The essence of the issue

Praying Muslims face Mecca

A number of news stories this week have struck me as highlighting the essence of the conflict. None more so than the riots on the Temple Mount – the holiest site in Judaism. Arabs threw chairs and stones because Jews were permitted to visit their holiest site for Jerusalem Day.

The riots were encouraged by the Palestinian leadership who called for demonstrations against “herds of settlers who want to desecrate the Al-Aqsa Mosque”.

What is even more extraordinary than violence against the idea and act of Jews visiting their holiest site is the fact that it came only a few weeks after hundreds of thousands of Muslims prayed on the same site for Ramadan. And that those prayers came only hours after a Palestinian teenager stabbed two Israelis inside the Old City.

Not only was the Palestinian leadership calling for violence in the face of Jews wanting to visit their holiest site, incitement on official PA TV continued with a segment in which a child was taught to shoot Jews.

And in Gaza, Hamas TV broadcast a music video promising to “blow up” Tel Aviv and showing a staged stabbing of a religious Jew by a masked Palestinian on the same day that Hamas official Fathi Hammad promised to “slaughter, exterminate, and annihilate” Israel.

On the border with Lebanon, the IDF uncovered the ‘longest and most significant’ cross-border tunnel built by Hezbollah to infiltrate Israeli territory and attack military and civilian targets in northern Israel.

Meanwhile, nearly 3,000 Jews, Israeli Arabs, Palestinians and international guests broke the Ramadan fast together in a show of coexistence at the SodaStream factory in the Negev. This is the same company that BDS targeted for closure, and when it relocated from Mishor Adumim 450 Palestinians lost their jobs.

And in the past week, there have been announcements of Israeli breakthroughs in using 3D printing for surgery, treating pancreatic cancer, monitoring fetal heartbeats at home, and clean the air in your home.

Finally, Israel will be going back to the election booths in September after an unprecedented failure to form a government and a Knesset vote to dissolve itself. That will make 6 elections since the Palestinians last had a general vote on their leadership.

The conclusion from all of the above is, sadly, that Arab Palestinian leaders are intent on destroying Israel and obscuring the historic connection of Jews to the land, while the Israeli leaders and businesses are focussed on building a successful and safe country and show a willingness to embrace diversity. This is the essence of the conflict.