This past Friday in Jerusalem, three Palestinian terrorists perpetrated a coordinated terror attack, using automatic weapons and knives. One of the terrorists lunged at 23-year-old Israeli border police officer Hadas Malka with a knife, severely wounding her. She later died.
Terror is ugly. It aims to perpetrate death and propagate fear. In order to fight this scourge, which has taken too many innocent lives in Israel, the United Kingdom, and across the world, we must begin by not shying away from naming and shaming those who enact it, and those who support it.
The Fatah movement – headed by President Mahmoud Abbas – rather than condemn Friday’s attack and take action to prevent future acts of terror instead chose to praise the terrorists as heroes. The Palestinian Authority, which Abbas leads, will now bestow generous salaries upon the terrorists and their families, thus creating an incentive for the next attack. Tellingly, the Fatah statement condemned not the attack in which Hadas Malka was killed, but the Israeli police officers who acted to neutralise the threat posed by the three armed terrorists.
Meanwhile, last Friday here in London a distinguished media outlet seemingly adopted this destructive narrative. The BBC headlined its article: ‘Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing in Jerusalem’. Corrections and apologies were swiftly made and published. Yet one cannot escape a feeling that some bias still persists, and more importantly, that not enough is being done by the media to call out terrorism for what it is. Troublingly, there appears in some quarters to be a distinction between ‘bad terrorism’ that targets the innocent in London and Manchester, and ‘other terrorism’ that targets innocent Israelis.
It was a sad weekend in Israel, as Hadas Malka’s funeral was held on Saturday evening. Her friends mourned her as a dedicated officer who volunteered for duty in and around the Old City, undeterred by numerous stabbing incidents over the past year. She bravely fought with her attacker before being critically injured, her actions preventing a larger loss of life.
Then came Sunday, and back in London we witnessed people taking to the streets for the annual ‘Al Quds Day March’, the event that the Iranian regime founded in order to burn Israeli flags and call for the Jewish state’s obliteration. The flags of the terrorist group Hezbollah were proudly on display, green assault rifle on a yellow background, adorned by adults and children alike. Little stickers haphazardly taped to the flags informed us that they were meant to show support ‘for the political wing of Hezbollah’, as if anyone seriously believes that the organisation – responsible for countless terror attacks, including on European soil – has a well-meaning ‘political wing’.
We must be clear: Hezbollah is a terrorist group that takes its orders from the Ayatollahs in Iran. Similarly, when the Palestinian Authority refers to terrorists as ‘martyrs’ and rewards them and their families with cash payments, it too is encouraging terror.
The first necessary step in solving any problem is to recognise it. That is why terrorists go to great lengths to hide their identities and have us believe their organisations are charitable, political or otherwise innocent. No amount of misreporting, no quantity of pamphlets or stickers, no volume of caveats or disclaimers can change the fact that terrorism is terrorism. Terrorism must be condemned in London. Terrorism must be condemned in Jerusalem.