Incitement must be stopped

The Israeli Capital is not new to this: an animated video in broken Hebrew circulating the internet these days perfectly explains what it must happen. And it does it through a cartoon featuring a terrorized Jew and a simply worded song.

It goes like this: “Zionist, look to your right, look to your left, and beware, you are about to die, they will run you over with a car, they will stab you. Buy a ticket and run away from Jerusalem”. Forget two States for two Peoples.

After months of terrorist attacks amid the indifference and the skepticism worldwide, right as in 2001 at the times of the Intifada, with buses and restaurants being blown up, now Jerusalem responds with crushing grief for its victims, but also with decisive actions. The homes of the terrorists will be destroyed.

The funeral of the Druze Sergeant-Major Zidan Nahad Zif killed during the HAr Nof terror attack was attended by the Israeli President Reuben Rivlin and also, rather unusually, by the orthodox Jewish community. Netanyahu said: “I want to see shock about this bloodbath, I want to see utter international denunciation”.

It is a shame that he had to ask for something like this. In the meanwhile, the CNN wrote, with an intolerable slip-up, “massacre in a Mosque” and “five people dead, three Israeli and two Palestinians”, failing to mention that the Palestinians were actually the terrorists; and the BBC, after all those Palestinian victims’ pictures it had shown during the Gaza war, refused to broadcast those of the carnage in the Synagogue.

Then, Obama delivered a rather cold speech, issuing his condemnation as prescribed, and asking, with an unbelievable moral ambivalence, for a cessation of violence from both sides.

The Pope did not use the word “terrorism” while condemning the violence. The overwhelming majority of the Spanish Parliament has seen fit to vote and pass a motion calling on Madrid to recognize Palestine as a State. It would have been easy and honest to ask Abu Mazen to stop the incitement that, especially in Jerusalem, is instigating the Islamists to attack.

Monday’s violence seems to have local roots, but then there is the fact that axes and meat cleavers were used. It would be otherwise inexplicable: those are, as the pistols, the ritual tools of the Islamist way of killing, and they literally make Israel feel ISIS’ breath on its neck. When Abu Mazen talks about the “Jewish contamination of the Al Aqsa Mosque”, while calling for “days of rage”, he is essentially spreading that ideology. And Fatah, rather than put a halt to terror, speaks that same language.

Despite all the long faces of the last few hours, Israel has no friends. So it is trying, in its own way, to defend itself against what has now become an ever-present danger. Incidentally, the last time that the law permitting the destruction of terrorists’ homes has been applied was in 2009.

This method was used between 2001 and 2005, when, through the Operation “Defensive Shield”, Sharon succeeded in stopping the suicide bombers’ Intifada. And now, yesterday morning, an explosion blew up the house of Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, the terrorist who killed Haya Zissel Baron with his car, a three-month-old baby girl, and the 22 year-old girl Karen Mosquera, in addition to various others he left injured.

Then, other similar attacks followed: one in which Dalia Lamkus, 26, lost her life, one against Yehuda Glick, who was shot from a motorbike, and another one outside a Tel Aviv railway station, where an Israeli soldier was stabbed to death. The bloodshed on the street has been unceasing and meticulous. “Nowadays you are afraid for the kids you bring to the nursery school, for those who have to take the bus… Jerusalem is not safe anymore, for anyone”. This is why yesterday it has been decided to reinstate the demolitions. This perspective may lead a terrorist to desist from actions that would cause irreparable harm to his own family.

The number of police forces guarding civilian buildings has been raised. The Arab neighborhoods in the city are all stirring up, while just yesterday other protests with stone throwing and fires burst out across East Jerusalem neighborhoods, Jabel Mukaber, Silwan, Isawiya. The war of religion has ultimately swallowed the much glorified Palestinian cause, and Abu Mazen is actually playing with fire because he does not understand that, in the eyes of the most conservative Islamists, he himself deserves the harshest of punishments.

Hamas and Fatah websites are flooded with axes, blood and heinous incitements to kill, while the Palestinians in Jerusalem are rejoicing at the Jewish victims, handing out sweets to celebrate the attack on the Synagogue. They do want more shahids. Yet, Spain is asking for a recognition of the Palestinian State, and France is expected to do the same on November, 28.


This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (November 20, 2014)

About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.