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.