Playing with Fire
As I continue not to blog on the Middle East (I'm like the guy on Yom Kippur who defines fasting as not eating between breakfast and lunch), I just wanted to take note of this report from Ha'aretz, which suggests that the Biden/Hillary/Steinberg/Axelrod never-ending reprimanding of Israel will not serve to calm tensions in Jerusalem:
Even though it was Israel who sparked the most recent crisis over Jerusalem, it is not the only player adding fuel to the fire. The behavior of the Obama administration - with senior officials trying to outdo each other in public reprimands of Israel - is reminiscent of the intentionally tough stance taken on the Netanyahu government a year ago. Nor are the Palestinians missing the opportunity to fan the flames.
True, the prime minister played into their hands on the matter of proposed construction in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, and Jerusalem's mayor is still at it, but the Palestinian Authority is playing a very dangerous game - perhaps the most dangerous of it all - over Jerusalem and specifically the Temple Mount.
Mohammed Dahlan, who is not known for his religious fervor, Khatem Abdel Kader, who holds the Jerusalem portfolio in Fatah, and others called Sunday on Israeli Arabs and residents of East Jerusalem to go to the Temple Mount today to "protect it from the Jews."
A pamphlet Sunday issued a similar call; it was signed by the National and Islamic Forces, an organization that coordinated activities during the second intifada and in practice does not exist today. The pamphlet said that a great 18th-century rabbi foretold that the opening of the Hurva Synagogue, which is expected today, will inaugurate the opening of the Third Temple and therefore Al-Aqsa Mosque must be defended.