New Year's greetings from Housing Minister Uri Ariel on the Temple Mount go awryHousing Minister Uri Ariel ascended the Temple Mount on Wednesday to give New Year's greetings. This was after the riots about which I reported on in an earlier post.
Let's go to the videotape.
I'll bet that even those of you who speak Hebrew couldn't hear a word he was saying. Here's why:
Ariel uploaded a video greeting from the holiest site in Judaism, but his words were somewhat muffled by the background sounds of explosions and Arab protesters shouting, in epithets targeting him and those accompanying him.
During his visit, dozens of Arab rioters renewed their fusillade of fireworks at police forces at the Mughrabi Gate, the sole entrance for Jews to the site that is under the de facto control of the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic trust).
"The sovereignty over the Temple Mount is in our hands and we must strengthen it," said Ariel from the site. "It cannot be that rioters will time and again take advantage of the sanctity of the site for riots, disorder and attacks on Jews."
"I wish us that in the coming year - may it be a good year - the state of Israel will know to strengthen the sovereignty on the Temple Mount, to prevent the Arab rioting and chaos, and allow free entry to Jews and all those interested in doing so," added Ariel.There's a slightly more audible version of the greeting here.
Meanwhile, our insecurity minister continues to pretend that there are no riots and there is no terrorism in Jerusalem.
Touring Jerusalem's Old City and Jewish Quarter, Aharonovich praised the police for dealing with the riots while allowing Jews to continue accessing the holiest site in Judaism.
"It was important to open the Temple Mount to Jewish traffic. The Jerusalem district police did everything to allow that, and in truth many worshippers have arrived," said Aharonovich.
He neglected to note that two Jewish youths were arrested for prostrating themselves in prayer at the site against the directives of the de facto ruler of the site, the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic trust), which contradict Israeli laws on religious freedom.
Aharonovich went on to claim "there has been a great effort by the district police, they've arrested hundreds of people and there is a 30% drop in rock throwing, and molotov cocktail throwing has completely stopped."
The claim is puzzling given that just last Monday five Arab children aged 12 to 13 were arrested for hurling molotov cocktails at Jews in the the mixed Jewish and Arab neighborhood of Abu Tor; they told police they did so because they "hate Jews."Just last week, a friend in the US told me about another friend who posted to a mailing list that he used Waze to get around Jerusalem in his rented car and that it directed him through an Arab neighborhood in 'east' Jerusalem.
An older man in a white pickup truck suddenly pulled out of his curbside parking spot and stopped his car directly in front of me to block my escape. Just then, An Arab boy in his teens knocked on my window and looked to see if I had a yarmulke and realized I was Jewish. Seconds after I was attacked by a mob of teenagers with boulders the size of bricks (pictures attached).Here are two of the images my friend posted of his car. More after the images.
I'm not sure how the path opened up around the pickup truck but I managed to escape without injury ברוך ה׳ and drove frantically until I saw the walls of הר ציון and called police. The police took pictures of the car (below), made a report (attached), and fingerprinted the entire vehicle.
I have no doubt that if they would have succeeded in breaking the front window, that they would have pounded me personally with stones.
In any event, all is very definitely not quiet, although I would not say that all hell has broken loose either as was the case 12-13 years ago. At least outside of the 'all Jewish' areas of the city, you really should be careful.