The Tragedy of Removing Metal Detectors

          Earlier today, Israel's cabinet agreed to come to terms with Jordan and remove the highly controversial metal detectors from the Temple Mount. Although tensions were high with the Hashemite Kingdom over the shooting in Amman's Israeli embassy, terror once more found victory in this turbulent region. With the United States' envoy to the Middle East, came a swift message from the UN: Do whatever it takes to diffuse the situation. With the weakness of Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government and the rising threat of having an Israeli security agent being tried for murder in a foreign country, the international community quickly found its leverage in handling this diplomatic and security crisis. While requesting the removal of the security measures in Al-Aqsa, a factor was either missed or not given enough significance: Palestinian perception.

            As some of my colleagues pointed out today, Israel replaced these metal detectors with more developed devices that could even read facial expressions. As they preached the effectiveness of these monitoring systems and the irrelevance of Israel's decision to remove its metal detectors, they could not understand the metaphor behind these security measures. The ability to maintain them installed, despite terror growing throughout Israel, signaled that terrorism would not be rewarded as a means of achieving political gains. Terror as a strategy cannot be given the opportunity to thrive, that was the intended policy. With the thousands of Arabs protesting in Istanbul, Amman, and Beirut, it was Mahmoud Abbas' incitement of terror that drove the false correlation between the metal detectors (serving to protect both Jews and Arabs alike) and a holy war for Jerusalem. While the world accredited this false correlation and did little to address the Palestinian Authority's irresponsible management of the crisis, the Halamish family would pay the ultimate price.

            While regimes and international organizations continue to avoid reaching a consensus on the definition of terrorism, the Palestinian leadership continues to use this unconventional and barbaric method as a strategic tool which has served them well since 1964. While the international community held this powerful leverage over Israel's cabinet, the institutionalized bias against Israel would not serve in their interests. By forcing Israel to remove the metal detectors, a concession would be made to the Palestinian Authority and terrorism.

The conflict will not be resolved today, tomorrow, or in the coming years. To assert that future confrontations are not imminent is to demonstrate a serious misunderstanding of the conflict's complexity. A message was sent today to the general Palestinian population: Your government called for armed resistance against civilians and your goals were achieved. How quickly will a future Palestinian teen be tempted to respond to his government's call for violence against Jews?

            It becomes highly alarming when the institutional bias against Israel prevents the international community from distinguishing ISIS terror attacks to the one committed in West Bank last week. What is even more frightening is that despite the West's failures to find common ground between the uses of such strategies, terrorist groups do not hesitate to find these commonalities. In the eyes of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and Boku Haram, the Palestinian Authority once more proved the effectiveness of terrorism in attempting to influence policy making.

            While the newly implemented monitoring systems may prove more effective in preventing future attacks on the Temple Mount, the removal of the metal detectors provided a perceptive victory for the Palestinian people. It is imperative that concessions to terrorist attacks stop and that Israel is allowed to proportionally respond to the security threats which it faces. Any sovereign nations must be capable of defending itself and to make critical strategic decision which could deter future aggressions. Confrontation must not always be ruled out, and deterrence must be restored.