The Israeli Government caved in to the demands of the Palestinian Muslims to remove all forms of security surveillance from the entrance to the Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It appears that violent demonstrations and murder have once again succeeded against rational compromise. Israel was prepared to remove the metal detectors in favor of unobtrusive “smart” cameras that could detect concealed weapons. But, the Muslim Wakf (Religious Trust) rejected even this and called upon the Palestinians to resist any change in the so-called status quo.
The Israeli Government may have caved because they did not want to see a long drawn out series of violent demonstrations while the Wakf went to the Israeli Supreme Court and the issue of whether or not non-invasive cameras constitute a change in the “status quo” was slowly deliberated. As it is there is now a sense of victory in the Palestinian camp, they got away with murder and they can still smuggle weapons, guns and explosives, into the Mosque. Is that a viable solution? How many more people, including Israeli border police, must die before resolute action is taken?
The murder of the three members of the Salomon family in Halamish on the West Bank was clearly a case of terrorism. But, the UN Secty. Gen. Anthonio Guterres, in criticizing this incident, failed to label it as terrorism. By contrast, in three other recent statements on incidents where civilians were killed by violent actions he did call all of them terrorist incidents (I thank Michael Freund for pointing this out in The Jerusalem Post). This callous attitude that the killing of Jews is different from the killing of all other civilians, because the Palestinians are felt to have some special justification for killing Jews, is unacceptable. Israelis do not accept this moral relativism of the international community. All terrorism is morally unjustifiable.
So now the forces of terrorism within the Palestinian movement, such as Hamas, that are very strong, will take away from this series of incidents the message that terrorism works and they will gain confidence and will strike again. To exemplify this, it is reported that tonite further violent Muslim demonstrations are continuing on the Temple Mount with 100 injured in clashes with Israeli police. If they riot with metal detectors, if they riot with cameras and if they riot when they are all removed, might as well keep the cameras.