Friday, October 31, 2014

Saudi cleric says Jews are cowards

Prominent Saudi scholar Abdul Aziz al-Tarifi tweeted this yesterday:
The Umma (the Islamic nation) will not be victorious as long as it is afraid of the Jews, because Allah described them (i.e. the Jews) as cowards, and whoever is afraid of them (of the Jews) is even more afraid of others. [As the Quran says]: "They will not fight you all except within fortified cities or from behind walls."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think he is talking about "Zionists."

So the entire Muslim world is preparing for a religious war against Jews. Sounds like a useful thing to know.

(h/t Ibn Botrous)

Here's the difference between "moderate Arabs" and "radical right wing Zionists"

The supposedly moderate Fatah party headed by that man of peace Mahmoud Abbas called for a "day of rage" on Friday. It appears that this specific one mostly fizzled out, probably because of rain, but here is what Abbas was inciting his people to do:

Saturday night a rally is being called by those "right wing Jewish extremists" in Jerusalem calling for prayers for the recovery of Rabbi Yehufda Glick:

No rock throwing, no Molotov cocktails, no burning tires, no calls for Jews to riot in Arab neighborhoods, no attempts at forcibly entering the Temple Mount.

Maybe those radical Jews should become more "moderate" in order for people to take them as seriously as they take the Arabs.

10/31 Links Pt1: The redhead who wouldn't give up; Hezbollah targeted Jews, Israelis in Peru

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Being safe while isolated
Before formulating a strategy for dealing with Obama over the next two years, Israelis need to first take a deep breath and recognize that as bad as things are going to get, nothing that Obama will do to us over the next two years is as dangerous as what he has already done. No anti-Israel Security Council resolution, no Obama map of Israel’s borders will endanger Israel as much as his facilitation of Iran’s nuclear program.
As unpleasant as anti-Israel Security Council resolutions will be, and as unpleasant as an Obama framework for Israel’s final borders will be, given the brevity of his remaining time in power, it is highly unlikely that any of the measures will have lasting impact.
At any rate, no matter how upsetting such resolutions may be, Goldberg’s article made clear that Israel should make no concessions to Obama in exchange for a reversal of his plans. Concessions to Obama merely escalate his contempt for us.
Bearing this in mind, Israel’s required actions in the wake of Goldberg’s sources’ warnings are fairly straightforward.
First, to the extent that Israel does have the capacity to damage Iran’s nuclear installations, Israel should act right away. Its capacity should not be saved for a more propitious political moment.
The only clock Israel should care about is Iran’s nuclear clock.
As for the Palestinians, whether Netanyahu’s willingness to stand up to Obama stems from the growing prospect of national elections or from his own determination that there is no point in trying to appease Obama anymore, the fact is that this is the only pragmatic policy for him to follow.
The proper response to the assassination attempt on Yehudah Glick is to allow Jews freedom of worship on the Temple Mount. The proper response to Obama’s nuclear negotiations is a bomb in Natanz. Obama will be angry with Israel for taking such steps. But he is angry with Israel for standing down. At least if we defend ourselves, we will be safe while isolated, rather than unsafe while isolated.
Sarah Honig: Zissel means sweetie
No squawk was raised anywhere about the fact that Abbas’s Fatah movement officially exalted Zissel’s murderer as a ‘heroic martyr.’
Oftentimes what is barely mentioned – if at all – by the world’s media is (or ought to be) as thought-provoking as what the talking heads focus on with undisguised relish.
The fetching face of three-months-old Chaya Zissel Braun, for example, was missing from front pages around the globe and it was never featured on any foreign TV news outlets. She was murdered (as was 22-year-old student Karen Yemima Mosquera) last week by an Arab terrorist who homicidally rammed his vehicle into a crowd of passengers waiting at a light rail stop in the capital. But to observers abroad this amounted to dog bites man.
Uninteresting. Been there. Heard that before. Jewish whines. Who cares? Newsroom groupthink doesn’t only trickle down to conformist reporters on the scene who quickly figure out what the chiefs want to hear and what they shouldn’t be bothered with. The signals from atop the journalistic hierarchy determine for news consumers what constitutes news and what does not.
Media linchpins put together the current-events agenda and they shape mass awareness. Perforce they dictate public opinion. What doesn’t pass through their selective filter will forever remain esoteric knowledge – even in these days of social networking on the World Wide Web.
The cruel fate of little Zissel – whose name means “sweetie” in Yiddish and who hadn’t yet cut her first tooth – won’t be discussed by most Facebook users or by Twitter addicts. Nothing will make Zissel a cause célèbre in the Land of the Free, not even her American citizenship.
The abduction and coldblooded execution of another American citizen this summer, teenage schoolboy Naftali Fraenkel, equally failed to elicit extraordinary sympathy in the Home of the Brave.
Hezbollah operative targeted Jews, Israelis in Peru
Peruvian authorities arrested a suspected Hezbollah operative in the capital of Lima earlier this week on suspicion of planning attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets.
The man, Mohammed Amadar, a Lebanese citizen, was apprehended in the street by anti-terror police, Haaretz reported Thursday, citing the local La Republica newspaper.
A search of his apartment discovered TNT, detonators and flammable substances.
The suspect had been gathering intelligence on places frequented by Israeli hikers and on Jewish institutions. Authorities said they were questioning Amadar to learn more about his intended targets.

European Antisemitism and the Void of Jewish Leadership (guest post)

A guest post from "Jewish Peoplehood:"

Summer 2014 marked a dramatic increase of anti-Semitic incidents is Europe. In July alone, anti-Semitic attacks rose by 400% in the UK and doubled in France. The atmosphere in Europe could be likened to those of the 1930s. Thousands marched the streets yelling "Hitler was right! Jews to the gas!" Synagogues and Jewish schools were firebombed. Those who appeared to be Jewish were physically assaulted, including rabbis and elder women.


Throughout all of these escalating attacks, I was struck by the silence and inaction of European Jewish organizations, the various groups sworn to protect, support, and represent European Jewry. Groups whose primary tasks include combating anti-Semitism, an issue that after thousands of years, prompts a need for preemptive measures.

But the groups' response to anti-Semitism could only be described as lackluster. In a time when the European Jewish community must call on their elected leaders and institutions, little was done in response. Which did in fact lead to grassroots action from younger generations of Jews, but also highlights the shortcomings of diplomatic Jewish groups.

A few examples would be the European Jewish Congress, Coordinating Committee of Jewish Organizations in Belgium (CCOJB), and the Board of Deputies in the UK.

The European Jewish Congress did little more than release very occasional statements of condemnation in response to anti-Semitic attacks, despite their diplomatic status. Although it seems that recently they have been more in touch with their communities.

In Belgium, as Jews were attacked and refused basic services, the primary group CCOJB were either unable or reluctant to become involved in the struggle.

In the UK, which had an extremely high rate of anti-Semitic attacks, the Board of Deputies was able to do little to combat the steady tide of hate. Perhaps they were simply ill prepared, but anti-Semitism is not a novel issue in the UK, preventive planning is expected. The Jewish community took to the internet to speak out against the Board, claiming them to be impotent.

Even people from outside of Europe and heads of Muslim communities came to these events! That's a serious absence on the part of the EJC. They seem to be missing the mark on many fronts,

The scope of Jewish groups' impotency can also be seen on Twitter, where they have few followers and post very occasional tweets that seem quite abstracted from the real world fight Jews are going through.

Twitter is known to be the social media front-line of the anti-Semitic battle. Any engagement referring to Jews or Israel is immediately hijacked into an anti-Semitic rant, and that’s not to mention the countless original posts stating that Jews drink children’s blood…or calling for the gassing of Jews.

It is of grave importance that Jewish groups have a strong presence, and use that presence to combat the ever-present tide of anti-Semitic hate.

Now, on a positive note, we can and should expect these groups to rise to action. Their lack of preparedness this summer serves as a wake-up call. If they don't heed it, they will become obsolete.

Bibi's response to anonymous US official calling him "chickenshit" (video)

I find it striking that even during what so many people want to consider an unprecedented crisis in US-Israel relations, Israeli leaders still go out of their way to emphasize how much they consider the US a friend and how much Israel has in common with America.

I once illustrated this with a series of posters:

The question has to be asked: why has Israel been the recipient of more vitriolic insults from US political leaders than the many nations who hate America? Why have we never heard any such insults of the leaders of Russia or Iran or Saudi Arabia - or France for that matter?

NYT takes four months to issue a simple correction of an Ali Abunimah lie

The New York Times yesterday corrected an article by its journalist Robert Mackey, who had approvingly relayed a misquotation by anti-Israel extremist Ali Abunimah.

Shortly after three Israeli teens were kidnapped in the West Bank, Mackey shared on his New York Times blog Abunimah's allegation that a popular Israeli Facebook page called for the arbitrary murder of Palestinians. "Kill a Palestinian ‘every hour,' says new Israeli Facebook page liked by 18,000," Abunimah claimed on Twitter.

...The Facebook page's tagline actually states, in Hebrew rhyme, "Until the boys return — every hour we shoot a terrorist."

After CAMERA informed New York Times editors of the mistranslation, the newspaper published the following correction:
Correction: October 28, 2014
An earlier version of this post referred imprecisely to an Israeli Facebook page demanding retribution for the abduction of the Israeli teenagers that was cited by Ali Abuminah, a Palestinian-American activist, in a Twitter post. The Facebook page urged Israelis to kill a Palestinian prisoner held on terrorism charges every hour; in his tweet, Mr. Abuminah referred to the proposed victims as simply "Palestinian."
It took four months for the New York Times to figure out what the Facebook page actually said?

At the time, I noted that Vanity Fair made the same accusation, and that it also seemed to be sourced to Abunimah. Yet Vanity Fair at least issued a correction within a day or two.

And as I mentioned then, the English-language "About" description of the Facebook page said explicitly that it was referring to terrorists. The NYT didn't even need to find someone in New York City that knows Hebrew to find out that Ali Abunimah's assertion was a lie.

So why did it take four months for the New York Times to get this corrected, way past the time that anyone would read the original article?

Even Haaretz issues its many corrections in a more timely manner than the Times.

It seems likely that Robert Mackey, whose NYT blog this was written on, resisted the change. Because the truth is not exactly what interests him - the story of Jews wanting vigilante justice in killing innocent Arabs was too good to check.

On Thursday, the same Ali Abunimah who was caught in this lie published a bizarre conspiracy theory to exonerate the shooter of Yehuda Glick. It puts 9/11 conspiracy theorists to shame, but like them, it of course blames Jews for the shooting. Check out this part:
According to “eyewitnesses” quoted in Haaretz’s Hebrew edition, the assailant asked Glick “Are you Yehuda Glick?” before firing three shots.

The four words in Hebrew are “Ha’im ata Yehuda Glick?”

The assailant also reportedly said, “Yehuda, you annoy me” – in Hebrew, “Yehuda, ‘itsbanta oti.”

Except for one instance of the letter ‘ayn, these two phrases do not contain any of the consonants whose pronunciation easily distinguishes a native Arabic speaker of Hebrew.

“If indeed a pharyngeal ‘ayn was pronounced, that could indicate an Arabic accent,” Uri Horesh, linguist and assistant professor of Arabic at Northwestern University, told The Electronic Intifada. “But it could also indicate the accent of a Jewish Israeli of Arab descent.”
Wow! Some Israelis come from Arab countries, and have similar accents, so it could have been an Israeli that shot Glick! What more proof do you need? (The motive, of course, is a false flag attack. Really.)

Yet even though this post is only one among many that prove that Abunimah is an unhinged hater whose grasp of reality is worse than tenuous, reporters who write for the New York Times and Vanity Fair and many others believe him implicitly.

Anyone who swallows Abunimah's idiotic ramblings can only do so if they have a similar bias to begin with. And that, in short, is why it takes four months to get the New York Times to issue a simple correction that anyone who bothered to visit the actual Facebook page could have done in four minutes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The most heinous crime in the history of history

The latest insanity from Jordan:
Jordan on Thursday accused Israel of "state terrorism" after it closed Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam.

Jordan's Islamic affairs minister, Hayel Daoud, denounced the Jewish state for "closing the gates of Al-Aqsa mosque and preventing the faithful from entering", state news agency Petra reported.

He urged the international community to help Jordan put pressure on Israel "to raise the terrorist blockade" imposed on the compound.

"This is a dangerous escalation by the authorities of the occupation and state terrorism that we can neither accept nor keep silent about," Daoud said.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas called the unprecedented closure tantamount to a "declaration of war".
The constant exaggeration of Arab leaders in coming up with new insults for Israel is a very serious crime and we can no longer remain silent.

Jordan's and Mahmoud Abbas' statements are rhetorical genocide. They are truly a critical case of verbal terrorism which violates all norms of human decency and international law. To trivialize the very meanings of words purely in order to demonize a single state is definitely the worst case of verbicide in recorded history. Words and phrases are being slaughtered en masse, and exaggerations are being expounded by the trillions, in what can only be called a language holocaust, or logocaust if you will. These highly tendentious accusations hurled daily at Israel are truly the worst thing that humanity has ever done, or is ever likely to do, in all recorded time. In the name of all that is decent, human and just, it is well past time to demand that all UN members unanimously declare these discourse criminals to be in direct violation of all international laws, treaties, agreements and customs since the beginning of recorded time.

Without every one of these things being done, many times, decent people cannot be held responsible for the natural, visceral responses they might have to being confronted with the most heinous acts ever done by human beings. And you know I am right, because it says it right here, in words, available for billions to see online.

10/30 Links Pt2: International Law is Not a Suicide Pact; Israeli university to challenge ASA boycott in LA

From Ian:

International Law is Not a Suicide Pact
It is always tempting for those who know absolutely nothing about international law to lash out viscerally at Israel. Yet, trained legal scholars do understand the profound jurisprudential significance of context. Correct judgments under international law are never made in isolation.
It is apparent, then, that any seemingly disproportionate use of force by the Israel Defense Forces during Protective Edge was the outcome of prior perfidy committed by Palestinian terrorist forces in Gaza. Also noteworthy is that in any careful comparison to the current U.S. led war on ISIS terror, Israeli counter-terrorist operations have remained substantially limited.
International law is not a suicide pact. Faced with Palestinian terrorists in Gaza who still make no secret of their genocidal intentions, Israel still displays persistently marked restraint. In contrast to the witting indiscriminacy of Arab terrorists in Gaza, and to undisguised Palestinian perfidy, Israel takes very great care to minimize civilian harms. This self-imposed Israeli limitation on armed force is codified and followed as IDF "Purity of Arms," even when the consequent risks to Israel's soldiers are multiplied and enlarged.
In the manner of every other country in world politics, Israel maintains an unqualified right under international law to protect its citizens. Until now, in exercising this fully "peremptory" right, Jerusalem's use of military force has remained closely measured and controlled. It follows that the international community should finally begin to shift its allegedly jurisprudential concerns from the crudely deceptive mantras of "lawfare," and focus instead on the still-escalating criminality of Palestinian terrorism.
5 Facts That Prove Jerusalem Was NEVER A Muslim Holy City Or An Arab Capital!
Let’s play a game of association.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when I say JERUSALEM?
If your answer was “Holy City”, then you are either Jewish or you believe in the Jewish connection to the city of Jerusalem. If you are Christian, Jerusalem is holy to you because Jesus, who was a Jew, lived there. Therefore, it is holy as the Jewish capital and the home of the two Jewish Temples that stood in Jerusalem.
If you are a Muslim, I am sure you are probably offended by the mere suggestion that Jerusalem was NEVER a Muslim holy city or an Arab capital of any kind, but since you cannot hurt me or blow me up, you’re going to have to face these historical truths and be content with writing violent reactions in the comments section below.
While Threats to Israel Surge, So Does Christian Zionism, Says CUFI’s Hagee
While anti-Semitism in Europe and anti-Zionism on U.S. college campuses are on the upswing, how is American Christian support for Israel trending? Stronger than ever, says the founder of the country’s largest pro-Israel organization.
“I can assure you that the evangelical Christians of America support Israel right now in a more aggressive mood than at any time in my lifetime,” Pastor John Hagee, national chairman of the 1.8-million member Christians United for Israel (CUFI), said in an interview with JNS.org.
Hagee’s assessment of the pulse of Christian Zionism came one day after 5,000 people attended the 33rd annual “A Night to Honor Israel” at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, TX. CUFI’s goal is to facilitate that same program in every major U.S. city.
“We want to send the message to the world and to the Jewish people that Christians are standing up for the state of Israel and the Jewish people at home and abroad,” Hagee said. “It’s not conversation. It’s action.”
Christian priest tells UN: "Israel is the only Mideast country not persecuting Christians"

Muslim fanaticism rewarded, Again.

It is astonishing how extreme Muslim fanaticism is now simply accepted as mainstream by the world - and it even gets rewarded.

I'm not talking about ISIS or Al Qaeda. The world will offer lip service as to how awful those groups are.

But the activities in Israel and the territories over the past day have shown that fanaticism by the "good Muslims" is simply accepted without question, while the only vitriolic words are about the man who was marked for murder because he wanted Jews to have equal rights.

Only Yehuda Glick is being called  "right-wing activist" and "ultranationalist" and "hardline rabbi" The person who attempted to murder him is more sympathetically portrayed as a former prisoner who was shot and killed in a hail of bullets.

Glick never called to kill anyone. He did not call for Muslims to be banned from Judaism's holiest spot. Al he demanded was that Jews have the same rights on the Mount as Muslims do. But you will be hard pressed to find any media outlet that bothers to point out that Glick is on the side of basic human rights - and rights that are enshrined in international law.

No, that narrative is forbidden. Jews asserting their rights are right wing fanatics.

Meanwhile, Muslims are raging - because Israeli police killed a real fanatic, a man who seemingly in response to the incitement by Mahmoud Abbas decided to attack a symbol of Jewish equal rights. I have not found one Arab voice condemning the assassination attempt on Rabbi Glick's life.

But Mahmoud Abbas' "moderate" Fatah party is calling for a "day of rage" at the killing of the would-be assassin, Mu’atez Hijazi.

Think about that. These "moderates" are calling for riots to support a terrorist.

The Temple Mount has been a source for riots by Muslims incensed at the idea of Jews having any human rights. Israeli police are needed to protect the Jews from murderous Muslim "worshippers." It was natural for Israel to close down the site to head off more riots - but, of course, that just became another excuse for more threats, more violence and more incitement.

The State Department didn't express confidence that Israeli authorities were doing their best to handle the situation. It didn't come out with a public statement that the holy site should be open to all, without any threats or intimidation. It didn't condemn the calls for violence and incitement by murderous Muslim Arabs.

No, the State Department rewarded the violence and threats by calling on Israel to open the Temple Mount for Muslim prayer. Not all prayer - Muslim prayer.

Anyone who looks at the situation objectively can see who are the fanatics and who are the levelheaded, who cares about rights and who tramples on them. But the adjectives that accompany the media stories on the topic indicate the exact opposite. The public statements by politicians indicate the exact opposite.

Israel truly is a Bizarro universe where the truth gets twisted into lies as a matter of course, and practically no one on the planet has the tools to step back and look at the situation objectively. Human rights" NGOs disregard the human rights of Jews; Israel's greatest friend ignores the facts and backs the actions of the people who support would-be assassins.

Insanity has become the norm when it comes to Jewish rights.

Hamas can build lots of houses - but chooses terror tunnels instead

Hamas has announced that it is continuing to build terror tunnels despite the restrictions on cement being imported into Gaza being earmarked for specific projects.

The group triumphantly reported that it has managed to create a domestic brick manufacturing industry. Its testing found that red bricks, fired in local kilns from clay that is easily available in Gaza, have similar strength properties as the cement that had previously been used to build terror tunnels.

This new development is being hailed by Hamas media as a "big blow" to international efforts to ensure that tunnel materials aren't being diverted to the terror group.

Think about this for a minute. Hamas has come up with a way to build without cement, with bricks that are completely locally manufactured - and it is using this method exclusively for terror.

People use bricks in Sudan and Egypt, so there is no reason at all that Gaza houses cannot be built out of brick. (For that matter, I never understood why wood frame houses are not considered viable for Gaza.)

The thousands of houses that need to be repaired or rebuilt can use the bricks Hamas is firing, today, but instead part of the "unity government" chooses to prioritize rebuilding a terror infrastructure.

Moreover, UNRWA and the many other NGOs in Gaza could have been using their large budgets to create this local industry to alleviate housing problems - and they are not doing that. (UNRWA once had a pilot program to build mud houses that coudl last 100 years. While they were limited to one story they were quite beautiful, but I haven't heard anything about that since 2010.)

Could it be that UNRWA and the other NGOs want to keep Gazans dependent on them? After all, independent Gazans mean less need for UNRWA -  and fewer opportunities for fundraising.

10/30 Links Pt1: Obama is seeking a confrontation with Israel; PLO submits resolution to UNSC

From Ian:

Isi Leibler: Obama is seeking a confrontation with Israel
Yes, there is constant tension and endless recriminations bouncing between the US administration and Israel. And according to Goldberg, there is now even the threat that the US “may actually withdraw diplomatic cover for Israel at the United Nations.”
The government has made every effort to avoid aggravating the situation, but Israel is a sovereign democratic nation and there are occasions when it must reject unrealistic or dangerous demands from the US.
Netanyahu should be commended for his extraordinary diplomatic balancing act in withstanding the unreasonable pressure from Obama and Kerry, avoiding outright confrontations and in so doing, retaining the support of American public opinion and Congress.
Israel is a small country and its people are aware that the US is crucial to their survival. But does that oblige us to forfeit our self-respect or sovereignty and fawn on an administration that repeatedly displays its contempt for us and humiliates us? We should display unity by supporting our prime minister’s policy of rejecting further territorial concessions until the Palestinian leaders separate from Hamas, engage in negotiations and display flexibility to enable us to achieve our security requirements. We will not be denied the right to construct homes in our capital or in the major settlement blocs, which will remain within Israel. We seek the support of the US but we must retain our sovereignty.
David Horovitz: Obama and Netanyahu: A fractured alliance becomes open conflict
Netanyahu hopes to outlast Obama’s second term, and hopes the administration will be somewhat constrained in the aftermath of the midterm elections — which may be a major calculation since, while Obama might become something of a lame duck president, that could also mean he would have nothing to lose. The Obama administration hopes (however implausibly) that Israelis will sober up and rid themselves of a leadership it deems to have ducked the “very difficult choices” that Obama urged on Netanyahu in a nastily timed interview with Goldberg in March. (That piece appeared as the prime minister was on a plane headed to meet the president at the White House. Notably, there was no similar Obama interview focused on Abbas’s failures when the PA president visited Washington soon after.)
Two leaderships, each interested in seeing the back of the other. Two leaderships of nations that certainly still have shared interests, but no longer consistently find common cause in advancing and protecting those interests. Two leaderships of nations that also used to highlight their shared common values, but with a US administration now making crystal clear that it feels Israel under Netanyahu is moving away from those shared democratic, human rights-upholding, peace-loving values.
Truly a dismal state of affairs, with potentially dire repercussions — most especially for Israel, which needs the US far more (diplomatically, militarily, economically, existentially) than the US needs Israel. Truly a fractured alliance.
Mordechai Kedar: Behind the Attempt to Assassinate Yehuda Glick
Why did Islamists target Yehuda Glick? And what does it tell us about Israeli Arab plans for Israel and Jerusalem?
The plan for the attempted assassination of Yehuda Glick is just one phase of the long term struggle for Jerusalem between an Islam that sees itself as the true religion on the one hand, and the very existence of Judaism (and Christianity) - false religions in Islamic eyes - on the other.
In its own eyes, Islam came into the world not in order to stand alongside Judaism and Christianity, but to supplant them, and empty them of substance, assets and founding figures so that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Jesus and John are all Muslims in Islamic discourse. The Temple Mount has turned into a mosque, and several hundred churches (in Ramle, Damascus, Istanbul, Spain and more) were changed into mosques by Muslim conquerors.
In the view of radical Islamists, several setbacks occurred during the twentieth century: in 1948 the Jews, using military might and aided by the Christians (British) conquered the holy land of Palestine and in1967 they won Jerusalem, and we know the next step, they claim - they will build their temple and Judaism will again become a viable religion. That poses a theological danger to radical Islamists whose raison d'être is the destruction of Judaism (and Christianity). Therefore, the radical Islamist struggle for Jerusalem in general and the Temple Mount in particular is a theological one more than it is a political, nationalist or territorial struggle. He who does not - or will not - understand this, is hiding his head in the sand.

PA says closure of Temple Mount (to Muslims) a "war crime".and a "declaration of war" )(update)

Israeli police closed the Temple Mount altogether today for the first time, perhaps the first time in history.

It looks a lot better than usual

The Palestinian Authority is condemning the closure.
The head of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas said that Jerusalem and the Islamic and Christian holy sites are a red line whose compromise will not be accepted.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the official spokesman for the presidency, said "we hold the Israeli government responsible for the dangerous escalation in the occupied city of Jerusalem, which peaked with the close the Al-Aqsa Mosque, on Thursday morning."

He said that this decision by Israel to close the Al-Aqsa Mosque for the first time is is a blatant challenge and grave act, which will lead to more tension and instability and the creation of a negative and dangerous atmosphere.

Abu Rudainah said that the state of Palestine will take all legal measures to hold Israel accountable, and to stop these repeated attacks.

He called for the international community to take immediate action to stop this aggression, because the continuation of the Israeli aggression and dangerous escalation is tantamount to a declaration of war on the Palestinian people and their sanctities and the Arab and Islamic nations.
A separate article from the official PA Wafa news agency says that the closing of the Mount is a war crime!
Professor of International Law, Dr. Hanna Issa said that the closure of the occupation forces of the Al-Aqsa Mosque to the entire congregation on Thursday is a war crime.

Issa, who also serves as the Secretary General of the Islamic Christian support of Jerusalem and holy sites, said in a press statement: "this occupation's actions are contrary to the principles and rules of international humanitarian law, as the Al-Aqsa Mosque falls under the provisions of the Hague Agreement of 1899, and 1907, as they apply the provisions of the fourth Geneva Conventions of 1949, and its protocols, as part of East Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967, in addition to the applicability of the Hague Convention for the protection of cultural property during armed conflicts of 1954."
As usual, these are lies. In fact, the Muslims' firing small rockets from within the Al Aqsa Mosque is the only violation of international law I could find:
1. The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect cultural property situated within their own territory as well as within the territory of other High Contracting Parties by refraining from any use of the property and its immediate surroundings or of the appliances in use for its protection for purposes which are likely to expose it to destruction or damage in the event of armed conflict; and by refraining from any act of hostility, directed against such property.

2. The obligations mentioned in paragraph 1 of the present Article may be waived only in cases where military necessity imperatively requires such a waiver.
It sounds more like Israel is obligated to stop Muslims from using the mosque as a headquarters to incite and fight from.

So to sum it up:

  • Jews who want to worship on their holiest site are "extremist storming settlers" who must be stopped in the interests of peace.
  • Muslims who use the Al Aqsa Mosque to praise terror and to stockpile incendiary devices are peaceful worshippers who must have free access.
  • A Muslim-only Temple Mount is desirable.
  • Keeping it open it to all faiths is a declaration of war.
  • Blocking Jews from worshipping there is necessary for peace.
  • Blocking Muslims from worshipping there is a war crime.

Virtually the entire world agrees with every single one of these contradictory bullet points. Then again, these points aren't inconsistent if you believe that Muslims have religious rights and Jews do not.

UPDATE: Here we see Mahmoud Abbas' incitement that led to the shooting of Yehuda Glick:

(h/t Yoel)