Understanding the tensions on the temple mount

A number of resources to help understand the crisis unfolding in Jerusalem and information on our emergency briefing call this Monday, July 23.

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Today's News Roundup

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Temple Mount Tensions: Police, Army Prepare for Massive Friday Clashes; Netanyahu Weighs Removing New Security Measures, Haaretz

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will most likely “consider changing the decision” on placing metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told Army Radio on Thursday morning….On Wednesday, Netanyahu said Israel has not backed down from its position on using metal detectors to check those entering the holy site. Netanyahu is expected to make a decision on the matter when he returns to Israel from his visit to France and Hungary on Thursday, after consulting with senior security officials, said Erdan….On Wednesday night the mufti of Jerusalem and the heads of the Waqf called on all imams in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas to not hold Friday prayers in their mosques but to come to Al-Aqsa for prayer instead. This unprecedented appeal could bring tens of thousands of worshippers to the Temple Mount compound. The army and police are preparing for confrontations in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza over the escalating tensions. The police said they are working under the assumption that the metal detectors will not be removed before Friday and are expecting broad disturbances at the site. The Jerusalem police will be reinforced by thousands of special police forces.”

Avi Gabbay, Israel’s Rising New Threat to Benjamin Netanyahu, New Yorker

Bernie Avishai writes, “Last Monday, Labor members narrowly elected Avi Gabbay, who was not even a member of the Party eight months ago, as their new leader. Seasoned pundits did not expect the win by Gabbay, who rose from a working-class Moroccan family to run Israel’s largest telecommunications company. His election could help Labor close its gap with working-class Israelis. ….[H]e has become the story and symbol of a new path to power for Labor. For decades, the Party has suffered from the same time type of disconnect from working-class voters that now seems to plague the Democratic Party in the U.S. Gabbay is trying to bring that dynamic to an end. His crack about Dimona superseding Amona summarizes the heart of his appeal. Before Gabbay, Mizrahim who disapproved of Likud’s support for settlers and the ultra-religious struggled to find common ground with Labor’s Ashkenazi élites, intellectual socialists, and union hacks. Gabbay, the former kid from a transit camp who rose to run an iconic corporation, might bridge the gap. As in all democracies, voters who feel the greatest economic stress are the least likely to read patiently through the policy arguments that more highly educated voters respect; they need to identify with a candidate—and, on rare occasions, even to trust and like him.”

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