Israel toward the Third Intifada amid Europe’s indifference

The last Israeli civilian attacked by a Palestinian terrorist in the name of the Al-Aqsa Mosque was a 15-year-old boy at a gas station. But any minute is good to update the list with the names of some other unfortunate people, a young or an old one, a mother or a child. Twelve hours earlier, on Saturday night, it was the turn of two men killed in the Old City, of a woman and her two-year-old child wounded by the Palestinian Muhammad Halabi, 19, who wrote on Facebook: “The third Intifada has already begun. What happens to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, happens to the sacred places and to the prophet Muhammad, to our mothers and sisters.

The people will not succumb to the humiliation”. On the same note, on Thursday night, Eitam Henkin, a doctoral student at Tel-Aviv University, and his wife Na’ama, a graphic designer, were killed while driving back (we are in the middle of the Jewish holidays) to their home in Neria, a small community in Samaria. The murder happened under their children’s eyes, kids between four months and nine years of age.

The nine-year-old son asked to attend his parents’ funeral. He stood there alone, weeping all the time, his eyes unblinking. On September 13, Alexander Levlovitz, 64, died after Palestinian terrorists pelted his car with large rocks, causing him to lose control of the vehicle and crash into a pole. The stone-throwing system, a “non-violent means”, has been improved over time, and similar cases are countless. The new method is not to throw stones from the road side, but to run by car toward the aim, so that the speed will improve the impact.

This way, in September 2011, Asher Palmer and his one-year-old son, Yonatan, where killed. Thirty people have died since the beginning of 2015, some murdered by bullets or cars crashing into pedestrians, some stabbed, killed by stone-throwing attacks or with other blunt objects. One of the most known among those cases is the massacre of the Vogel family in Itamar in 2011, father, mother, and their children (Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, the youngest, a three-month-old infant). They all had their throat cut.

Is this the Third Intifada, as many are claiming? The fact is that the Second one actually never came to an end. It never ended in its motivations, in its form, in the indifference of the entire world, in the cover provided by the Palestinian Authority and by the Western public opinion. The national-religious explanation of the Israeli breaking of the “status quo” regarding the Mosques is false.

Israel has never expressed any interest in changing the 1967 agreements, while both the Muslim authorities and the WAQF (the Islamic religious organization controlling and managing the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock) imposed continuous variations, restricting the access for Jews and tourists as well.

Actually the sovereignty over the Mosques, granted to the WAQF by Israel at the end of the Six-Day War, became apartheid toward the Jews. Nowadays, even if they do not enter the Mosques but just visit the Mount on which their most important sanctuary once stood, this too is considered a violation of the status quo, and if a Jew dares murmuring a prayer, this is a blatant breaking of the law.

The fact that Arafat had the brilliant propagandistic idea of denying the Temple’s very existence and therefore any relations of the Jews to the place, is just a demonstration of the Palestinians’ refusal to recognize the birthright of the Jewish people. Secondly, Abu Mazen’s words (“We welcome every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem. Every shahid will be in heaven, the Al-Aqsa Mosque is ours, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is ours, everything is ours, all ours. And they have no right to defile it with their filthy feet”) bring back to the present the words used by Arafat to launch the Second Intifada, exalting the “shahids” who die for Jerusalem. In fact, if the Mosques are safe from the iconoclast savagery that nowadays sweeps the Middle East, it is because Israel protects them with no demands except the one, rejected, to visit the Esplanade (and not the Mosques).

The potential Third Intifada is identical to the second in the indifference of the European public toward the umpteenth murdered Jews: the Palestinians are using terror because of the “occupation”, and the EU will label Israeli products manufactured in Judea and Samaria so that the public will not buy them. This is a moral and cognitive scandal. The territories must be divided through negotiations, which the Palestinians always rejected –so they did with Barak, Olmert and Netanyahu -and their eventual delivery to the Palestinian Authority must nevertheless ensure, according to the UN, the security of Israel.

Now, is it possible to talk about security after Hamas’ death sentence against Israel? Is it possible, when Abu Mazen incites his people accusing Israel of apartheid and ethnic cleansing, and of being the first enemy of the Muslim people? Israel, if anything, is defending the Palestinians from the Middle Eastern carnage, and Abu Mazen knows that.

As Angelo Panebianco finally wrote yesterday on the Corriere della Sera newspaper, it’s about time that Europe must overtly detach itself from the background of lies that is allowing mass murders of Israelis, and must do it urgently. After the assassination of two men in the Old City of Jerusalem, the BBC headline read: “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two”. This is the truth for the major British TV channel.

This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (October 05, 2015 )

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.
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