The mayor of Ashkelon is already backtracking, after rightfully coming under fire from politicians across the political spectrum, from his pledge to fire Arab workers installing bomb shelters in city kindergartens. Mayor Itamar Shimoni, who issued the threat after Tuesday’s deadly terror attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, admitted his decision was “disproportionate”, and that he has agreed to allow Arab laborers to continue working at the sites.
Though Ben Lynfield’s report on the row in The Independent, titled, ‘Synagogue attack: Israeli mayor accused of racism after suspending 30 Arab workers for ‘security’ reasons‘, was straight forward enough, there was an extraordinary sentence buried without comment in the second paragraph:
The step by Itamar Shimoni, mayor of the coastal city of Ashkelon, comes after a wave of attacks, mostly in Jerusalem, triggered largely by the Palestinian perception of an Israeli threat to al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest site. The synagogue assailants are widely viewed in Arab East Jerusalem as “martyrs” who acted in defence of the mosque. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel will not make changes in the mosque compound, sacred to Jews as the Temple Mount. But provocative visits by right-wing Israeli politicians have more weight in Arab eyes than the premier’s declarations.
Is this an accurate statement by Lynfield? Do Arabs in east Jerusalem – most of whom are permanent Israeli residents – support the Palestinian terrorists who butchered innocent Jews (while they were at prayer at synagogue) with axes and knives?
If such a perverse, morally indefensible view is indeed held by a large segment of “Arab East Jerusalem”, let us humbly suggest to the Indy’s Ben Lynfield that perhaps such a disturbing phenomena might be of greater news value in the context of helping readers understand the region than the short-lived racist pronouncement of one solitary mayor.