“Extremely optimistic we will overcome this wave.” Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem, Israel
Today, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat provided a situation briefing in a conference call organized by the Jewish National Fund.
Some key comments and thoughts:
> By the way, 3.5 million Muslims have prayed on the Temple Mount this year.
> Incitement by the Palestinian Authority is contributing to the “indiscriminate” violence. So, there is a great need to combat lies and incitement being spread across social media, the Arab press and international media.
> Police have been distributed across the city to combat the “sporadic” violence.
> Proactively addressing submitted conference call questions and in response to media reports about civilians carrying guns in Jerusalem, Barkat reiterated his views:
Israel benefits from having highly trained civilians supplement security forces in Jerusalem. These are “professional combat” trained ex-Army or Reserve citizens who have a license to carry a gun and can help “neutralize terrorists.” Barkat characterized this as a “positive, excellent response in Israel.” At the same time, he clearly expressed that this is a “terrible idea in America for residents” because of the lack of firearms/military training.
> Barkat has been meeting with principals in East Jerusalem, local leaders and councils to help tamp down the incitement and violence. He reports that these leaders “want to reduce violence.”
> The best way to fight terrorism: don’t be deterred from going on with regular life and activities.