+61 3 9272 5644

Latest Israel News – 27th July

Muslims maintain Temple Mount boycott after detectors removed

Muslim leaders advised worshipers to continue to stay away from the Temple Mount on Tuesday, even after Israel removed the metal detectors and security cameras that touched off a boycott of the holy site

The Waqf Islamic trust, which administers the site, said a decision to continue the boycott was pending a review of the new Israeli security arrangements there.

Ikrema Sabri, the head of the Supreme Islamic Committee in the city, said such a review might be completed later on Tuesday.

Muslim worshipers have stayed away from the sacred compound since Israel installed metal detectors there last week following a terror attack at the site on July 14. Instead, they performed mass prayer protests outside the shrine, many of which devolved into clashes with Israeli security forces.

Earlier Tuesday, Israel’s security cabinet said it would replace the metal detectors with “advanced technologies,” referring reportedly to cameras that can detect hidden objects, but said the process could take up to six months.

Sabri told The Associated Press that “our position is that for now, nobody should enter” the shrine.

A Waqf official told The Times of Israel that it was continuing the boycott of the Temple Mount until all security measures added after the attack are removed.

The official noted that “the new high tech cameras” would not be accepted in place of the metal detectors.

Waqf officials pointed to the increased police presence as an an example of security measures they demanded be removed in addition to the metal detectors.

On Tuesday morning, worshipers were remaining outside and police and Palestinian protesters were gearing up for another tense round of afternoon prayers in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Israeli security forces take down metal detectors inside the Lions’ Gate, near a main entrance to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City

Some 100 worshipers gathered next to the Lions Gate, outside of where the metal detectors had stood, in preparation for the prayers which they said would again not take place on the Temple Mount.

Salah Abu Agrafa, who came for prayers with his two young sons, told The Times of Israel that the new security arrangements “defiled the holy site,” and he would only go on the Mount once the Waqf decided it was okay.

“This is not a victory for us,” he said. “They took away the metal detectors, but they replaced them with X-ray cameras that can look at our women naked.”

Abu Agrafa vowed to “continue the fight until we can worship without Israeli control.”

While Israel has said it plans to install “smart cameras” that can detect weapons, police declined to comment on whether they had yet been installed.

“Police units are patrolling the areas of the old city and the gates as security measures continue,” a police spokesman said.

Dozens of Muslim women from the outlawed Murabitat group prostrated on prayer mats they had brought with them and spread on the stone floor of the Old City. Others shouted chants against Israeli authorities.

“With our blood and our souls we will redeem Al-Aqsa,” they shouted. Another chant rallied against “Netanyahu the conqueror.”

Bracing the soaring July heat, Waqf officials joined the protesters to hand out water, butter milk and dates.

Facing the protesters stood dozens of Border Police armed with anti-riot gear, apparently ready for any violence that could break out, it as has done during prayers in recent days.

The metal detectors were set up after a shooting attack on July 14, in which three Arab-Israeli assailants used guns smuggled into the site to kill two policemen guarding nearby.

Israel closed the compound for two days and later reopened it with the metal detectors in place. The detectors and cameras were removed early Tuesday.

In a statement the Waqf said it rejects “everything” done by the Israel at the site since the shooting attack on July 14, up until now.

Mahmoud Aloul, a senior official in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement, said Tuesday that any changes to the previous arrangements are unacceptable.

“Israel is an occupying power and needs to take its hands from our holy sites,” he told the Voice of Palestine radio station.

It was not clear if Aloul expressed the views of Abbas. The Palestinian president had announced last week that he was suspending all ties with Israel, including security coordination between his forces and Israeli troops in the West Bank, until the metal detectors are removed.

As custodian, Jordan has the final say over Muslim policies at the shrine, but also needs to consider public opinion, including among Palestinians in the Holy Land. Israel retains overall security responsibility there.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah II spoke by phone late Monday to discuss tensions over the sacred esplanade in Jerusalem’s Old City, as well as a diplomatic crisis over a security guard at the Israeli Embassy in Amman who shot and killed two people after being attacked with a screwdriver. Jordan had demanded the guard be held and investigated, while Israel insisted he be brought home under diplomatic immunity. He and other embassy staff returned to Israel late Monday night.

The Temple Mount, sometimes known as al-Aqsa, is the third holiest site of Islam and the holiest of Judaism, once home to the biblical Temples.

The apparent deal over the metal detectors and the guard came amid intensifying US diplomatic efforts, with Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman sent to Amman, and President Donald Trump’s Mideast envoy, Jason Greenblatt, meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday before heading to the Jordanian capital.

In his phone call with Netanyahu, Jordan’s king stressed the need to “remove the measures taken by the Israeli side since the recent crisis broke out” and to agree on steps that would prevent another escalation in the future, Jordan’s state news agency Petra said.  (the Times of Israel)

After Temple Mount ‘victory,’ Arab MKs set sights on Western Wall

Arabs celebrating their “victory” at the Temple Mount are extending their struggle for control in Jerusalem to the Western Wall.

Palestinians and Arab Members of Knesset declared “victory” Tuesday as Israel reversed security measures at the Temple Mount, adding that their struggle for control over the compound also extends to the Western Wall.

MK Taleb Abu Arar (Joint List) stressed that “Jews have no rights at al-Aqsa Mosque” and that the Muslims’ fight against Israel will continue, regardless of the cabinet decision to remove metal detectors from the entrances to the Temple Mount compound.

“This is a proven fact, [even if] some people are trying to rewrite history in order to strengthen their mistaken claim to legitimacy over al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as to the occupied al-Buraq Wall (the Western Wall), which Muslims demand to be returned to our sovereignty.”

MK Masud Ganaim (Joint List) said the decision to remove the metal detectors, placed at the site following the murder of two policemen on July 14, was a “victory for the Palestinian public’s struggle and the demonstrations.”

“It was a victory for the steadfast religious leadership and a victory for the political leadership in Jerusalem,” Ganaim stated.

Ganaim’s declaration of victory closely matched views on the street in Palestinian cities in Judea and Samaria. One resident of a refugee camp south of Jerusalem told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that Arabic-language traditional and social media were abuzz with the “triumph” over Israel.

“In general, and as I see in the Palestinian news and social media, Palestinians consider it as a triumph,” said the individual, who spoke to TPS on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals for “collaborating” by speaking to an Israeli media outlet. “The Israeli government changed its mind about the magnetometers and metal detectors after a huge popular pressure represented by the refusal of using them to get into al-Aqsa.”

Another source, from a different region of Judea and Samaria, added that many Palestinians were angry at Jordan for agreeing to negotiate with Israel following what he called “the killing of the Jordanian man at the Israeli embassy.” He also said that Palestinian society has been rife with conspiracy theories over the metal detectors since the crisis first surfaced.

“People saw the magnetometers as the beginning of Jewish dominance of al-Aqsa,” said the second source, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. They also spread rumors about the cameras themselves, saying they would show the Muslims as fully naked and that Jews would then see Muslim women nude.

“Unfortunately,” said the first man, who added that he enjoys close relationships with Israelis, including residents of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, “the Israeli message to Israeli society over all this is to understand the bitter truth: The Palestinians, the Arabs and Muslims will not accept the concept of sharing the Temple Mount between both Muslims and Jews.  (WIN)

77% say Netanyahu gave in on Temple Mount metal detectors

Three quarters of Israelis believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surrendered to pressure when his security cabinet decided to remove metal detectors from the Temple Mount, according to a Midgam poll broadcast Tuesday night on Channel 2 News.

The poll of 502 Israelis representing a statistical sample of the adult Israeli population, found that 77% called the decision a surrender, 17% said it was not and 9% said they did not know.

When asked whether the metal detectors should have been placed on the Mount in the first place, 68% said yes, 23% no, and 9% said they did not know.

According to the poll, 67% believe the way prime minister is dealing with the crisis over Temple Mount was not good while only 23% believe it was good, with the rest not knowing.

Recent polls have shown that Netanyahu’s approval ratings have been harmed by his lawyer David Shimron’s embroilment in an investigation over the controversial purchasing of submarines and other naval vessels from a German company whose representative in Israel, Miki Ganor, employed Shimron as his lawyer.

In an interview with Channel 2 on Tuesday night, Shimron said Netanyahu had no idea he was hired by the representative of the German company ThyssenKrupp.

Shimron also denied reports that he was summoned by the police for questioning when he returns from a private visit to California.

He said he regretted working with Ganor.

“Ganor testifed about himself that he is an arch-criminal,” Shimron said. “I didn’t know until recently that I was not dealing with an honest man with proper ethics.”

Shimron lamented he’d been tried and convicted by the press but said he was not worried about what would happen in court. (Jerusalem Post)

Top Israeli MK: Israel will turn Temple Mount into a ‘sterile area’

Israel has decided to turn the Temple Mount compound into “a sterile area,” a senior Likud MK said Tuesday, and this will happen even though it has removed metal detector gates from the site.

Avi Dichter, who heads the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and is a former chief of the Shin Bet security agency, said “the most important decision that was taken” by the Israeli government in the wake of the July 14 terror attack outside the site, “although perhaps not using the words that I will use, was to turn the Temple Mount into a sterile area — with all that this entails.”

Three Arab Israelis killed two Israeli police officers in that attack, using guns that an accomplice had smuggled into the holy site for them.

The term “sterile area” is generally applied to areas rendered clear of and protected from any weaponry, and is often used in the context of parts of airports subjected to the most rigorous security.

The envisaged sterile area, Dichter said in a Channel 2 interview, would “ensure that the Temple Mount not become the weapons store of Palestinian terrorists.”

He elaborated: “To turn it into a sterile area, various actions are required — and of course technological means.”

He said the government had installed metal detectors as the fast route to hermetic security, and noted that at Mecca, and at “every hotel in Jordan or Cairo,” such security measures are routine.

But metal detectors, he said, “are just one tool. Cameras are another.” And, he stressed, “there are a lot of proven tools.

Israel, he said, “has a lot of experience in creating sterile zones.” The Temple Mount “will become a sterile zone — whether with metal detectors or cameras or other means,” he predicted.

Responding to comments from a leader of Israel’s Islamic Movement to the effect that no new security precautions would be acceptable at the Mount, Dichter said this exemplified the opposition to Israeli sovereignty of any kind anywhere at the Mount. But Israel would not relinquish control, he vowed — “not this generation nor the next generation. The Temple Mount is under Israeli sovereignty, period.”

Israel has claimed sovereignty in the Old City since capturing it in the 1967 Six Day War. It agreed to let the Jordanian Waqf continue to administer the Mount, which is Judaism’s holiest place as the site of the biblical temples, and hallowed by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and home to Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest shrine. Jews are allowed to visit but not to pray there. (the Times of Israel)

New security cameras at Temple Mount will respect public and its privacy, Israel Police say

The Israel Police said the new security cameras they plan to install at the Temple Mount will retain “full respect for the public and its privacy.”

The police released the statement Tuesday after rumors gained traction that the police had plans to install X-ray cameras at the entrances for Muslim worshippers at the Temple Mount.

Palestinian social media said that the cameras would be able to look at Muslim women’s bodies and could cause cancer.

“The Israel Police does not use any type of camera that harms privacy in any way and has no intention of using such cameras in the future,” the statement said. “The purpose of the cameras is to protect and guard public safety.”

This is done, the statement said, “while maintaining full respect for the public and its privacy, whether the people are worshippers or passersby, let alone women.”

Late Monday night, the Security Cabinet said it would remove the metal detectors and security cameras that were put in place less than two weeks ago and instead incorporate security measures based on advanced technologies, called “smart checks,” and other measures instead of metal detectors. Israel will pay up to 100 million shekels, about $30 million, over the next six months to install the new devices, which include sensitive security cameras.

A Waqf official told The Times of Israel that “the new high-tech cameras” would not be accepted in place of the metal detectors.

The new security measures had been put into place after three Arab-Israelis shot and killed two Israeli police officers at the holy site on July 14. Once the metal detectors were put in place, Muslims refused to enter the Temple Mount, instead praying outside of its gates, leading to clashes and the deaths of at least five Palestinians in recent days.

Despite the removal by Tuesday morning of the metal detectors, Muslim worshippers have continued to stay away and pray at the gates leading to the holy site.

Haaretz reported Tuesday that the cameras would rely on a database of photos of people who are deemed suspicious and would scan the faces of those entering the Temple Mount. The system is capable of scanning millions of faces for 12 distinct characteristics every few seconds, according to Haaretz.

Those in the database identified by the cameras can be taken aside for questioning or a body search  (JTA)

Netanyahu Secretly Met With UAE Foreign Minister in 2012 in New York

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secretly met with the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, at the Israeli prime minister’s hotel room in New York in September 2012.

Netanyahu and bin Zayed saw eye to eye on the Iranian nuclear issue, but the foreign minister told Netanyahu his country could not warm up its relations with Israel as long as there was no progress in the peace process with the Palestinians, said two senior Western diplomats who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The meeting was held on September 28, 2012, during the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York. A day earlier, Netanyahu gave his “red line” speech about stopping Iranian nuclear weapons production. During the speech, Netanyahu said the international community must set a red line for Iran’s nuclear enrichment program and prevent it from obtaining enough enriched uranium to build a nuclear weapon.

Meetings between Netanyahu and senior officials from states in the Persian Gulf have been very rare since the prime minister began his second term in 2009.

Netanyahu initiated the meeting. Since reentering the Prime Minister’s Office in 2009, he has tried to arrange meetings with senior officials from Gulf states, with which Israel has no official diplomatic relations, such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain. The killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior commander in Hamas’ military wing, in Dubai in January 2010 – which local police attributed to the Mossad – created a great deal of tension between Israel and the Emirates, and made arranging such a meeting impossible for almost two years.

The sources said bin Zayed only agreed to the meeting after a long period during which Netanyahu sent messages to senior UAE leaders through intermediaries. The meeting was held in the Loews Regency Hotel on the corner of East 61st Street and Park Avenue, where Netanyahu was staying during his visit.

The UAE ambassador to Washington, Yousef Al Otaiba, accompanied bin Zayed to the meeting, said the two Western diplomats. They entered the hotel very discretely through the underground parking lot and were taken upstairs to Netanyahu’s suite on one of the hotel’s top floors in a service elevator.

Israel’s then-National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror was with Netanyahu during the meeting, along with the prime minister’s military secretary, Maj. Gen. Johanan Locker. The meeting was friendly and dealt mostly with the Iranian nuclear issue, bit also touched on the Palestinians, said the diplomats, who received reports of the session. Bin Zayed expressed his appreciation for Netanyahu’s speech to the General Assembly, and the two agreed on quite a large number of issues concerning the question of a nuclear Iran.

At the same time, with regards to the Palestinians, bin Zayed pushed Netanyahu to make progress and made it clear his country supports the Arab League peace plan. One of the foreign minister’s main messages to Netanyahu was that the UAE was interested in improving relations with Israel but could not do so, especially not publicly, as long as the peace process with the Palestinians remained frozen, said the two diplomats.

A senior Israeli official heard the same message just last year. In September 2016, former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni participated in a small lunch in New York with bin Zayed as the guest of honor. During the meal, he said his country and other Gulf states wanted improve their relations with Israel, but could not takes steps toward normalization until Israel demonstrated a true desire for progress toward a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

The UAE’s stance concerning relations with Israel and the Palestinian issue has not changed amid U.S. President Donald Trump’s and Netanyahu’s talks about their wishes to promote a regional peace initiative in conjunction with Arab countries, said the diplomats.

The meeting in New York at the UN was the only one between Netanyahu and a senior UAE government official and no other similar meetings followed it. For the past five years Netanyahu has tried to organize a meeting with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and de facto ruler of the UAE, Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, said the diplomats. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has tried to help Netanyahu in the matter, they said. Blair is considered to have close ties with the crown prince and over the past two years he has worked for him as a paid adviser. Despite Blair’s attempts to arrange such a meeting, it has not happened.

Blair was also involved in an attempt to promote a regional peace initiative after a secret summit held in Aqaba, Jordan, in February 2016, which was revealed in Haaretz. Blair, who is also considered to be close to Egyptian President Abdel Fatteh al-Sissi, was involved in the contacts between Netanyahu and opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union). Blair led Netanyahu to believe that if a unity government was established with Herzog and a regional peace initiative got underway, Prince Mohammed would agree to take part personally or send a senior representative on his behalf to a regional summit in which Israel would participate.

Reports in the American media say that Netanyahu has been continuing his contacts with UAE leadership through the Israeli ambassador to Washington for the past four years, Ron Dermer, who is considered to be very close to the prime minister. Dermer has a close working relationship with Otaiba and the two see eye to eye on almost every issue, except for the Palestinians, stated an article in the Huffington Post two years ago. Dermer even invited Otaiba to attend Netanyahu’s controversial speech to the U.S. Congress in March 2015 against the Iranian nuclear deal, but Otaiba politely declined, the Huffington Post reported. (Haáretz)

At least 15 Jewish families move into disputed West Bank building

At least 15 Jewish families moved into a three-story West Bank building whose ownership is in dispute.

The ownership of the Hebron building, which is next to the Cave of the Patriarchs and known as the Machpelah House, is under appeal.

The Israeli army’s Civil Administration, which had given the settlers permission to purchase the building, ruled earlier this month that copies of the ownership documents are as good as the originals. The issue has been sent back to the military’s Registration Committee.

A group of settlers claims it purchased the house from its Palestinian owners five years ago; the previous owners now deny the claim.

Israeli soldiers and Border Police surrounded the structure on Tuesday night and were preventing others from entering the building.

The building has been sealed since the evacuation of a dozen families in 2012. Police and soldiers carried out the evacuation on the orders of then-Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and then-Minister of Defense Ehud Barak.

The new attempt to move into the house follows the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, passing a Palestinian-led motion calling Hebron’s Old City an endangered heritage site in “Palestine.”

“At this time when Jewish blood is being spilled, we call on the government to proudly raise the flag of settlement in the Land of Israel,” a spokesman for the families said Tuesday night. “In the face of the murder of Jews and national stammering, we demand that the government of Israel allow the families to take up residence at the Machpelah House immediately.”   (JTA)

Evidence of Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem unearthed in City of David

Less than one week before Tisha B’Av, the Israel Antiquities Authority presented further evidence of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, unearthed during excavations at the Jerusalem Walls National Park in the City of David.

During the excavations, concentrated on the eastern slope of the City of David, structures dating more than 2,600 years ago were unearthed after being delicately extricated from collapsed layers of stone, the IAA said Wednesday.

“Nestled within the collapse, many findings have surfaced, including: charred wood, grape seeds, pottery, fish scales and bones, and unique and rare artifacts,” the Authority said in a statement.

“These findings depict the affluence and character of Jerusalem, capital of the Judean Kingdom, and are mesmerizing proof of the city’s demise at the hands of the Babylonians.”

Notable among the findings included dozens of storage jars, used to contain both grain and liquids, with stamped handles depicting the seal of a rosette.

According to the excavations directors, Ortal Chalaf and Dr. Joe Uziel, the seals are characteristic of the end of the First Temple Period and were used for the administrative system that developed towards the end of the Judean dynasty.

“Classifying objects facilitated controlling, overseeing, collecting, marketing and storing crop yields,” the researchers said in a joint statement. “The rosette, in essence, replaced the ‘For the King’ seal used in the earlier administrative system.

“The wealth of the Judean Kingdom’s capital is also manifest in the ornamental artifacts surfacing in situ. One distinct and rare finding is a small ivory statue of a woman. The figure is naked, and her haircut, or wig, is Egyptian in style. The quality of its carving is high, and it attests to the high caliber of the artifact’s artistic level, and the skill par excellence of the artists during this era.”

Chalaf and Uziel added that the excavation’s findings illustrate that Jerusalem had extended beyond the line of the city wall before its destruction.

“The row of structures exposed in the excavations is located outside, beyond the city wall that would have constituted the eastern border of the city during this period,” they said.  “Throughout the Iron Age, Jerusalem underwent constant growth, expressed both in the construction of numerous city walls, and the fact that the city later spread beyond them.”

Moreover, they said excavations carried out in the past in the area of the Jewish Quarter have shown how the growth of the population at the end of the 8th Century BCE led to the annexation of the western area of Jerusalem.

“In the current excavation, we may suggest that following the westward expansion of the city, structures were built outside of the wall’s border on the east, as well,” the researchers said  (Jerusalem Post)

Why Israel Removed the Metal Detectors

The security services will do anything to prevent another intifada—including propping up Mahmoud Abbas.

By  Daniel Pipes              The Wall Street Journal


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah Party announced Saturday that the “campaign for Jerusalem has effectively begun, and will not stop until a Palestinian victory and the release of the holy sites from Israeli occupation.” Fatah demanded the removal of metal detectors and other security devices from the entrance to the Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount. A week earlier two Israeli policemen were killed by terrorists who had stashed their weapons inside the mosque.

The Fatah statement was illogical and hypocritical. Many mosques in Muslim-majority countries use the same security technology to protect worshipers, tourists and police. Yet Mr. Abbas managed to force the Israeli government to remove them. He did it by deflecting attention from the policemen’s murders and stoking fear of a religious conflagration with vast repercussions.

The Temple Mount crisis highlights with exceptional clarity three factors that explain why a steady 80% of Palestinians believe they can eliminate the Jewish state: Islamic doctrine, international succor and Israeli timidity.

Islam carries with it the expectation that any land once under Muslim control is an endowment that must inevitably revert to Muslim rule. The idea has abiding power: think of Osama bin Laden’s dream of resurrecting Andalusia and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hopes of regaining influence over the Balkans. Palestinians consistently report their belief that the state of Israel will collapse within a few decades.

A confrontation over the Temple Mount uniquely excites this expectation because it reaches far beyond the local population to arouse the passions of many of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims. The most prominent Muslim leaders and institutions overwhelmingly supported Fatah’s position on the Temple Mount security provisions. Islamic voices outside the pro-Palestinian consensus are rare. Palestinians rejoice in their role as the tip of an enormous spear.

Palestinians’ illusions of might enjoy considerable international support. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization routinely passes critical resolutions aimed at Israel. Columbia University houses something called the Center for Palestine Studies. Major corporations such as Google and news organizations like the British Broadcasting Corp. pretend there’s a country called Palestine. Foreign aid has created a Palestinian pseudo-economy that in 2016 enjoyed a phenomenal 4.1% growth rate.

In the Temple Mount crisis, the U.S. government, the Europeans and practically everyone else lined up to support the demand for the elimination of metal detectors, along with high-tech cameras or any other devices to prevent jihadi attacks. The Quartet on the Middle East welcomed “the assurances by the Prime Minister of Israel that the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem will be upheld and respected.” With this sort of near-unanimous support, Palestinians easily imagine themselves stronger than the Jewish state.

Israel’s security services timidly avoid taking steps that might upset the Palestinians. This soft approach results not from starry-eyed idealism but from an exceedingly negative view of Palestinians as unreformable troublemakers. Accordingly, the police, intelligence agencies and military agree to just about anything that ensures calm while rejecting any initiative to deprive the Palestinians of funds, punish them more severely or infringe on their many prerogatives.

The Israeli security establishment knows that the Palestinian Authority will continue to incite and sanction murder even as it seeks to delegitimize and isolate the state of Israel. But those security services emphatically prefer to live with such challenges than to punish Mr. Abbas, reduce his standing and risk another intifada. The collapse of the Palestinian Authority and a return to direct Israeli rule is the security services’ nightmare. Mr. Abbas knows this, and this week’s fiasco demonstrates that he’s not afraid to exploit Israeli fears to advance his dream of debasing and eventually eliminating the Jewish state