Benjamin Daunter
CAMERA on Campus Fellow

Israel’s Battle Against Terrorism

Between April 2022 and April 2023, 27 Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorists. These individuals were murdered going about their daily lives; walking about in Israeli cities, waiting at bus stops, working their jobs and even while enjoying a drink at a Tel Aviv bar with friends.

Palestinian leaders across the political spectrum call for and celebrate the murder of Jews. For instance, it is well-documented that there is a bounty placed upon Israeli lives by the Palestinian Authority through the infamous “Pay to Slay” program. The leaders of Hamas, the authoritarian terror group in control of the Gaza strip, an area that shares a 51 kilometer boarder with Israel are equally unabashed about their efforts to murder Israelis in their rhetoric and incessant rocket fire into Israel.

And none of this is a secret. Yet, Palestinian terrorism is often poorly discussed. The effect it has on Israelis lives, Israeli government policy and the response from Israel Defense Forces is often not taken into account.

On January 27th 2023, a Palestinian terrorist opened fire on a group of people leaving a synagogue after Friday night prayers. Friday evening marks the start of the Shabbat, a time when many Jewish people abstain from work instead spending time with their loved ones at home and at their place of worship. Palestinian terrorist Khairy Alqam chose to take the lives of seven Jews that day. Seven Jews leaving a house of worship, Seven lives stolen from loved ones. Asher Natan, 14, Ilya Sosansky, 26, Natali Ziskin Mizrahi, 45, Eli Mizrahi, 48, Rafael Ben Eliyahu, 56, Irina Korolyova, 60, and Shaul Chai, 68. It is also notable that this egregious attack fell on International Holocaust Remembrance day. When Palestinian Authority representative to the UK, Husam Zomlot appeared on Sky News
the following week he publicly refused to condemn the attack. Worse yet, he called the Israeli ambassador’s claim that an attack on Jewish worshippers at a synagogue was antisemitic, “a completely new level of propaganda.” Is the killing of seven people in a house of worship not a flagrant expression of hatred?

On the 10th of February, this year, another Palestinian terrorist deliberately rammed his car into a group of Israelis waiting at a bus stop. The attack instantly killed a 6 year old boy, and a 20 year old man. The next day, the 6 year old boy’s, 8 year old brother also died as a result of injuries sustained from the car ramming. A Hamas spokesman called the murder of innocent Israelis waiting for the bus a “heroic operation”. Is the brutal killing of 20 year old Alter Shlomo Lederman and two young boys, Yaakov Yisrael Paley and Asher Menahem Paley a cause for celebration?

On 9th March, 2023, after an 11 day struggle, Or Eshkar, an Israeli, succumbed to injuries sustained after he was shot by a Palestinian man with ties to the terror group Hamas. The perpetrator of the brutal attack, 23 year old Mutaz Salah al-Khawaja, mercilessly gunned down Or, and two of his friends outside a cafe in Tel Aviv.

On Friday April 7th, Lucy Dee, along with her daughters Maia and Rina Dee were gunned down by a Palestinian terrorist in Hamra, a community in the West Bank. While Maia and Rina died shortly after the attack, Lucy remained in a coma and later succumbed to her injuries. Unfortunately, terrorism in Israel happens so often that there is hardly ever more than a degree of separation from someone killed in a terrorist attack. Miriam Blum, a colleague who serves as CAMERA Fellow at Tel Aviv University, shared about her friend, Eli Kay who was killed in a terror attack committed by a Hamas affiliated terrorist on the 21st November 2021. “On his way walking to the Western Wall, Eli was shot in the back. He screamed out ‘Save me, Save me’ only to be mercilessly shot again by the terrorist. According to Miriam, Eli’s death was “senseless and unprovoked.” She has felt a great deal of frustration after losing her friend and has deliberated over whether her decision to move to Israel from the United States was the right one.

Last year, in 2022, terrorism in Israel rose by 300 percent, with 280 attacks compared to 91 in 2021. 2023 is also turning out to be a painful year marked by the senseless killing of Israelis. Some are quick to judge Israel’s counter-terrorism efforts – the security checkpoints leading to, and from areas of the West Bank, operations by the IDF intended to root out terror cells, and the security barrier, but do they ever stop to consider what necessitates these measures in the first place? An article published last Autumn by Ross Plowman in Durham University’s student paper, “Palatinate” titled “One month in Palestine” presents a twisted view of the conflict. Plowman decries the presence of security checkpoints and misrepresents IDF counterterrorism operations as “arbitrary arrests” and “extrajudicial killings” – claims that he provides no evidence for. What he leaves out is that Israel is fighting a war against terrorism, a war against propaganda spread by Hamas and leaders in the Palestinian Authority, calling for and lionizing those who commit violence against Jews. Certainly, Israel cannot abandon its responsibility to protect its people from terrorism. Its actions cannot be compared with say a country like Norway at peace.

Once we take the reality that Israelis contend into account, it isn’t difficult to see that the often polarizing, and misleading narratives promoted by the mainstream media and “activists” that whitewash Palestinian terrorism are propaganda that is counterproductive to peace efforts. By dispelling the distorted narratives that hinder peace and acknowledging the harsh realities faced by Israelis, we pave the way for genuine understanding and meaningful progress towards a lasting peace in the region.

Ben Daunter

About the Author
Ben Daunter is a CAMERA on Campus fellow and a student at Durham University. With a strong interest in journalism, free speech and a commitment to accurate reporting, Ben actively engages with topics related to Israel and Zionism. Through his blog, he aims to provide insightful perspectives, conduct interviews, and promote informed discussions on university campuses. Ben's passion for fostering understanding and combating misinformation drives his dedication to sharing reliable information and encouraging open dialogue.
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