Sunday, October 17, 2004

Nice examples of media bias here. -EoZ

JERUSALEM (AP) - The camera scans the holy terrain, the domed mosques and people strolling along a tree-shaded plaza. It zooms in on a group of foreigners who turn out, after a few mouse clicks, to be visiting U.S. security chiefs on a guided tour of the hilltop revered by both Muslims and Jews.

In an Israeli police station at the Jaffa Gate into the Old City, in front of TV screens picking up images from 280 cameras scattered across the densely populated heart of Jerusalem, a 24-hour watch goes on for stirrings of apocalypse.

Police have stepped up surveillance in recent weeks, amid fears that as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict nears a critical juncture, the sacred hilltop with its two mosques, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, will become the ultimate flash point for disaster.

Israel's security chiefs are wrestling with two nightmare scenarios they say are increasingly realistic - an attack on the mosques by Jewish extremists trying to stop Israel's planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and a collapse of parts of the structurally shaky mosque compound onto thousands of Muslim worshippers.

Muslims would almost certainly blame either catastrophe on the Israeli government and transform its conflict with the Arabs into a full-blown religious war.

In recent weeks, police have increased patrols at the Al Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques and undercover agents are shadowing well-known militants.

However, security officials say a lone assailant not on anyone's watch list - someone, perhaps, like the Jewish nationalist who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 - could easily slip through their net. One of their greatest fears is a shoulder-held missile fired from one of the alleys near the holy places.

Lately, with hard-liners increasingly desperate to stop Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's withdrawal plan, the warnings have reached an unusually high pitch.

Israel is sitting on a "keg of nitroglycerin," said Carmi Gillon, a former chief of Shin Bet, the secret service. The agency has held top-level meetings on what it describes as a threat to Israel's existence. Its director, Avi Dichter, who rarely speaks in public, has said everyone should be losing sleep.

Adding to the anxiety, Israel's police minister, Gideon Ezra, says the eastern wall of the compound is in danger of collapse after an earth tremor in February worsened existing structural damage.

Muslim keepers of the shrine, as well as Jordanian experts, deny Ezra's assessment, while leaders of Israel's Islamic movement have urged followers to rally in defense of the mosques.

Israeli security officials say they don't have concrete leads on a plot to harm the mosques. Notice that it took until paragraph 12 to say this, after all the fear-mongering earlier. -EoZ. However, given the beating they took for failing to head off Rabin's assassination, they clearly don't want to seem complacent.

Opponents of the withdrawal accuse the government of trying to paint them as wild extremists. "There is no doubt that as we get closer to the evacuation, there will be greater attempts to delegitimize the right," said Pinchas Wallerstein, a leader of Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

But Israeli authorities say the motivation is powerful, the mosques are vulnerable and the threat is at an unprecedented level.

Even Tzahi Hanegbi, a staunch opponent of withdrawal, has joined the chorus. In July, while still serving as Sharon's police minister, he said the threat to the shrine from Jewish extremists is "greater than it has ever been."

Some of those fighting against withdrawal believe Sharon is defying God's will by giving up parts of what they see as the Promised Land.

Baruch Marzel, a well-known extremist living in the West Bank, said Sharon must be stopped at any price. When Palestinians call for the genocide of Jews, or blow up Jewish babies, they are "militants" or "activists." When an Israeli Jew disagrees with his government, and has not done anything illegal nor advocated any violence, he is an "extremist." Meaning he is comparable to OBL but not nearly as bad as someone like the murderer Barghouti, who is a "moderate." -EoZ

"We are sitting and thinking and planning and will find all possible ways to respond," said Marzel, refusing to elaborate. "We are talking about danger to life, to our nation ... Certainly the saving of lives is above the law." What an extreme position! -EoZ

In light of new threats, (none of which has yet been spelled out in this article - EoZ) Jerusalem police chief Ilan Franco has ordered more patrols around the Temple Mount. Some 700 officers, including regular police, paramilitary border troops and undercover forces, are regularly assigned to the Old City.

However, the overall security effort appears still focused on Palestinians rather than on Jews. The cameras were installed not to protect the mosques but for Pope John Paul II's visit in 2000, and at the Old City police station, no single camera is trained on the shrine at all times; officers flip from camera to camera, zooming in when they spot something suspicious.

Police spokesman Gil Kleiman acknowledges that the cameras are mostly to deter crime, such as pickpocketing of pilgrims, and attacks on Jews by Palestinians. But he denies police are fixated on Palestinians. "The Temple Mount is a very sensitive area, and the Israeli police is very aware of that," he said.

The mosque compound straddles the fault line of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Israel captured it when it overran Arab east Jerusalem in the 1967 war, and, recognizing its sensitivity, left it under administration of the Islamic Trust, with Israeli police in overall charge of security. Helping to keep the peace was a rabbinical warning to Jews that their presence in the compound might defile Jewish holy ground.

But to devout Jews the site of Jerusalem's great Jewish temple remains a powerful symbol. Sharon's visit there in 2000, before he was prime minister, set off the violence that presaged the present intefadeh, or uprising. (Amazing - and I thought that the people who threw rocks set off the violence, not someone visiting a holy site. -EoZ)And it is a tempting target for those hoping to change history with a single act.

In 1969, an Australian Christian fundamentalist set fire to Al Aqsa and caused extensive damage, saying he wanted to clear the way for rebuilding the temple. An Israeli court ruled him insane. In 1982, an Israeli reserve soldier from the United States opened fire on the Dome of the Rock, the golden-capped mosque opposite Al Aqsa, killing two Palestinians and wounding nine.

Two years later, the Shin Bet caught Jewish extremists who had amassed large amounts of army explosives to blow up the Dome of the Rock.

Yoel Lerner, 63, was one of the militants imprisoned for that plot. Now free and living in Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter, he says he has disavowed violence but thinks Sharon's withdrawal plan might spur others into action.

Lerner said destroying the mosques isn't simple, and that a rocket might do only limited damage. Large amounts of explosives could work, "and I don't see that happening very soon," he said.

Adnan Husseini, director of the Islamic Trust, said police are too lax with potential troublemakers. "We always try to convince them that they have to be strict with these people," Husseini said. "They say, 'if anything happens, we'll take care of it, don't worry.'"

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

Support EoZ by shopping!

search eoz

comments

Speaking

follow me

Follow by Email

translate

Share on Whatsapp


E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options


One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs

Categories

#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Community Standards conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO NIF Noah Phillips norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion Opinon oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Best posts of the past 12 months


Nominated by EoZ readers

The EU's hypocritical use of "international law" that only applies to Israel

Blog Archive