I don’t know if there are news outlets that don’t deal with the subject of Israel and that don’t have an institutionalised attitude to simplify this extraordinarily complex subject, generally making it all about Israel being a colonial power that subjugates the oppressed Palestinians.
There seems to be a gap in the logic of this attitude, since as it is well known there is a peace process going on, which means that there is a door open for the Palestinians to end the situation, if it is indeed as unbearable as we are often told it is. It is generally considered that Israel ‘needs to give more’. Nobody seems to care what the Palestinians want or demand or what they could do to end the situation.
The Palestinians are not stupid people and it is as clear to them – as it is to anyone else – that the more they refuse, the more the UN and the USA, as well as the EU will put pressure on Israel to make further concessions or to yield more. So when do you think Palestinians should stop asking for more? And when would you stop making new offers if you were Israel?
The international press agencies have made themselves part of this by-now fixed process and it is their reporting that tells the people what they consider they should think, including the details that they think they should know.
The ninth day of Av in the Hebrew calendar is the day on which the destruction of the first and second Temples are remembered, marked by fasting and prayer by very devout Jews. It seems harmless to me that people gather to pray respectfully at the site of a lost time. In this case we are talking about the Temple Mount, holiest of all places to Judaism, on which Islam much later built some rather beautiful mosques.
It appears however that the Arabs do not consider respectful prayer by Jews to be either natural or acceptable. The only part of the site of the Temples still available to Jews is the famous Western Wall, apparently part of the retaining wall of the exterior of a temple. This is situated below the main platform of the Mount upon which the mosques are built. The people below are therefore vulnerable to anything thrown from above.
This morning, Twitter documents in words and pictures how the Arabs react to the quiet prayer of the Jews in the square below. The Israeli police are present to protect the worshipers from the established behaviour of the foes above and were attacked by young people who had prepared themselves for the battle with stones, wooden planks, cement blocks & firebombs. The twitterati express no anger or belligerence, just rueful acceptance that the situation is so much as it was expected to be.
Press agencies react with predictable reflex actions and in this case Agents France Presse has conveyed to its readers that it is the Israeli police who attacked, ignoring the fact that an armoury of weaponry had been gathered ahead of time and that a gang of masked Palestinian youth had forced their way into Al Aqsa.
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