According to a recent, detailed study published in the Hebrew-language journal Hashiloach, radical Islamic organizations are rapidly gaining influence and popularity in the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. Many such organizations are sponsored by Ankara, which aims to supplant both Jordan as the guardian of the Muslim holy places on the Temple Mount and the Palestinian Authority (PA) as the source of political legitimacy in the city. David M. Weinberg writes:
[T]here has been very significant erosion in the status of the veteran eastern Jerusalem mukhtars [local elders] and the influence of Fatah political infrastructures and Palestinian Authority leaders. Into the vacuum have stepped elements identified with Hamas, with the northern faction of the Islamic Movement in Israel [which routinely encourages violence against Jews], and with the Muslim Brotherhood in general.
Through a series of civic associations, nonprofits, and grassroots organizations, sometimes at the neighborhood level and sometimes more extensive, [Islamists] are investing tens of millions of dollars per year in dawa (missionary) activities, mainly charitable enterprises and educational programs to attract the young to [radical] Islamic values. There is a direct line, say the [study’s] authors, from civic dawa to radicalization and active enlistment in the armed struggle against Israel. . . .
Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey, which is the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood’s main patron, . . . now enjoys unprecedented popularity among the residents of eastern Jerusalem. . . . The Turks’ public support of the Palestinian cause and adoption of the al-Aqsa issue, and their decision to inject millions of dollars into eastern Jerusalem, have won them great sympathy and support. . . .
The enlarged foreign presence in the heart of Israel’s capital touches the deepest chords of the issue of Israeli sovereignty in the eastern part of the city. . . . While significant security action and determined diplomatic maneuver are clearly mandated, Israel will have to do more to “recapture” eastern Jerusalem. It will have to assume full responsibility for the services that eastern Jerusalem Arab residents need, with major budgetary repercussions.