There is a matchup of interests between Political Judaism and… Iran that is also interested in provoking the Palestinian problem

Date: 04/03/2023 Time: 12:09

Pinhas Inbari μικρή By Pinhas Inbari

The Aqaba meeting from two weeks ago, and the dramatic developments that followed – Palestinian terrorism on the one hand, and the unprecedented rioting of the hilltop youth in Hawwara on the other hand, teach us that there is a fundamental conflict of interest between the State of Israel and the Political Judaism that leads the Israeli government today. From the outset, the purpose of the Aqaba meeting was to advise on how to prevent the anticipated deterioration towards an intifada on Passover because of the Jewish prayers on the holy month for Muslims in Ramadan, contrary to the understandings with the Waqf that were at the base of the peace agreement with Jordan. The starting point was that Political Judaism is the main source of danger and a solution must be found to avoid it.

Those present on behalf of Israel were representatives of the State of Israel, the head of the National Security Council (NSC)י, the Coordinator of Government, Activities in the Territories and the head of the Shin Bet , and they agreed on calm measures, but in Jerusalem, representatives of Political Judaism: Ben Gvir and Smotrich, immediately rejected the agreements in Aqaba, and the continuation in Hawwara was natural. On the face of it, Political Judaism rejected the agreements because of the settlements freeze, in order to allow the resumption of the security dialogue between the PA and Israel, but really at the root of the matter was the renewal of Kerry’s principles about the status quo on the Temple Mount, that allow for Jews to go up to the Mount, but forbid them to pray, because everyone saw on the Temple Mount on Passover/Ramadan the barrel of gunpowder.

The State of Israel accepted this because it wanted calm, but Political Judaism rejected it because it wanted escalation. Why would the State of Israel want calm while Political Judaism wanted escalation? Because every country sees calm as the ideal situation that allows for a flourishing economy, investments, and in general stability and safety for citizens. Why would Political Judaism want escalation? Because it sees the lull in the fighting as a malfunction that blocks its messianic goals, and Smotrich’s “plan of decision,” which focuses on the elimination of the Palestinian Authority, the annexation of Judea and Samaria, and as Gantz said, a new Nakba. In general, Smotrich and Ben-Gvir personally got where they are now thanks to the mess they created, and their continued leap up depends on the continuation of anarchy.

But there is also a major political concern that requires stabilizing the situation rather than escalating it, and that is regional preparedness vis-à-vis Iran. Jumping the Palestinian problem to the top of the regional agenda at the expense of preparations vis-à-vis Iran is a clear conflict of interest between the State of Israel and Political Judaism. Ironically, there is a matchup of interests between Political Judaism and… Iran that is also interested in provoking the Palestinian problem at this time, to incite disagreements between Israel and the Arab partners in the preparations against Iran.

This is the reason for Iran’s special effort to foment a terrorist intifada in the West Bank right now, and the hilltop youth backed by Political Judaism is a unifying target of Palestinian terrorism that has grown out of almost nowhere.

Pinhas Inbari is a veteran Arab affairs correspondent who formerly reported for Israel Radio and Al Hamishmar newspaper, and currently serves as an analyst for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

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