In this recurring, unchanging script, every scene and every aspect of the performance is predictable, and so are its results. All the actors, those who know they are pawns, those who don’t and those who pretend they don’t, understand what to do and when to do it. The script creates the perfect charade and, with it, the perfect storm:
A seemingly desperate warning, perfectly timed, that the Jews are conspiring to burn, defile, “Judaize” and destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque is spread through Palestinian traditional and social media.
Palestinians and Israeli Arabs react with fear and outrage and begin organizing to defend their religion, identity and honor from this supposed Jewish attack.
Palestinian terror organizations, the Palestinian Authority and other dominant players call on every Muslim to join them, adding threats and incitement.
The Israelis try speaking to the Waqf and the King of Jordan, asking them to play a calming role in what is about to unfold. They pretend to listen.
Muslims start their ascent to Al-Aqsa, bringing with them heavy rocks, metal bars and anything that can be used as a weapon. They begin their siege, prepared to remain for some time.
Muslims start to riot, throwing their rocks at those passing by, those praying below, Israeli security forces and anyone else within their reach.
Israeli forces receive orders to refrain from “exacerbating” the situation. In other words, they are told to “take the hit” for as long as possible.
People are injured and massive damage and disruption ensue.
Israeli authorities turn to the Jordanians again, pleading for their assistance. They notify Jordan that if the situation continues, they will have no choice but to intervene and stop the violence.
The Jordanians release a statement condemning the Israelis for their actions, and present themselves as the guardians of Al-Aqsa and Muslim worshipers.
Now enters another reliable actor—the international media. The media discusses “Israeli crimes,” “the occupation,” “the infringement of freedom of religion” and violations of other human rights.
The Israelis, reluctantly, enter Al-Aqsa and suppress the violence.
The Jordanians, other Arab leaders and the media scream and shout, using every platform to condemn the Israelis for their intolerable behavior and severe violations of fundamental rights.
Terror organizations in Gaza fire several missiles at the civilian population of Israel.
Israel fires back at Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
The United Nations goes into action and convenes an emergency session to discuss Israel’s “outrageous illegal actions.”
Israel attempts to explain that it had no intention of doing anything to harm the mosque or the rights of its worshipers—quite the opposite. Israel has done everything in its power, including suppressing the rights of non-Muslim worshipers, to avoid violence. It refrained from action as long as possible at the price of sacrificing its own public safety and order. It tried to cooperate with all parties to prevent any misunderstandings and deterioration of the situation. But no one wants to listen.
This year’s charade has come to an end.
The radicals have achieved all they set out to achieve. Muslim hate was inflamed, as was the hate of many people worldwide who identify as “liberal.” Israel took yet another beating both domestically and on the international stage. Mission accomplished.
And the show will likely attract an even bigger crowd and produce an even better result next time.
We must rethink our predetermined role in this charade. Perhaps it’s time to find a role that better suits our agenda, rather than playing along with the recurring, unchanging script of our enemies.
Perhaps we can preempt this cynically orchestrated farce by taking a more proactive role. Let’s outline the charade in Arabic, English and Hebrew before it happens. Let’s speak to young Muslims in their language and expose the truth. Let’s tell the media what is about to happen before it does. And let’s stop counting on the help of the Jordanians. The Waqf is not there to protect anything except its anti-Israel agenda. It’s time to write our own script.
Adv. Yifa Segal is an expert in international law, former chief of staff of Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, and former chair and CEO of the International Legal Forum.