Israeli police dispersed a group of rioters in Jerusalem Monday. If you read the accounts from UPI, The Guardian and Newsweek you might be led believe that Israeli forces acted without provocation.
“Israeli soldiers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque, attack Muslims inside sanctuary.”
“Israeli police storm mosque compound.”
“Top Palestinian Cleric Says Israel Threw Stun Grenades Into Al As; Israel Denies.”
These accounts fail to disclose why Israeli police would storm an Islamic holy site – the third most holy site behind Mecca and Medina in Islam.
Israeli police have a strict policy of honoring the sanctity of mosques within the walls of the Old City. What is omitted in their accounts is the backstory; their recital of events begins at the story’s climax.
What is left untold is that the al Aqsa mosque sits at the edge of Judaism’s most holy site, the Temple Mount.
What is left untold is that security presence increased because thousands of tourists and worshippers were expected at the Temple Mount for Passover.
What is left untold is that masked Palestinian protestors escalated tensions when they began pelting Israeli police with rocks.
What is left untold is that the protestors barricaded themselves in the al Aqsa compound where they continued to heave rocks and propel firecrackers at police through the mosque doors.
All readers were left with was another account of Israeli occupiers denying Palestinians the right to worship freely; if by worshipping freely one means shouting “allah akbar” while launching projectiles, then yes, extremists were denied that right. It took an onslaught of rubber bullets to convince the zealots to tone down their religious fervor.
Predictably Arabs derided Israel, Israel defended its actions and the U.N. made its denouncements – a formula as old as Yasser Arafat’s collection of camouflaged rocket launchers at the Palestine Soccer Stadium.
These distortions of events are nothing new. The accounts matter however because they set a precedent; a precedent used against Israel during peace talks for the purposes of political posturing by Secretaries of State and Presidents. Palestinian diplomats skew such accounts as examples of war crimes, crimes against humanity and breaches of international law. Sadly, the world court of opinion believes them. Israel, pressured to concede to another round of grievances, appeases its jihadist neighbors and detractors releasing a political prisoner or two until the next rocket launches or armed flotilla is deployed.
Israel’s only crime is its continued existence; her presence alone stands as cause for provocation.
News stories once thought insular have spilled over into the West. Now it is Western presence within its own borders stand as provocation; Sunday people must suffer the consequences of cyclical appeasement alongside the Saturday.
The presence of Lee Rigby walking down Wellington Street in London, clad in civilian clothes was cause enough to upset the sensitivities of two Islamists; provoking them to brandish their machetes and behead the British soldier in broad daylight.
The presence of marathon runners and their supporters was cause enough for the Tsarnaev brothers to set off their pressure cookers killing Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi and eight year old Martin Richard.
The presence of soldiers lining up for routine immunizations was cause enough for Nidal Hasan to spray the room with bullets killing thirteen; among them Private Francheska Velez, pleading for the life of her unborn child.
Yet the West, like Israel, continues to appease jihadism; only they appease with Hijab Days and bumper stickers dedicated to coexistence. Stories about the slaughter of innocents are euphemized and our presence is conceded as provocation to Islam.
UPI and Newsweek did not feel the need to include two of the five journalistic questions in their reporting because the ‘who’ and the ‘why’ are moot. Readers should assume to know that the ‘who’ in the story is Israel; and Israel is always guilty. They are guilty why? Because they exist as an occupying presence in the Middle Eastern world. The backstory was not necessary as backstories are for the simple-minded and the naïve; and the naïve and simple need not subscribe.