Five more Israelis are dead and a city is held hostage because of lies and rumours.
There is little doubt that the Palestinian terrorists who slaughtered four rabbis praying at a Jerusalem synagogue, along with a Druze police officer, were motivated by rumours that Israeli Jews are about to “take over” the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Al-Aqsa libel was also considered to be the motive for car attacks on passengers at light rail stops in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv that killed five Israelis in October and November, including a three-month-old baby.
Although Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah faction praised the baby murderer as a “heroic martyr,” eventually responded to pressure from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to condemn the synagogue massacre, he suggested in the same statement that it was the result of “incursions and provocations by settlers against the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
His half-hearted condemnation was particularly disingenuous, given that he’s been fanning the flames by suggesting “the settlers and the extremists” are about to start worshipping at Al-Aqsa.
“We will not allow our holy places to be contaminated,” Abbas told thousands in Ramallah a week before the synagogue murders.
“Keep them away from us and we will stay away from them, but if they enter Al-Aqsa, [we] will protect Al-Aqsa and the church [sic] and the entire country.”
Abbas ignores the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists he does not intend to change the status quo at the site – where Jews have been allowed to visit but forbidden from praying since Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967.
He also neglects to mention that, while Al Aqsa is the third holiest site in Islam, it is situated on the ruins of the First and Second Temples, the holiest site in Judaism.
Apparently, Abbas thinks Jews visiting their own holiest place would be “contaminating” a Muslim holy site.
Then again, on many occasions, Abbas has denied that there is any Jewish connection to the Temple Mount.
“Every day, we find these [settlers and extremists] trying to enter the [Al-Aqsa] Mosque by any means, in order to establish facts on the ground as they wish,” he said in a speech broadcast on official PA TV in October.
”The fact Israel is trying to establish on the ground is the division of the Al-Aqsa Mosque according to time and place, with the empty excuse that it [Israel] has a claim to it. These are empty and false claims, and a falsification of the history we all know.”
Furthermore, a week before the synagogue murders, the official PA daily newspaper incited against “the rabbis of the secret societies,” claiming they are responsible for everything from arming ISIS to deepening the split between Sunni and Shia Muslims.
As Palestinian Media Watch reported, the article in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida went on to say that the greatest sin of these rabbis and the “Zionist settlers” is destroying the character of “Palestine” and Arab Jerusalem, and “desecrating” Al-Aqsa.
The only real desecration happening at Al-Aqsa is the documented destruction of Jewish artifacts and antiquities during site renovations. Despite a 2004 High Court ruling prohibiting the removal of earth from the site until its contents can be combed for artifacts, the Waqf (Islamic trust) that controls the site has been moving mounds of earth from the Temple Mount to dumps in East Jerusalem.
Israeli archaeologist Yitzchak Dvira and his crew have sifted through some of these piles and have found such artifacts as seals baring the names of priests mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah, support beams from the First Temple, and remnants of the structure of the Second Temple.
Among the many disturbing aspects of the synagogue massacre is that it was not carried out by masked terrorists who sneaked through checkpoints or tunnels, but by Palestinians who lived and worked in Israel.
And, as Yishai Schwartz pointed out in the New Republic, the ultra-Orthodox victims lived in internationally recognized Israel and never served in the army. And they never would have approached the Temple Mount because they believed God’s law forbids it.
“In other words, these worshippers should be among the least offensive to Palestinians,” he wrote.
If only the truth carried as much weight as the lies, slander and incitement that make murder preferable to peace.