Ed: 42: August/2017
Within recent weeks, interactions between Israel and the PA at the ministerial level have offered proof of the value of current Israeli strategy towards the Palestinian population. First came the positive meeting between PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, during which the former offered uncharacteristic praise of Israel's measured response to the wave of violence...
The recent two-day visit of Narendra Modi to Israel, the first ever by an Indian Prime Minister, has been depicted as heralding a new strategic partnership between New Delhi and Jerusalem. Indeed, simply by taking place at all, it represented an upgrade of the relationship.
Ziv Hospital is of international interest primarily because it has been the major site at which wounded Syrians, who cross the Golan border fleeing the Syrian civil war, are given medical treatment in Israel. While today other hospitals are taking up more of the burden of these patients, Ziv remains the closest hospital to the Syrian border, only 35 kilometres away...
For the first time ever, Shi'ite mosques operate inside the city. Shi'ite slogans appear on posters and are spray-painted on walls. You can now hear martial Shi'ite religious music on the streets. "We proudly entered Tikrit and Al Ojah and we will arrive in Fallujah soon," go some of the lyrics. Many of the Sunni locals are afraid.
The issue is not security. Israel is the one concerned with security - but the other side is not. The other side sees the terror attack at the compound as an opportunity to further its claim against Israeli presence in Jerusalem. If you remove all the "settlers" - that is, all Israelis - and all "soldiers" - that is, Israel's security forces - from the area, there will be security. Simply put: no Jews, no bloodshed.
The bad news I just received is that it is a "mainstream" Muslim view that the Dajjal, the "Anti Christ", "the deceiver", "the imposter", who will bring humanity to its knees prior to the End of Days, will be Jewish.
The good news is that it can't be me - because I don't have "enough hair".
The Labor party dominated Israeli politics during the Jewish state's first three decades, and the Zionist movement for another 17 years before that, but has not held power since 2001. It has now been taken over by a chairman who had only joined the party a few months ago, and also conceded to having once voted for its archrival, and the beneficiary of its historic decline, Likud.
Israeli authorities had, quite reasonably, installed metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount, where the mosque sits, to prevent a security failure of the kind that occurred on July 14, when terrorists shot and killed two Israeli Druze policemen using guns smuggled into the mosque compound.
Yet this set off a storm of chaotic incitement among the Palestinian populace and across the wider Middle East - fuelled by lies that Israel was changing the "status quo" on the Mount, or worse, threatening the mosque itself.
Arab Muslims used the sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque compound to prepare and stage a terrorist attack. They tried to take refuge in the Mosque after killing the policemen knowing that it would be even a greater incident if the Police entered the holy Mosque to try to arrest them. They didn't see any religious or moral constraints in desecrating the holy place.