When Netanyahu walked eyes wide shut into disaster

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for a press conference with his Georgian counterpart Giorgi Kvirikashvili at his office in Jerusalem on July 24, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / JACK GUEZ)
Op-Ed: It didn’t take a genius to predict the bloody escalation of the past few days. The prime minister just refused to see it coming

By David Horovitz | The Times of Israel

The visiting Georgian prime minister at his side, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Monday that he was working “determinedly and responsibly,” both to resolve the fresh standoff with Jordan over a shooting at the embassy compound and the ongoing bloody tensions surrounding the Temple Mount.

Few would doubt him. Of course the prime minister of Israel is doing everything in his power to end the crises quickly, safely and effectively.

The question, however, is whether such crises could have been avoided in the first place, were a little more determination and responsibility shown by Netanyahu and his government ahead of time.

Watching the descent into disaster these past 10 days has been like viewing a horrifying car crash in slow motion.

It has been widely reported that the Shin Bet security agency and the IDF were barely consulted ahead of the decision to install metal detector gates at the Temple Mount after the July 14 terror attack there. It has been widely reported that police chiefs and the public security minister did not believe the measure constituted a particularly significant step. It has been widely reported that Netanyahu failed to detail the metal detector plans when he spoke to Jordan’s King Abdullah and the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the immediate aftermath of the attack, in which three Arab Israelis shot dead two police officers on duty just outside the compound with guns they had smuggled into the holy site. It has been widely reported that the Shin Bet and the IDF urged that the metal detector gates be removed ahead of July 21’s Friday mass Muslim prayers.

Whatever the truth of these various damning reports, some of which have been denied, a more “responsible” prime minister should surely have realized the inflammatory potential of the metal detector gates, particularly when installed in the way they were.

The very nature of the July 14 attack underlined that security measures at the Mount were inadequate. The murder weapons were smuggled into the holy site by the killers and an accomplice.

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