sup­ported the Murabitun/Murabitat group, whose sole pur­pose is to pro­voke and insult Jews vis­it­ing the Tem­ple Mount. Incite­ment has also come from senior Pales­tin­ian Author­ity offi­cials, includ­ing Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Abbas who infa­mously declared in a tele­vi­sion inter­view a few weeks ago that Jews are defil­ing the Tem­ple Mount with their feet.

Today more than ever, reli­gious and polit­i­cal lead­ers must under­stand how eas­ily their incit­ing words can lead to vio­lence and terrorism.

There are ongo­ing efforts among Israeli and Pales­tin­ian lead­ers to deesca­late ten­sions. Israelis hope and pray that this will be suc­cess­ful, and that the per­sonal secu­rity will be restored.

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September 18, 2015 0

Violence on the Temple Mount in the Arab Media

For the past cou­ple of months, the Tem­ple Mount has been the focus of con­fronta­tions between Mus­lim wor­shipers and Jew­ish vis­i­tors. Encour­aged by anti-Semitic invec­tive in pub­lic state­ments by Pales­tin­ian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Abbas, in recent days this has esca­lated to vio­lence by Mus­lim wor­shipers who have hurled stones, fire­works and metal bars at Israeli secu­rity forces. The Mount is the holi­est site for Jews, and the third holi­est Mus­lim site (after Mecca and Med­ina) known as Al-Haram Ash-Sharif. The respon­si­bil­ity for the Tem­ple Mount is shared by Israel, which has sov­er­eignty over the site, and Jor­dan, whose Cus­to­dian Min­istry has man­aged the site since the 1994 peace treaty between Jor­dan and Israel.

The ongo­ing tur­moil on the Tem­ple Mount has esca­lated partly in reac­tion to an increase in Jew­ish vis­i­ta­tion to the site and to highly politi­cized efforts by some Israeli politi­cians agi­tat­ing to change the sta­tus quo and allow Jews to pray on the Mount (which is for­bid­den by the agree­ment with Jor­dan). In spite of these devel­op­ments, noth­ing jus­ti­fies the extreme reac­tion and vio­lence on the part of the Palestinians.

In recent years, events on the Tem­ple Mount have caused ten­sions between Jerusalem and Amman, which resulted in the recall­ing of the Jor­dan­ian ambas­sador to Israel and  pop­ulist calls within Jor­dan to expel the Israeli ambas­sador to Amman. The Jor­da­ni­ans claim Israel is attempt­ing to change the status-quo on the Tem­ple Mount by “Judaiz­ing” the site. In response, an ini­tia­tive was launched by the North­ern Branch of the Islamic Move­ment (Israel) called the Murabitat/Murabitun — a civil protest group whose goal is to pro­voke Jew­ish vis­i­tors to the Tem­ple Mount. Their sig­nif­i­cance is mainly sym­bolic in that they peace­fully demon­strate Mus­lim pres­ence on the Tem­ple Mount. Their name, derived from the Ara­bic root Rabata mean­ing “to sta­tion and stay in place”, tes­ti­fies to their defi­ance against the Israeli sovereignty.

The charge that Israel is con­spir­ing to take over the site has been a con­stant in Arab media for years, par­tic­u­larly in car­toons pub­lished in Arab news­pa­pers and web­site.   Pales­tin­ian Author­ity lead­ers often issue incen­di­ary state­ments alleg­ing nefar­i­ous Israeli action, while also dimin­ish­ing or even refut­ing the Jew­ish con­nec­tion to Jerusalem. Yet the imagery and lan­guage used in recent weeks rep­re­sents an esca­la­tion of ten­sions over the Tem­ple Mount. In an inter­view ear­lier this week with Pales­tin­ian TV and Sky News in Ara­bic, Pales­tin­ian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Abbas accused Jews of defil­ing the Tem­ple Mount: “Al-Aqsa is ours, the Church of the Holy Sep­ul­cher is ours, it is all ours. They have no right to defile them with their filthy feet, and we will not allow them,” he said.

There have also been a num­ber of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel car­toons pub­lished which depict Israel as ani­mals attempt­ing to devour Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the invo­ca­tion of clas­sic anti-Semitic stereo­types of Jews as thieves and using money to Judaize Jerusalem.

Here are some examples:

A car­toon pub­lished on Sep­tem­ber 14th in the Pales­tin­ian Authority’s Al-Quds news­pa­per depicts Israel as an alli­ga­tor attempt­ing to devour Jerusalem, rep­re­sented by a woman, while a fig­ure rep­re­sent­ing the Arab World says “We express our concern”.

alligatorAnother pub­lished on Sep­tem­ber 14th in Jordan’s Al-Ghad, shows Jerusalem being devoured by a giant bird rep­re­sent­ing Israel.

birdA car­toon pub­lished on Sep­tem­ber 12th in Qatar’s Ar-Raya news­pa­per, implies that Jews use money to Judaize Jerusalem.

Writ­ten on the right: “Rich Zion­ists’ expen­di­tures.” Writ­ten on the left: “Rich Mus­lims’ expenditures.”

money in hatOn Twit­ter, under the hash­tag of #al-aqsaisindanger, a car­toon was pub­lished on Sep­tem­ber 15th depict­ing a Jew steal­ing the Mosque behind the back of the Arab World. The cartoon’s head­line: “The Israeli Mil­i­tary Rab­binate Pub­lished Pic­tures of Al-Aqsa Mosque with­out the Dome of the Rock”. And as the Jew is steal­ing the Mosque, the Arab fig­ure is say­ing: “Don’t be afraid, we have the orig­i­nal picture!”

stealing temple mountUnder the same hash­tag, another car­toon was pub­lished show­ing Israel steal­ing Al-Aqsa Mosque under a US umbrella.

stealing temple mount2Other hash­tags include #alaq­sais­burn­ing and #shall­notbe­di­vided (refer­ring to an ini­tia­tive to divide the time and place of the Tem­ple Mount between Jew­ish and Mus­lim worshipers).

Some car­toons described ways in which Al-Aqsa is vic­tim­ized by Israel, includ­ing one car­toon pub­lished (Sep. 16) in Jordan’s Ammon news site, which shows the bleed­ing Mosque sawed in two by Israeli sol­diers, under the title “Storm­ing the Tem­ple Mount.”

cutting up JM

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February 28, 2014 0

Jordanian MP Has Outburst Against Jews On Sky News Arabia


Yahya Al-Saud

Dur­ing a debate with an Israeli guest on Sky News Ara­bia over Jordan’s Par­lia­men­tary deci­sion to expel the Israeli ambas­sador from Amman on Wednes­day, Jor­dan­ian Par­lia­men­tar­ian Yahya al-Saud went on a tirade against Jews.

Accord­ing to var­i­ous Arab media reports, al-Saud started chant­ing at the Israeli guest. “Oh Khaiber, Khaiber, oh you Jews, the army of Muham­mad shall return.” evok­ing the story of the Jews of Khaibar, who were sub­ju­gated and slaugh­tered in Ara­bia 1400 years ago.

Al-Saud who heads the Pales­tine Com­mit­tee in the Jor­dan­ian par­lia­ment, report­edly added, “Arab armies must be pre­pared to expel the Jews.”

Al-Saud also threat­ened to call for a vote to with­draw con­fi­dence from Jor­dan­ian gov­ern­ment if it did not enforce the Parliament’s deci­sion to expel the Israeli ambassador.

The Jor­dan­ian Par­lia­ment voted with great major­ity to expel the Israeli ambas­sador from Amman last week in response to what it claimed to be Israeli attempts to allow Jew­ish prayer on Tem­ple Mount in holy places admin­is­tered by Jordanians.

The sta­tus of the Tem­ple Mount, a site with deep reli­gious sig­nif­i­cance in Judaism and Islam, is a peren­nial source of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic con­spir­a­cies through­out the Arab and Mus­lim world.  Ten­sions have been par­tic­u­larly height­ened in recent days fol­low­ing the con­ven­ing of a Knes­set dis­cus­sion on the issue by Mem­ber of Knes­set, Moshe Feiglin.

Yahya al-Saud’s tirade is not in line with the posi­tions and state­ments of the Jor­dan­ian Monarch, King Abdul­lah II, who remains a promi­nent voice for tol­er­ance in the Arab and Mus­lim World. The King renewed his com­mit­ment to a peace­ful and just solu­tion to the con­flict in the Mid­dle East dur­ing a meet­ing between Par­lia­ment lead­ers on Feb­ru­ary 23.

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