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Beer-Sheva Wasn’t Terror, But Something Worse

It was the worst attack in years by the numbers. Four dead, ten children orphaned. It was the worst attack ever documented. The video of the victim, fighting for her life at the gas station and the additional stab as she lies lifeless shows the hate with which the Palestinians go after Jews. What was documented was something that is more than terror, it is horror.

I have Arab friends. I understand their frustration. I understand their anger. Their anger is born out of non-stop propaganda that blames Israel. Their anger is borne out of many small slights that they feel living in Israel as Israeli government treats Palestinians as equals but in reality, there are always many instances of discrimination from Jews towards Arabs as well as Arabs towards Jews. These instances of discrimination are felt much more acutely by the honor culture of Arabs than the more calm moral culture of the Jews.

This honor culture is triggered every day through the propaganda on social media and on Arab TV which shows Israeli police arresting teenagers without showing the context of the arrest. The constant barrage of inflammatory content on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook characterizes all Israeli Jews as the border guard trying to do his job, or overzealous in his job. What my friends don’t understand is the hate that they spread is not meant to bring a political change but to bring about war.

Terror is a blunt tool of political change. It is the tool of the uneducated and those with little power but who have the willingness and the ability to take life. Terror is Putin threatening the world with nuclear weapons or killing people in Mariupol to get a specific result: capitulation of Ukraine. Terror is the bringing down of the world trade center to get the US to withdraw troops from the Middle East the way that Regan took out troops from Beirut.

But what we see in Israel isn’t terrorism. There is no political aim. There is no goal of a two-state solution. There is no goal of an independent Palestine. We know this because no matter how many times Israel offers that result, the response is the same: no.

Why? Because Abbas and Hamas are perfectly happy with the current system. The incentives for Europe, America, Palestinians, and even some Israelis is the status quo. Palestinians get to have a beggar state within which it is very easy to steal the aid and direct it to Swiss bank accounts. There is no oversight, there is no accountability and there is no democracy. No one in the world cares about this because as long as there is an “occupation” Israel is to blame. For Israeli politicians, there is no need to give up the West Bank that the hardliners want and no need to make West Bank a part of the state that the realists know will end Israel as a Jewish democracy. For Americans, the status quo works to test American weapons and for Europeans and Arab states, the status quo is a way to constantly deflect their problems by having the population argue over Israel instead of dealing with internal problems.

So how do you keep the status quo? Horror. Pure horror. You incite hatred and you reward murder. As long as there is horror, Israel continues the anti-terror response, the anti-terror response creates altercations that are used to incite horrific murders.

I don’t know of another conflict like this. So personal, so full of hate. Not even racism in America has the kind of pointless murder and hate that Arab killers have when they attack Jews. It is not a simple murder, it is not a fight for death, it is bloodlust.

Terrorism can be stopped, you simply give the terrorist their political demand. You can’t stop this horror because there is no demand, there is simply a desire for blood because blood is what keeps everyone who profits happy.

About the Author
Sam Livin was born in Soviet Union and grew up in San Diego. In 2012, he travelled the world photographing Jewish communities publishing a book called "Your Story Our Sipur." Today he continues to write about Israel and Judaism as he lives and studies business and ecology in Tel Aviv.
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