I write on Tuesday night, impelled by the day’s events, knowing there are multiple stories to tell here, and that I must be succinct.
Today was the Jerusalem Flag Parade, which had been postponed from Jerusalem Day because of Hamas rockets, re-scheduled for last week – when the police vetoed it, and then allowed to go on today after Netanyahu had intervened and the Security Cabinet had passed on it.
It took a different route, as laid out by the police, which avoided presence in largely Arab areas (it did go past the Arab shuk). It went into the Old City via the Jaffa Gate and not the Damascus Gate (although there was dancing in front of the Damascus Gate); and ended up at the Kotel with a prayer service.
Some 5,000 people from across the country came to participate.
My fury is not directed that the march. Heaven Forbid! Each year I do go out to see the Flag Parade; I was there when it was cancelled on Jerusalem Day. (Although today I watched from my computer.)
I go out for the pure joy of seeing our young people singing and dancing with the flag, celebrating Jerusalem. And this is exactly what the parade is: a celebration of the unification of Jerusalem.
A celebration of Jerusalem as ours.
And that, my friends, is the heart of the matter, and the focus of the Arab violence. That is “incitement” for them. We have been going through a difficult time with regard to Palestinian Arab claims – both from Hamas and the PA – that Jerusalem is Muslim and does not belong to us. In May we had riots on the Temple Mount because of incitement on this very same issue.
I’m going to come back to this in some considerable detail: It is of little avail to the Muslims to claim that Israel is their land and not ours if we have Jerusalem and claims on the Temple Mount. So, we’ve had incitement by Hamas with regard to the Temple Mount.
And this is why we absolutely had to have the parade today – no matter that Hamas threatened to launch rockets if we did. Iron Dome installations were set in place in case there should be rockets. And we went ahead!
The first thing I am furious about is the comment regarding the parade made by Monsour Abbas, head of the Ra’am party, which is, thanks to Lapid and Bennett, part of our government today.
Abbas said (emphasis added):
“The flag parade in Jerusalem today is an unbridled provocation, the essence of which is shouts of hatred and incitement to violence, and an attempt to set the area on fire for political purposes.
“The Minister of Public Security and the police should have abolished it…
“There is no doubt that the purpose of the march’s initiators is to challenge the new government and exhaust it in a series of explosive events in the near future…”
“unbridled provocation, the essence of which is shouts of hatred and incitement to violence” Really?
Take a look at this brief video and see if you find provocation and hatred or joy:
https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/308148 (if an ad shows first, wait it out)
The thing is: our joy is provocation for them.
As to “challenging the new government,” if Hamas had not fired those rockets in May, the parade would have proceeded before the new government had been set in place.
And then we had this, from Ayman Odeh, chair of the Joint Arab List, when he went to protest the Flag Parade at Damascus Gate:
“The Palestinian flag will be hoisted on these walls and Jerusalem will be the capital of occupied Palestine. Our people will cause them to be ashamed and withdraw from these places.”
So, Odeh and his List do not sit in the government, but they do sit in our Knesset. And I grow very, very weary with the fact that people like this – opposed to the Jewish State! – are sitting in our Knesset.
In the end, Hamas did not launch rockets during the Parade, in large part because Egypt leaned on them not to, saying it would make Egypt, which is attempting to negotiate a long-term ceasefire, look bad.
But there was plenty that Hamas (and Islamic Jihad) did do (emphasis added):
“Numerous Israeli Arab communities sent buses filled with more would-be rioters to cause further conflict at the parade in response to a call by the Hamas terrorist organization on Sunday for a ‘Day of Rage’ to confront the marchers in a ‘day of mobilization…towards Al-Aqsa Mosque, and a day of anger and defiance of the occupier.’
“One bus making its way to Jerusalem from the Israeli Arab city of Umm al-Fahm was stopped by police before it could reach the capital. However, other buses departed for the same destination.
“Likewise, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organization issued a statement Tuesday warning it will respond with ‘full force to the provocations of the settlers in the Holy City,’ calling for Arabs to gather in areas where marchers are expected to pass, and at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.”
There you have it: go to the Temple Mount, the Israeli Arab rioters are told.
Another major issue to address: All of these Arabs incited by Hamas are Israeli Arabs, Israeli citizens. Can we hide from the implications of this any longer? (This is, I note, not with regard to all Arabs who are Israel citizens. Only those with Jihad in their hearts.)
There were over 2,000 police out to prevent violence. And members of the Religious Zionist Party observed:
“When the police want to demonstrate their authority, they can. It has been proven that all the horror stories – Hamas, intifada, escalation – were nothing to worry about…”
Their message is that we must not cower in the face of threats, but move ahead.
There was yet one more action incited by Hamas, an action of serious – and yes, very infuriating – dimensions:
There were incendiary balloons launched into southern Israel – with fires ignited on farmland and fields.
You can see a short video of one of the fires here:
This vile destruction arouses very justifiable anger. There was one balloon carrying an explosive device, as well.
And here the situation is more serious. For after the recent war with Hamas, Netanyahu warned that we were entering a new time: no level of aggression would go unanswered. Not even incendiary balloons. Gantz – who was Defense Minister then and is now – said that Israel would respond forcefully to any act of aggression. And Bennett is on record as well regarding the necessity of treating incendiary balloons like rockets.
And so??? Are we going to let these 20 plus fires in our south pass? Will we respond with seriousness? This is the first test of the new Bennett administration.
I can understand that there may have been a decision to wait until all those who attended the Parade had an opportunity to get home. For an attack by us may well spur a counter-attack.
But if, by tomorrow, there is no serious response from our government, this will also make me furious.
We have not ended the fight for our land. It is on-going. And the only way to fight is with undiminished strength.
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by independent journalist Arlene Kushner. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.