By now, you’ve probably heard of the “chickensh*t” controversy (originally reported by Jeffrey Goldberg in a post at The Atlantic, Oct. 28) on the abysmal relations between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government. More surprising, was a strongly worded editorial in New York’s mainstream Jewish Week newspaper, critical of Netanyahu’s belligerent attitudes and policies regarding the expansion of settlement housing in East Jerusalem, and his government’s undiplomatic stance toward the Obama administration and the European Union: “Bibi Takes On The World“:
The diplomatic rift between Washington and Jerusalem reached a new low this week. . . . Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to build more than 1,000 new units in Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the Green Line, fully aware of the negative response it would receive in America and in the international community.
At the same time, tensions are rising in Jerusalem as Jewish nationalist-religious radicals are aggressively moving into the Arab neighborhood adjacent to the Temple Mount, known to them as the City of David. They are in the process of creating a Biblical “theme park,” according to Daniel Seidemann, an authority on Jerusalem and an Israeli attorney who has long campaigned on behalf of Palestinian residents, in a J Street teleconference last week. They control archeological sites and have been allowed to unilaterally set the agenda for public purposes, with the intent to make this neighborhood into an extension of the Jewish Quarter, potentially converting a resolvable political conflict into a “religious Armageddon.”
Tragically, some Palestinians are pushing back with violence. Just today, for the second time in recent weeks, Jerusalem’s marvelous light rail system has been attacked with fatal results, while tensions and clashes escalate on the Temple Mount.
Undiplomatic statements emanate from both Israelis and Palestinians. For example, Pres. Abbas has dubbed the Palestinian killed after seriously wounding an Israeli radical in an assassination attempt, a “martyr.”
The following include embedded links to articles on today’s alarming developments (the first two are from J Street’s “News Roundup” email), plus a description from the Jerusalem Post of today’s terrorist attack:
According to security sources, the perpetrator of the attack,Ibrahim al-Acari, was a resident of the east Jerusalem village of Shuafat. Like all east Jerusalem residents, he was a holder of an Israeli identity card, enabling him to move freely throughout the capital.
Security sources told media outlets that al-Acari was a known supporter of Hamas.
According to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, the rampage began at 12:30 pm at the Shimon Hatsadik light rail stop outside of Sheikh Jarrah.
“The terrorist hit four people, killing a border police officer,” said Rosenfeld, pointing to a pool of blood and a downed light pole.
He then drove 500 meters up the road to the intersection where a separate terrorist attack took place over the summer, hitting 10 others, he said.
“The terrorist then fled the van and attempted to attack innocent men, women and children with a crow bar, but was shot and killed by a police officer,” he said. “14 victims were rushed to area hospitals for treatment.”