It’s not a reaction to oppression.
What are the roots of the stabbing intifada?
Jeffrey Goldberg takes a long time to say it, but he gets some of it said. It’s not a “cycle of violence” where both sides are similar. One side is lying and inciting its people to violence, and this has been going on at least since the 1920s in very similar fashion. The current dispute concerns the history of the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock, and access to those sites.
The NY Post says it more succinctly, and adds a few more things, such as the latest incident of what one might call the Muhammed al Durah phenomenon, complete with the cooperation of our State Department:
…Wednesday…Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a speech that Israeli security forces “executed” an innocent 13-year-old boy, Ahmad Mansara, “in cold blood.”
The story has fueled Palestinian anger for days. A photo of a bleeding Mansara, lying on the ground, filled social networks and gave birth to endless angry tweets. It also, apparently, informed official statements, including at the State Department, denouncing “excessive use of force” by Israel.
What’s wrong with this picture? This:
Far from innocent, Mansara, along with his 19-year-old brother, was on a knifing rampage. Video footage from closed-circuit security cameras shows them stabbing an Orthodox Jew and then a Jewish child who left a store on his bicycle. Only later, when Mansara tried to attack two policemen, was he shot down.
Oh, and Mansara was far from “executed.” On Thursday, the government issued a photo of him being treated in an Israeli hospital.
But as Churchill said, the lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. Nowadays, it seems that a lie gets all the way around the world, aided by the speed and scope of modern media.
Lies are very effective, and Big Lies often most effective of all.
Let’s try to clear up what’s really happening. From Goldberg’s article:
The current “stabbing Intifada” now taking place in Israel—a quasi-uprising in which young Palestinians have been trying, and occasionally succeeding, to kill Jews with knives—is prompted in good part by the same set of manipulated emotions that sparked the anti-Jewish riots of the 1920s: a deeply felt desire on the part of Palestinians to “protect” the Temple Mount from Jews.
From the NY Post again:
Arabs are convinced that Israel is set on destroying, desecrating or “Judaizing” Haram al-Sharif, the Jerusalem compound that includes al-Aqsa, Islam’s third-holiest site. As Abbas indelicately put it in a mid-September speech, the Jews are trying to “defile al-Aqsa with their filthy feet,” and must be stopped.
Israel points out that the arrangements that have existed since 1967, when it seized control of the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, are intact, and will remain so: A Jordanian trust, the Waqf, maintains the Mount.
Jews can visit, but not pray there…
Once Abbas presented his al-Aqsa “narrative” in September, Palestinian youths heeded his call to spill blood for Jerusalem. They drove cars into pedestrians at bus stops, cut down passers-by with knives, meat cleavers and screwdrivers and otherwise attempted to kill Jews.
Here’s how the State Department has been complicit in furthering the Palestinian narrative:
Enter State Department spokesman John Kirby, who said Wednesday, “certainly, the status quo has not been observed, which has led to a lot of the violence.”
Come again? That factually challenged statement followed Secretary of State John Kerry, who has his own “narrative”: Israeli settlement expansion is responsible for the violence. (State later walked back Kerry’s statement.)
And after pressure from Israeli and Jordanian officials, Kirby also retracted, tweeting, “Clarification from today’s briefing: I did not intend to suggest that status quo at Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif has been broken.
Oh, really? Because what else did your words mean?
[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]