Wednesday, November 08, 2017

08-Nov-17: Violent non-violence on the road to peace

Outside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Israeli Border Guard officers
check arriving Arabs - June 2017 [Image Source
The man who was America's most senior diplomat between 2013 and 2017 and before that a failed candidate for the highest elected office in the land, has some surprisingly naive views, it turns out, about the Palestinian Arabs.

In a recording broadcast last night by Israel's Channel 10 News, John Kerry is heard telling an unspecified conference in Dubai "in the past year attended by Middle East leaders" including the head of Israel’s Joint (Arab) List (a Knesset/parliamentary party), that he
blamed the Israeli government’s resistance to the establishment of a Palestinian state for harming the prospects of a peace deal
and foresaw a "violent Palestinian uprising if there was no progress in peace talks" ["In recording, John Kerry says Israeli government doesn’t want peace", Times of Israel, November 7, 2017]. We can only guess which peace talks he means. Kerry warned
that frustrations among Palestinians could boil over into violence and that the current status quo cannot last.
This must have been a welcome message for the entirely-Arab audience, as we assume was his summing up of the Palestinian Arab role:
“The Palestinians have done an extraordinary job of remaining committed to nonviolence. And in fact when the [knife] intifada took place they delivered non-violence in the West Bank,” Kerry is heard saying in the recording. “This is overlooked by the general [Israeli] population because it is not a topic of discussion. Why? Because the majority of the cabinet currently in the current Israeli government has publicly declared they are not ever for a Palestinian state”...
He's echoing Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president-for-life who has repeatedly gone public with explicit messages of incitement to violence directed at young Palestinian Arabs while asserting - pretty much at the same time - that the hundreds of stabbing, shooting and vehicle-ramming Arab-on-Israeli attacks of the past two years are representative of an alleged Palestinian Authority devotion to non-violence.

Kerry was a headline speaker ("The path ahead for the Middle East") at
the Credit Suisse Salon in Dubai, May 09, 2017 [Image Source]
As a sort of reality check, some of that "non-violence" was on display today.

Israel National News says a young Arab male was intercepted by Israeli security around 7:30 this this morning (Wednesday) on his way into the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron:
Border Police officers stationed at the entrance to the holy site spotted the suspect attempting to circumvent the security checkpoint and avoid passing through the metal detectors. Officers ordered the suspect to return to the entrance and pass through a metal detector, which indicated that he was carrying metal object he had neglected to remove from his person before passing through the checkpoint. When officers checked the suspect, they found a knife concealed in one of his socks. A Border Police spokesperson identified the suspect as a 17 year old local. The suspect was taken into custody for questioning. [Israel National News today]
In the Hebrew social media, there are images of the would-be attacker's seized knife [here].

It's only the latest in a long string of thwarted attacks by typically-young Arabs making their way to the religious shrine with a knife concealed on their bodies or in their clothing. A very quick scan of 2017 media reports just now shows similar intercepts at more-or-less the same location on September 12, 2017; September 8, 2017; July 22, 2017June 13, 2017; May 17, 2017May 13, 2017; March 4, 2017. A good thing we have alert security.

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