I salute Ari and Naomi Zivotofsky for tenaciously pursuing the American government to have their son registered as having been born in Jerusalem, Israel – a case which they are now taking for a second time to the U.S. Supreme Court.
But the real struggle over Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is underway every day in Jerusalem itself. At present, Israel is evincing a weak hand and losing the battle.
Last Friday, Tova Richler of New York arrived in Israel to attend her father’s funeral in the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives in eastern Jerusalem. En route to the burial site, near the Gethsemane Church junction, her car was pelted with rocks and bricks by 10 Arab youths, smashing the windows. She escaped, but missed the internment.
In recent years, such attacks have become commonplace in and around the hallowed cemetery, and many people are afraid to travel to funerals and memorial ceremonies there.
The French Hill neighborhood, which borders the Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital, has also become unsafe. Residents are harassed by Arab youths from nearby Arab neighborhoods, and there have been many robberies, repeated arson attacks and car stonings, a firebombing, and a stabbing.
Anybody who has traversed the new road from Benzion Netanyahu junction through Beit Hanina also knows the dangers. Stoning is not uncommon, and red traffic lights are apparently mere decorations to the neighborhood’s Arab residents.
The greatest affront of all has been playing itself out almost every day this month on the Temple Mount in the Old City, where Arab youths regularly accost Jewish visitors to the site, and have taken to almost-daily stoning of Israeli police. The Arabs have even been caught stocking stones and other riot gear inside the mosques. Outrageously, the police response to these attacks has been to close the site to Israeli-Jewish visitors and tourists, instead of closing it to Arab visitors.
And of course, illegal Waqf excavations continue on the Temple Mount without Israeli archaeological supervision. We know that over the past decade the burrowing-out by the Wakf of the underground “Solomon’s Stables” has wantonly destroyed thousands of years of Jewish relics and history.
It seems that the Palestinians are neither willing to countenance live Jews on the Temple Mount nor dead Jews on the Mount of Olives.
The radical Arab imams behind these disturbances and provocations have the full backing of Mahmoud Abbas’ supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority. PA Religious Affairs Minister Mahmoud Al-Habbash and Mufti Muhammad Hussein constantly propagate lies about Israeli plans to undermine and destroy the Muslim shrines on the Temple Mount.
The former Chief Justice of the PA’s Religious Court, Sheikh Tayseer Al-Tamimi, recently declared that the PA’s Islamic belief and political position is that Jews should not only be prohibited from praying on the Temple Mount but at the Western Wall of the Temple Mount too, since the wall is part of the “blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque” and not part of any “alleged” ancient Jewish temple.