Ambassador Dore Gold addressed an Australia Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) webinar on May 12, 2021.
View the entire webinar at https://youtu.be/6HQoe1GAsBQ
The eruption of the violence that we’re seeing occurred during the month of Ramadan among the Muslims. While most Muslims find Ramadan to be a joyous time, for a small but very dangerous minority it’s a time to initiate what they call jihad.
Whenever I see violence erupting, one of my questions is: Is it something spontaneous? Did the population suddenly decide to go out for its own crusade or was this something that was pre-planned? Was it something that was incited and for political purposes?
The evidence that the disturbances in Jerusalem were incited and planned is overwhelming. It was not spontaneous. One of the most disturbing aspects of what went on in Jerusalem is the evidence that the Palestinian organizations – Hamas and Islamic Jihad – were pre-positioning the implements they used for attacks on Israelis on the Temple Mount.
This is not a new phenomenon; it goes back to the days of the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husayni, when they would store firearms on the Temple Mount to be used during times of violence. The Israel Police had no choice but to go up on the Temple Mount, where they found large amounts of rocks and boulders which had been brought there to be used first against the Israeli security forces, and secondly, against Jews who prayed at the Western Wall just below the Temple Mount. But when you see material stored for future violent use, you know that this is a pre-planned operation and not something spontaneous.
The Abraham Accords was one of the biggest sources of defeat for Hamas and for Iran. All of a sudden you have Israelis coming to Gulf States and speaking about their joint interests, which include dealing with the problem of Iran. That was something which Iran wants to see rolled back and defeated. I believe they set as a goal for themselves to break the Abraham Accords.
The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has been developing ties with think tanks in the Gulf. I’m on the phone with their leadership quite frequently, and recent events did not lead to any sudden cooling on the other end. They were concerned, they wanted information, and they wanted to know why this is occurring and when it’s going to end. The fundamental interest they have in a warm relationship with Israel continues, but it is under a potential strain should events drag out.
It’s going to take a long time to defeat the force we’re dealing with. It’s going to require a lot of patience on the part of the Israeli public. Some people get very frustrated in these situations and would like to see us take our F-35s and carpet bomb whole sections of the Gaza Strip. That’s not what we’re going to do. It’s not smart and it’s also not moral. One of the things we should take pride in is that Israel wages war with a sense of the moral elements of modern warfare, particularly when the other side is completely immoral and uses human shields to protect its highest-level officials.