by Barry Rubin
In August 1929, wild rumors that Jews had attacked Arabs, cursed the name of Islam's founder, and were about to seize the
The exact same thing happened—albeit with far fewer casualties—in 2000, 2009, and at several points in between. The pattern tells a great deal about why the conflict doesn't end and in fact stays a great deal the same.
The worst single incident took place in
True, there had been a right-wing Jewish demonstration at which slogans were chanted claiming ownership of the Western Wall (the surviving part of the retaining wall of the ancient Jewish Temple) but there had been no violence against Arabs.
Almost exactly 80 years later, the visit of a French tourist group to the
Again, days of rioting were set off. But no Jews were killed because they were defended by
The Western Wall and the rest of the Old City of Jerusalem was captured by Jordanian forces in the 1948 war. All synagogues were torn down or turned into other facilities; all Jewish residents were expelled.
In 1967, Israeli forces captured the
Even though the
The al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock were also under Arab Muslim control. The area was closed to Muslim prayer only during periods of violence and opened thereafter as soon as possible.
In 2000, a brief tour of the
Afterward, Marwan Barghouti, leader of Fatah on the
All of these things are points of fact, yet thoroughly neglected ones internationally. Both
The salient fact is that 80 years after the 1929 riots the same scenario has prevailed of demonization and lies about Jews, deliberately inflamed by Arab political and religious forces, has led to massive Arab violence.
If you want to know why the conflict has not been resolved over such a long time, examine the different behavior of the two sides.
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