According to one Israeli political source, cited by YNet: "The moment they announced that they were becoming one body, negotiations became impossible. Abbas has gone a step too far. There will be no political contacts with the Palestinians.”
This was good. Anything less would have been shameful. But what made the decision more satisfying was that the vote was unanimous. Even Tzipi Livni – the ‘gung-ho’ negotiator - and Yair Lapid (head of Yesh Atid) – who had been talking about leaving the coalition if progress wasn’t made in negotiations – voted to terminate current talks. In fact, Lapid laid responsibility solidly at the feet of the Palestinian Arabs, questioning whether they really want a state. To me, that is simply a rhetorical question, for obviously they do not. But it was satisfying to see even Lapid facing up to this fact.
The catch, however, is that talks were suspended and not irrevocably ended. This means that if the situation changes diplomatically they might be considered again. There was no declaration that any party that is willing to consider unity with a terror organization cannot be considered a good faith partner for peace negotiations, even if unity fails to materialize. There was not even a demand, at a minimum, that there must be a protracted period of time during which the PA would cease incitement, educate for peace, and stop paying salaries to terrorists.
So negotiations were rendered comatose. But not buried with absolute finality.
I hasten to point out here again that the difference between Fatah and Hamas is one of appearances and methodology, not final goals. The Palestinian National Charter, which was supposed to have been amended at the time of Oslo signings in 1993, was not. Arafat hoodwinked the international community, which was quite content to be deceived for the sake of “peace.”
The Charter reads (from Article 15): “The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national [duty] and it attempts to repel the Zionist and Imperial aggression against the Arab homeland, and aims at the elimination of Zionism in Palestine.” (Emphasis added)
The first statement from the State Department last Wednesday, regarding the projected Fatah-Hamas unity, was mildly encouraging. Said spokeswoman Jen Psaki,
An extreme outrage, considering that the Muslims started the riot.
"’If Israel wants to violate the peace treaty in this issue, the entire treaty, its article, details and wording will be put on the table,’ Nsur told Qatar's Al-Watan paper in an interview.”
This is the threat that unsettles our government. But Jewish prayer on the Mount does not put Muslim holy sites at risk, nor is it something about which the Wakf should have the slightest say. Will we be forever afraid to assert our rights? To pray on the Mount is a very basic Jewish right.
The High Court ruled, some while ago, that Jews have the right to pray on the Mount. It is the Israel police who prevent this – as I described above, calling it a situation that generates a “security risk,” which means it leads Muslims to riot. The presence of Jews going up on the Mount is monitored very tightly by Israeli security forces, and this is simply not how it should be.
Having said all of this, I want to share a horrendous video taken on the Mount very recently; it is accompanied by descriptive text.
Last Tuesday a group of Hareidi fathers brought their young children, some 25 in number, up on the Mount, an act to be much applauded. But they were assaulted both verbally and physically by Arabs. Small children, poked at and shoved and spit at. Arabs throwing shoes and sticks at them. How terrifying it must have been for them, and how brave they were.
The Israeli security forces simply did not adequately protect them. And I cannot help but wonder if it was because of the recent Jordanian threat, which would be shameful indeed.
When I saw this video, I wept.
This situation cannot be permitted to persist. Here I do not, absolutely do not, throw up my hands. Never. Here the fire of my activism – and my commitment to fighting for Jewish rights - burns bright.
This must be understood: Arab Muslim interest in the Mount and in control over the Mount is directly related to issues of Jewish sovereignty and rights. It hits at our core – at the essence of our ancient identity – and they know it. Jewish rights on Har Habayit must be firmly established.
A new organization has been established here that is taking on this fight: Haliba.
It is promoting Jewish rights on the Mount, with the idea that there is room for all and that sharing is possible.
In response to what has been going on – most particularly the harassment of the children – Haliba is calling an emergency meeting on Tuesday night at 6:30 PM, at the Begin Center in Jerusalem. Hebrew only.
I will follow in due course with more information as it becomes available.