Arab Backlash Against Palestinian Provocations at the Temple Mount

Cartoons and videos in Arabic criticize Muslim instigators of current tensions in Jerusalem. Bottom line: Israel isn’t to blame

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: palestinians, Temple Mount
While Arab governments are condemning Israel, many on the Arab street know who's really to blame for the Temple Mount flare-up.
While Arab governments are condemning Israel, many on the Arab street know who's really to blame for the Temple Mount flare-up. Photo: Jamal Awad/Flash90

As we have reported here and here, the cauldron of tension on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is simmering near boiling point in recent days. The month-long Muslim festival of Ramadan is still underway and now the week-long festival of Passover at the same time.

Muslim religious activity is centered on top of the Temple Mount, in and around the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Just below them, thousands of Jews flock to the adjacent retaining Western Wall for Passover prayers. It’s always a recipe for tension. And this year, the ingredients were again in place. Extremists found a way to heat things up.

All this is almost banal, including rock throwing Muslim youths facing off against Israeli police who must practice utmost restraint.

As usual, elements in Gaza and elsewhere are trying to exacerbate the situation and use it as an excuse to raise the jaded jihadist alarm of “The Jews are trying to take over the Muslim holy places of Jerusalem!” Only a year ago such tensions developed into a full air war of rockets and bombs along with almost unprecedented rioting on the part of certain elements of Israeli Arab citizenry in Israel proper.


“Whistle-blowing” in Muslim world against Palestinians

Much of the Arab media and governments in recent days chimed in with the scripted messages of support for Al Aqsa and scolding of the Jews.

But, as the Ynet Hebrew news outlet has reported, this time OTHER VOICES are also being heard in the Arab world. From Morocco to the west of us, and all the way to the UAE and Saudi Arabia east of us, many Muslim voices are unexpectedly pointing to the Palestinians as the source of the current tension.

Social media posts in Arabic have shown the Muslim world pictures of young Palestinians holding rocks inside the Mosque, with shoes on their feet no less. This is anathema to the Muslim custom of everyone who enters a mosque taking off their shoes out of honor. This comes on the heels of viral videos of Muslim youths disrespectfully kicking around a soccer ball inside the Mosque.

The tone of some Muslim cartoons and comments from abroad is mocking of the Palestinian claims and methodology.

At the same time, several brave Israeli Arab Muslim citizens have gone on record in Hebrew and are quoted in the Ynet article voicing spicy criticism against the masked, extremist Muslim youth as only being out to pick a fight, as ruining the chance to quietly engage in their religious prayers in the Mosque, and as causing an uproar in which the Israeli police have almost no choice but to remove everyone.

One said, “There is no need to get into a confrontation with the [Israeli] policemen in the [Al-Aqsa] Mosque. Many come to pray and pass by policemen and do not encounter problems. But unfortunately there are young people who do not like to see calmness in the mosque. And they set the atmosphere on fire and cause conflicts, and we worshipers pay the price. I love Al-Aqsa and do not agree that anyone harm it. But at this time those who harm it are the masked [young Muslim provocateurs].”

An Israeli Muslim from Nazareth added: “We saw masked men getting ready to have a confrontation with the police. The situation was calm, and suddenly violent clashes broke out, and we had to leave the place immediately, after we saw stones and stun grenades, rubber bullets and masked men closing the mosque while we were inside. I refuse to tolerate such acts. The ones creating this atmosphere are bullies whose goal is to create chaos.”

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