Last week, three Arab Israelis shot two policemen dead on the outskirts of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and then ran onto the Mount, where they were killed by Israeli security personnel. The Israeli government responded by briefly closing the Temple Mount for prayer, reopening it first to Muslims, then to Jews. In addition, it proposed stricter security measures, with predictable results, as Shmuel Rosner writes:
[Israel] installed metal detectors at the entrance to the site to prevent visitors and ostensible worshipers from smuggling weapons into the place—as Israel suspects some did. Israel also intends to install cameras to monitor the Temple Mount compound. For some reason, the new equipment “fanned criticism and protests that Israel had unilaterally changed the rules regarding religious worship and tourist visits at the complex.” . . .
[This is] a change that Muslim authorities should have embraced, unless there is something they want to hide from the cameras or a reason for them to evade the detectors. In other words, ask not why Israel insists on installing new security measures around the compound; ask why the Muslim authorities respond to these measures with such rage.
The answer to this question is also simple. The metal detectors are truly bullshit detectors. [The fact is that] the Temple Mount is not just a holy [place] of worship—it is also, and at times even more so, a political tool with which to hammer Israel. . . . So now the metal detectors are the new tool [for Palestinian propagandists] to manufacture a made-up threat to the Mount. The ultimate goal of the detectors’ opponents is not to heighten security or prevent bloodshed; it is to delegitimize Israel’s rule of the Old City. . . .
Israel is the one concerned with security—but the other side is not. The other side sees the terror attack at the compound as an opportunity to further its claim against Israeli presence in Jerusalem. If you remove all the “settlers”—that is, all Israelis—and all “soldiers”—that is, Israel’s security forces—from the area, [the logic goes], there will be security. Simply put: no Jews, no bloodshed.