Sunday, October 11, 2009

Powder Keg With Lid Firmly Shut?

As recently as Friday, October 9th, 2009, the expectation at Haaretz was that we were on the brink of a significant conflagration. This was accompanied bythe usual admonitions that unless we made peace immediately, or at least stopped all settlement activity, disbanded some outposts, and various other such actions, things would go from dire to more dire.

That was then. On Friday the mass demonstrations we'd been warned about didn't happen, and whatever violence there was was mostly defused. As Avi Issacharoff reports
The protests by Palestinians on Friday were not enough even to appear to be
pathetic copies of the demonstrations during the first days of the two
intifadas, in December 1987 and late September 2000. The extraordinary
incitement by the Islamic Movement's northern branch, Hamas, various Muslim
leaders throughout the Arab world and Al Jazeera failed to rally the masses.
They had stressed the need to "defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque" against the Jews. The
clashes with Israeli security forces that supposedly could have spread to the
rest of the territories began, as expected, in the areas around Jerusalem. But
sound management of the security forces' response and complete apathy on the
part of the Palestinian public brought an end to the demonstrations. Despite
calls to engulf the area in flames, there were hardly any injuries and no ripple
effect throughout the West Bank.

Being smug is always a bad idea. The beneficial calm we've been enjoying this summer - Israelis, West Bankers, and even Gazans, really could explode before tomorrow morning, or next Wednesday at 4:12pm. It isn't Norway, this part of the world. But for the moment, more good things are happening than bad ones, and we should take note, be thankful, and seek to continue doing the things that enabled this lull.

Or at least, recongnize what they were and are.

1 comment:

Gavin said...

This leads to something I've been meaning to ask you about for some time Yaacov. Jerusalem. It's often been cited as the obstacle to two independent states, but all the talk has been about the (failed) negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

I long ago reached the conclusion that Jerusalem is a religious dispute and not an ownership or statehood issue. Can the Palestinians actually make a deal on Jerusalem? They are Moslems, and I just can't see any Moslem ceding religiously significant territory without the endorsement of the wider Moslem community. Holy sites are an integral part of the Islamic faith, the religion would likely wither & die if Mecca were ever to disappear.

People expect the Palestinians to make a deal on Jerusalem, when I just cannot see them ever doing that. They'd be ostracised by their brethren, hated & despised throughtout the middle east for giving away holy sites. Do they really have the power to make any deals there?

Which brings a question. Have the other Arab states ever made any offers in regards to Jerusalem? This current problem looks to have been incited by Moslems rather than Palestinians, and the message seems to be that everyone is looking for answers (and blame) in all the wrong places.

(I hope you get my drift there, getting my point across iss't one of my greatest talents)

Regards, Gavin.