There’s no stopping the Palestinian terrorist attacks in Jerusalem. Yesterday another three dead and 22 injured have distressed the city and Israel in its entirety. All of the terrorists are Israeli Arabs, holders of the blue ID card that allows them to circulate unrestrictedly anywhere and without any form of curfew.
“Yesterday I took the children to the barber at the Malcha mall in Jerusalem”, a journalist says, “where the barber is Arab. I did the shopping, and the shopkeeper is Arab. I went to visit a friend in the hospital, and many physicians and nurses are Arab … There is no way to contain this situation. It is a long-term nightmare. No use in building a separation wall, like mayor Barkat’s. We have only one weapon: our laws, the Parliament, democracy. But all of these must be asserted”.
The feeling of danger lurks at every corner of the city, both downtown and in the suburbs. Yesterday was a terrible day, from the first hours of the morning. Two attacks were carried out at almost the same time, at 10.30 a.m., in the Gheula district and in Armon Hanatziv. One should watch the video made of the attack at the Gheula district to understand the effects of this eruption of hatred that, for lack of a better word, we call Intifada: the terrorist with his car drives into the bus station and invests three people who are waiting there, then, in the ensuing blood and chaos this big man jumps out of the car holding a knife and starts stabbing one of the fallen, once, twice, ten times. He kills one and injures a dozen.
The hate he expresses is terrifying. An armed passerby, however, does not hesitate to confront him and, although the terrorist lunges at him, he shoots him. Then, because the zombie terrorist stands up again he is forced to shoot him once again, injuring him, while other passersby run up to help.
The attacker’s name is Ala Abu Jamal, from Jabel Mukaber, East Jerusalem, with an Israeli ID card. His plan to die as a martyr was already posted on a social network, and he accomplished his attack using a car marked Bezek, the national telephone company. It is the poetics of horror.
Yesterday the series of attacks continued when a bus (bringing back memories of the Second Intifada…) was assaulted by two terrorists, one holding a gun. This type of weapon had yet to appear. Both terrorists are Israeli Arabs: Baha Alyan, aged 22, and Bilal Ranen, 23. They killed two people.
Meanwhile, in Raanana, in the suburbs of Tel Aviv, a terrorist managed to knife four people before being stopped. One of them is in critical condition. Abu Jamal is a cousin of the terrorists who, in November 2014, carried out the Har Nof synagogue massacre.
The entire network of hatred of these last days is the product of decades of incitement that has peaked with the Al Aqsa Mosque lie fiercely espoused by Abu Mazen until it lay bubbling hot in his hands. Hamas wishes to join the attackers (“My brother in the West Bank: Stab!” cries out the Sheikh Muhmmad Sallah from a Mosque in Gaza), the terrorists are described as heroes to be imitated, their mothers are said to be “crying tears of joy”, and the israeli acts of self-defence that strikes them to the ground are seen as gestures of cruelty that, after creating the Al Aqsa provocation, are now killing innocent young people.
It now seems impossible to stop the attack by calming things down, as Abu Mazen apparently now wishes to do. This is a fragmented and divided Palestinian world. The moderates hate what is happening because of the danger they are now facing from the integralist neighbours who are warming their muscles on the sidelines. The mayor of Nazareth on TV has verbally criticised an Arab Knesset member who, like many others, is in favour of the Intifada: “You are ruining our lives, we are not shahid, go work for us”.
Abu Mazen, who is in the West Bank anyway, is no longer strong enough to stop the violence now that he has certainly realised the danger resulting from his accusation that the “filthy feet of the Jews” are defiling the Al Aqsa Mosque piled on to decades of incitement. If he brakes too hard, Hamas may overrule him, but if he refrains from braking, the Intifada will sweep away all of his roles. The Palestinian Authority is paralysed.
Israel, after summoning its security cabinet yesterday, is determinedly trying all paths to stop the evident expression of the ferocity that for decades has been read of in schoolbooks or mentioned in TV or in the social media. Certainly, after the TNT found on an aspiring suicide bomber on Sunday and after yesterday’s gun, the police and the legislator are studying ways to prevent armed youths from turning Jerusalem into a wild Far West town.
This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (October 14, 2015)