After a terrorist attack killed two police officers at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount July 14, Israel installed metal detectors on the compound, which also includes the Al Aqsa Mosque.
That’s not a crazy over-reaction. But this routine safety precaution is being cast as an unprovoked intrusion on Muslims wishing to go to the mosque. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas broke off security cooperation with Israel. Protests turned violent, with three people dying Friday, and three members of an Israeli family being murdered in a West Bank terrorist attack.
Abbas condemned the horrific attack on the Temple Mount, but his Fatah party called for a “day of rage” over the metal detectors. None of these actions considers that, without the terror attack that killed the two police officers, none of this would be happening.
“It’s hard to think of a worse debasement of a holy place than for armed gunmen in the middle of a shooting spree to flee to it for sanctuary,” Bloomberg’s Eli Lake wrote last week. “Add to this the fact the Jerusalem police now say there were guns hidden in the Temple Mount complex at the time.”
For those who reflexively blame Israel, even when it suffered the attack, such context doesn’t matter.
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) issued a statement expressing unease over “the escalating tensions between Palestinians and Israeli police which led to the latter imposing unprecedented restrictions on worship at Masjid al Aqsa.”
Similarly, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) claimed Israel’s closure of Al Aqsa was “unacceptable.” In a statement released Friday, it called the new security measures “proof Israel is using the current situation in Jerusalem as a pretext to divide the mosque and prohibit Muslims from accessing their holy site during certain days and/or periods.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) St. Louis chapter organized a march that cast metal detectors and security cameras as a “siege” of the mosque and featured chants of “free free Al-Aqsa.”
“It’s just another way to put [Palestinians] on a leash and try to control them,” said CAIR intern Neveen Ayesh.
Anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour took to Facebook Saturday to salute protesters and claim that “Palestine will be free, it’s not a question of if, its (sic) when.”
Friday’s West Bank terror attack, meanwhile, was the first in a series. A security officer at the Israeli embassy in Jordan was attacked Saturday evening. And Monday morning, another Palestinian carried out an attack “for al Aqsa” injuring an Arab-Israeli man he mistook for a Jew.
There have been no condemnations from any of the groups who see metal detectors as horrible injustices.