Palestinian Authority: Minor inconvenience 'inhuman,' terrorism no big deal

Last week marked one year since 13-year-old Hallel Ariel was stabbed to death by an Arab terrorist while she slept in her bedroom.  Hallel's parents, Amichai and Rina, marked the date of their daughter's murder by ascending the Temple Mount, along with many other Jews, including two Knesset members (who accompanied the family to the Temple Mount entrance but were prohibited by the Israeli government from entering due to the Arabs considering Jewish Knesset members on the Temple Mount as incitement.) 

Besides being a beautiful memorial to Hallel, the Jewish gathering on the Temple Mount was momentous for other reasons.  According to The Temple Institute, an activist group for non-Muslim rights on the Temple Mount, the Israeli police, who accompanied the Ariels and posed for pictures with them, showed great respect to the Jewish group and even allowed members of the group to pray quietly, to make blessings, and to use a microphone.  This was a break from the police's modus operandi.  For the past several years, such actions, including Jews moving their lips in what appeared to be prayer, have resulted in the arrest of Jews due to Arabs considering such acts provocative.

Also, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, who accompanied the group, was not only allowed to ascend the Temple Mount, but also to speak to the group.  Rabbi Ariel was one of the paratroopers who liberated the Mount during the Six-Day War.  On a previous visit to the Temple Mount, he was arrested and temporarily banned for allegedly bowing down and for saying a prayer and blessing out loud commemorating his fallen comrades.

While many consider it a positive advancement of inclusion that the Jews were allowed to congregate, pray, and speak blessings while on the Temple Mount, the Palestinian Authority did not.  Because the Israeli police closed the Temple Mount to Muslims during the memorial for Hallel, the P.A. responded by stating that the closure was "an inhuman and immoral act ... incompatible with human and moral values."  The P.A. also complained that the closure was in violation of international law.  Never mind that the Temple Mount was closed to Jews for nine days recently during Ramadan and that Jews have limited access to the Temple Mount or have no access at all on a regular basis.

The P.A. implored the international community to "take immediate action and deterrent measures to stop the occupation regime and prevent them from continuing to commit further crimes against our people and to harm the holy sites of Islam and Christianity."

So in case you, as a member of the "international community," were confused, you are expected to be incensed not by acts of terrorism, such as a 13-year-old girl being stabbed to death, but by Muslims being inconvenienced for a few hours so that the parents of a victim of Arab terrorism could show honor to their daughter without having to worry that Arabs would scream Allah akbar or throw rocks at them, which routinely happens to Jews when visiting the Temple Mount.

Perhaps I didn't search long or hard enough, but I couldn't find evidence of the P.A. condemning the murder of Hallel last year as "an inhuman and immoral act, incompatible with human and moral values."  Nor did I find examples of Abbas taking deterrent measures to stop his people from committing real crimes against Jews.  What I did find is that the murderer, who was a 17-year-old Arab, was honored by Fatah and by the official P.A. news agency as a shahid (martyr) and that the family of the murderer has been receiving a monthly stipend from the P.A., as all families of "martyrs" do.

I also did not find evidence that the incitement by former Abbas adviser, Sultan Abu Al-Einein, a week before Hallel's murder was condemned by the P.A. as "inhuman or immoral."  Abu Al-Einein had said, "Every place you find an Israeli, slit his throat."

Although Abbas is under pressure to cut off the monthly stipends to Palestinian prisoners, terrorists, and their families, he has, as recently as Sunday, said, "Even if I will have to leave my position, I will not compromise on the rawatib (salary) of a shahid or a prisoner, as I am the president of the entire Palestinian people, including the prisoners, the shahids, the injured, the expelled, and the uprooted."  He often assures would-be "martyrs" that they will have a place in Paradise.

Perhaps the actions of the Israeli government and police who allowed an uninterrupted memorial on the Temple Mount for a victim of Arab terrorism, rather than placating those who continually support, enable, or call for terrorism against Jews, indicate a movement away from appeasement.  And perhaps Arab leaders, whom the Israeli government are expected to negotiate with and make peace with, will begin to use words such as "inhuman," "immoral," and "crimes" to describe Arabs murdering Jews.

The feet of Jews on the Temple Mount have been described by Abbas as "filthy feet."  But the feet of all of those honoring Hallel on the Temple Mount were anything but filthy, and it is refreshing to see the Israeli government and police show respect to their own people at such a hallowed place.