LISTEN: Interview with Jerusalem City Councillor on Recent Rise in Terror Attacks

Paul from Focus on Israel Radio interviewed Jerusalem Councillor Aryeh King and talked about the recent rise in terror attacks. Listen to the interview here or read the transcribed interview below:

I’m with Aryeh King who is a Jerusalem city councillor, now Aryeh we have seen many terrorist car attacks lately what do you believe are behind these attacks ?

Behind these attacks I see it is the Islamic fundamentalism is waking up, not as part of a specific organisation, its become like a trend, we see Muslims not just in Jerusalem but also in the north of Israel that went and joined Isis. Just recently one of them was killed in Tadmoor North of Iraq, more and more Arabs that are not under occupation, just Arabs that are living in Israel that are joining Islamic movement. Also Arabs living in Jerusalem are joining this kind of trend in the Islamic world and therefore we see more and more Arabs are participating in all kind of very simple attacks. It’s not with weapon, it’s not with bombs, they just use what they have, if its a car a tractor, if its a knife, something that is accessible to any person.

Now Arab lifestyle here in Israel is very good compared to other Arab countries, so why would they want to do this?

Why should a guy, his name is John from London, 18 -19 years old, living in one of the beautiful cities in the world, London, leave his girlfriend and go to Syria and chop peoples heads off? And like him there are thousands from Europe that left Paris, London, Milan, Belgium, Brussels and it is coming from the same place. It’s time that the world would understand we are facing a religious war. It is worse than the First World War and the Second World War. It’s a third one and the third would be the Islamic against the rest of the world. It would happen everywhere. In the US it has happened already and it will continue in England, everywhere in Europe, maybe in China it will not happen. It’s also in Russia already and here in Israel we are in the front line. It’s not new for us .

So this is what we see, Arabs don’t have any reason to take this kind of steps killing and butchering people. They just live the good life and they are joining thess fundamentalism organisations and as I said we in Israel are facing it for 100’s of years and its just a matter of time that the people will face it in the centre of Europe .

Do you think that the West doesn’t understand or is this just Arab or Muslim appeasement?

I think it is hypocrisy, a kind of hypocrisy, because when the problem is with Muslims here but its far away from Stockholm or from the Netherlands or from Munich in Germany. So all the Europeans are demanding from Israel to deal with this fundamentalism like it is happening in the middle of Europe in a very sensitive way. Don’t damage whoever is around terrorist, but sooner or later and I think it has already started inn Europe. It happened in Europe before it happens in the US because the percentage of Muslims in Europe is higher than the US. I think it is just a matter of time that in Germany in the city of Kern, in Malmo in Stockholm, in Brussels, European Christians will face what we are facing here and then suddenly you will see how evil can be the European people when they face the terror that we are facing here for 100’s of years, but we were not so evil to them. We all the time dealt with them with gloves and we didn’t deal with them like we should do, and then when that will happen I’m sure. I’m definitely sure that Israel will get a strong support from Europe. I have a study that I wrote in 2008 and my conclusion was that until 2020 Europe will change her face. Europe will become much more anti-Muslim than the US or lets say much less pro-Muslim than the US and it will replace the US because what they will start facing. I also pointed out the countries where it will start according to demographic, according if you have a royal families there or if its not a royal, its a democracy or monarchy. So just in 4 years the attitude to Islam in Europe will change.

Do you feel that terror pressure is getting stronger and stronger here in Jerusalem?

No, look I lived here for 19 years. We have passed here worse, much worse periods that we are passing here in the last year. There were times of busses blowing up on every corner, terrorists were going into restaurants and blowing up themselves or firing on the streets. Its not happening now, so we cannot compare. Its after almost of the areas of Jerusalem are very quiet there is few delicate areas, the outskirts neighbourhoods of Jerusalem where there are Arab neighbourhoods and Jewish neighbourhoods. Not all the Arab neighbourhoods I must say, most of the Arab neighbourhoods are quiet .

But its enough that there are few in every few neighbourhoods that they are creating this bad environment in Jerusalem and especially in East Jerusalem.

Do you feel that ISIS is taking a hand here or the ISIS ideology?

Here no question. Since 2010, I am calling to the government of Israel to take care of all of these national Muslim, pan-Muslim organisations, pan-Arab Muslim organisations, such as the Islamic Liberation Party- that it is a world party. In some parts its already forbidden to be a member in this party and here in Israel they are slowly slowly getting their root in all kinds of neighbourhoods and level of population, mostly young ones, youngsters and they are already terrorists that committed terrorist attacks that are members in this party, in Judea and Samara, in Jerusalem. This organisation, the Islamic Liberation Party if you go and check their agenda, their policy you can put ISIS instead of Islamic Liberation Party, and they have the same policy, the same agenda. They are less talking about taking actions, really actions, but talking about Khalifa like talking about the future of all the area under Muslim control with the Sharia Muslim law and they are also talking about how Muslims needs to respond to non-Muslim law and its exactly like ISIS agenda and other fundamentalistic Islamic world organisations .

Do you think that ISIS in Syria and Iraq could actually step over into Israel?

Its already stepped, if Arabs from Israel left Israel and served ISIS in Syria or Iraq or Yemen or where ever they are in Sinai. Nevermind Al-Qaida, its all the same from my point of view its the same problem and if they left Israel and went there, there is no question from my point of view. There is no doubt, there are also many maybe even more that they think the same. They see themselves as part of ISIS, but they didn’t leave Israel and they are just waiting for an order or for a some dream that will tell them what to do and then we will hear about them.

How do the police deal with these sort of lone wolf terrorist attacks ?

Its very difficult to deal with it. It’s very difficult, but I think one of the most influenced ways maybe to make this single wolf think twice, ten times before he is doing what he thinks to do, is knowing by whatever he will do his family, it will remind him, who remain behind him will suffer a lot, if he knows that his children will not get anymore money from the government, social security or if his wife will loose her position or if they have any property like a car, like a house will be taken or other ways or other things. I think maybe there will be some of them that will think again many times before they do what the ideology they want to do and another thing is that they think that one of the problems that we are facing in Israel and specific in East Jerusalem is that the government of Israel and its also including the municipality of Jerusalem where I am a city councillor, we are not spending enough money in East Jerusalem. My vision is that there will not be any difference between East and West Jerusalem. You will take your car, you will drive your car east to west, west to east, you will not notice when you are in East Jerusalem and you are in west. Today unfortunately you can smell it and you can see it. And its time to stop this way of considering East Jerusalem as a place that we are temporarily here so why should we invest, why should we put in infrastructure, new roads, street lights, why we don’t clean the streets? Why we don’t enforce the law? Like we are enforcing in West Jerusalem, this is one of my motivations to get into the city council of Jerusalem, becoming a councillor is to change that to equal the investment of Jerusalem’s city council and the government of Israel in East Jerusalem like it is in West Jerusalem.

Who are Hib Bit Tareer?

Hib Bit Tareer is an organisation that is a world wide organisation, that has a world opinion of how the future of the world needs to be. It’s exactly like ISIS says it, they are looking forward to appoint a Khalif. Khalif is like a person who came after Mohammad .They were people coming after Mohammad, like head of the Muslim world, the Muslim nation and they are expecting and they are talking about every Muslim needs to do every day something in order to make this vision. This dream that they have and they are talking about it, no Muslim can accept other religion control or governor, and in some areas they are also calling to take steps, meaning don’t be passive be active without explaining what is active. Each one can understand what is active. It can be to talk and also to spit on someone. It could also be to kick someone and it could also be to kill someone. So this is Hib Bit Tareer, as I say a world Muslim organisation that in some countries in Europe its against the law to be members in this party, not yet in Israel unfortunately.

But they are in Israel?

They are in Israel, they are publishing themselves all over. In my neighbourhood there was 2 or 3 weeks ago there was a big event in the mosque next to my house on the Mount of Olives, quite next to the Jewish cemetery. Three or four days ago there was also in north Jerusalem and they publish it all over. You don’t need to be a special spy or intelligence guy to know. They are not hiding what they do because according to today they are legal in Israel. It’s time to take them out with the law.

Now we see intimidation on the Temple Mount and terror attacks constantly in Jerusalem, is this a spiritual battle?

Yes, as I said before it is a spiritual-religious battle no doubt. Israel is in the front line, so the Old City and the Temple Mount is the far front line of this battle between the Muslim and the rest of the world. Spiritual, religious its the same idea, its about how the world needs to be in the future. The Muslims see it as everyone must accept Islam, wherever there is a majority of Muslims must be the sharia law. We as Jews, we tell anybody he can keep his religion, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and we are Jews and we are not calling to anyone to become a Jew. They are working and they are calling to make more and more people Muslims because they want to get to this majority because they want by getting to this majority to change even a political picture or situation in cities or countries and one of the symbolic places is the Temple Mount because this is ours. The Jews only have this holy site in the world. We don’t have the Vatican, we have one place and this is the Temple Mount. So where the first and second Temple were built, we believe the third will be built, and they know that, which is why they are putting a lot of effort in this area because they know how important it is to us, for the Jews, they are making a lot of effort to disturb us in working our God, praying in our only holy site in the world.

Now Jerusalem in Hebrew means city of peace, what is your prayer for this beautiful city of Jerusalem?

There were very long periods of peace, not just in Jerusalem but also in all the region. these peace times were during the first Temple and during the second Temple. Since the destruction of the second Temple this region was never in peace. All the time was in a war and I really believe according to the prophecies that when the Temple will be built then Muslims, Christians, Chinese, everybody will understand how much the Temple for us is good not just for us the Jews its good for all nations. It’s written in our Bible, the Bible belongs to everybody. It’s written in the Bible, “My house will be a house for all nations”. From my point of view I can bring my sacrifice and also the Christian can get into the same place and do whatever he wants there and I really believe that this is what will happen. I hope it will happen in my time and I am doing everything that it will be in my time. In our tradition there’s a saying for every generation that this Temple is not built, this generation is to be blamed, like the generation when the second Temple was destroyed. I don’t want to be part of this generation. OK, I want to be part of the generation that builds the Temple. Because building the Temple is bringing the peace not just to the Jews. I believe it’s for the whole area, and that is what I am praying for 3 times a day at least.