It's become very clear that the clash over the construction work near the Mugrabi Gate is not a struggle against the archaeological excavations or the construction of a bridge, but part of a broader campaign for the control of Jerusalem.
It's become very clear that the clash over the construction work near the Mugrabi Gate is not a struggle against the archaeological excavations or the construction of a bridge, but part of a broader campaign for the control of Jerusalem. After all, this construction work has no connection to the Al-Aqsa Mosque nor any effect on it.
Indeed, even among some of the Arab MKs - those same leaders mobilizing the war and the incitement against the construction - there were those who admitted, some through winks and nods and others more directly, that whether the work really threatens the mosque does not matter. In their view, Israel has no sovereignty in the Old City and has no right to carry out any sort of construction work in the Temple Mount environs.
At the root of this war is the intensifying effort by the Palestinians and their supporters, from within and without Israel, to deny any link or rights of the Jewish people to the Temple Mount or to Jerusalem, and thus to undermine not only our right to sovereignty in Jerusalem, but also Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.
We have no choice but to succeed in this struggle, and possess all the possible elements for such an outcome. The way to succeed is to show and prove, by means of complete transparency, that the deceiving claims and baseless incitements are nothing more than false propaganda.
The government acted along these lines, launching a Web site with real-time, round-the-clock video footage of the excavations. Israel has finally learned to utilize the Internet. And indeed, the disorderly conduct of Sheikh Ra'ad Salah and the remonstrations of Khaled Meshal and the Islamic organizations are not having any significant effect in the broader world, and their anti-Israel campaign has failed to take off.
As part of this important effort, the prime minister agreed, during an official visit to Turkey - a large Muslim country, with strategic ties of utmost importance to Israel - to meet the request of the Turkish prime minister and allow a delegation from there to evaluate the conditions on the ground. This was a smart, wise and appropriate move on the part of the prime minister, and there is no justification for the criticism against him.
One needn't be a former deputy foreign minister or a seasoned diplomat to appreciate the diplomatic significance and the implications of such a move; let's not forget that the real dispute is over the sovereignty of Jerusalem.
The fact that the Turkish prime minister is sending a delegation to this site - near the Western Wall and the Temple Mount - following an invitation by the prime minister of Israel, is a clear expression of support of Israel's position. After all, this is not a United Nations delegation nor one imposed on Israel by an international body, but an authorized delegation of Turkey to Israel (and not of the Palestinian Authority or Jordan).
Israel really has nothing to hide. So there should be no surprise that the Arab MKs responded with anger and frustration, demanding: "What business does Turkey have with this issue?" They understood what many MKs on the right have not: that this is a diplomatic gain for Israel and a wise way of conducting an important campaign.