Shedding Light on the Current Terrorist Problem

In light of the frequent terror stabbings in Israel often followed immediately by “neutralization” (meaning death of the terrorist) the discussion focuses the proper response. In short, the question of whether Palestinian terrorists who are in the midst of killing innocent civilians should be shot and killed to create deterrence for future terrorism. While this is important, the more important matter is what can be done when a peace treaty was signed but repeatedly violated and to the Palestinian Authority the “two state solution” means one state, Palestine, is completely free of Jews. The other state, Israel, has both Jews and Arabs but a large influx of Arabs to make an Arab majority. At no time will the Palestinian Authority agree to a Jewish state of Israel.

Oslo Accords

The Oslo Accords called for several things. Among them is peace, meaning an end of terrorism against Israeli civilians. It also called for an end of incitement, such as calling the Jews the descendants of pigs or monkeys or teaching geography in school not showing Israel on the map. These are things that seem to turn many Palestinian youngsters into terrorists. In addition, the Oslo Accords called for direct negotiations between the two sides to determine boundaries.

To Israel, the implementation has been very disappointing.  Unfortunately, terrorism against its civilians continues. It is worse from Gaza, than the West Bank, but there are Israeli soldiers stationed on the West Bank to minimize it. Israelis feel the resulting terrorism from the Gaza withdrawal would be repeated should a Palestinian state take control of any part of the West Bank.


Contrary to the terms of the agreement, incitement continues. One aspect is the glorification of terrorists with a history of murder. Very recently, Palestinian terrorists killed while stabbing innocent civilians have been glorified as martyrs. Places have been named for them but this has gone on for a very long time. For example, the three most important terrorists Yahya Ayyash, Dalal Mughrabi, and Ghassan Kanafani had football teams named after them. Knowing a little about each is helpful for understanding the situation.

Yahya Ayyash was, known as “the Engineer.” He bears the distinction of introducing suicide bombing to the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict. He became a chief bomb-maker for Hamas and was behind terrorist attacks killing dozens of Israelis and injuring hundreds. He was also responsible for the 1995 murder of Brandeis University student Alisa Flatow. In 2010, the Palestinian Authority named a street in Ramallah after Yahya Ayyash. Streets in Jenin, Beit Lahiya and Jericho are also named after him.

Dalal Mughrabi led the most lethal terrorist attack in Israel’s history. In 1978, she and other terrorists hijacked a bus and killed 37 civilians, including 12 children. When Mughrabi and her accomplices landed on the beach in rubber rafts before overtaking the bus, they came upon Gail Rubin, an American photographer taking pictures of birds on the beach, and shot her dead. A public square, a computer center, soccer tournament, and summer camp have been named in her memory. The dedication of the public square the city of Al-Bireh was controversial. It was initially scheduled for March 2010 on the 32nd anniversary of the Coastal Road attack, and would also have coincided with a visit to the region by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. Public condemnation came from Netanyahu, who said the honoring of Mughrabi was anti-Israel incitement that “encourages terrorism,” and then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said such actions were “provocations… needlessly inflaming tensions and imperiling prospects for a comprehensive peace.”

Ghassan Kanfani was a writer and a leader of the terror group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Since its founding in 1967, the PFLP carried out numerous terror attacks, including against American sites, and murdered innocent Israelis and Americans.

Failed Promises

The Oslo Agreement called for direct negotiation between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority. The violation by the Palestinian Authority to go to the United Nations to get a better deal gave concern to Israel. If they, the Palestinians, didn’t honor the previous agreement, what would indicate they would honor the next?

In short, the severe problems resulting from the Gaza withdrawal would be repeated should a Palestinian state take control of any part of the West Bank.

Political Shift in Israel

As a result of the recent murders in Israel, the overwhelming majority of Israelis have no patience for leftist, liberal, or progressive ideas. (The names may change as the existing name loses favor or gains notoriety.) The “Give Peace a Chance” was a motto that was tried over and over again and with same very bad results. Many Israelis were killed, many injured for life, and many left widows or orphans.

For a few examples, Israel pulled out of a protective area in southern Lebanon in 2000 and from Gaza in 2005. The results that followed were almost universally seen very disappointing. Both areas are armed to the teeth with tens of thousands of missiles pointed at Israel, missiles which brought a history of death for many Israelis.

The people of Israel have suffered a lot. Being kind to bad people has not brought good results. The liberal philosophy has not worked. Very few liberal (progressive) voters now exist in the Israeli population. As a result the leftists can no longer get their agenda approved. As a result, they have gone to Plan B. This is to get outside forces, e.g., President Obama, the U.N., the EU, to get/force Israel to trade “land for peace,” resist tough treatment for terrorists, etc.

The tough treatment for terrorists and their supporters, such as throwing rocks that could kill, that was just enacted has a great deal of popular support.

The leftist effort to get outside forces to push Israel to continue liberal policies despite popular disapproval is a big step away from democracy.

The Response of the Palestinian Authority Leadership

According to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas there should be no Jews in Judea, which now called the West Bank. (That is like saying there should be no French in France.) Furthermore, he claims that there were no Jews in Judea in the past and that Jerusalem itself has no significant historical connection to the Jewish people. Where Christians and Jews believe the holy temple of Solomon and Herod in Jerusalem stood, Abbas maintains there is no historical connection to the Jewish people.

What can we say about a man who periodically says the Holocaust is a hoax and then as greatly exaggerated? What can we say about a man who says Allah appreciates each drop of bloodshed in Jerusalem?

Arthur Horn

East Windsor, N.J.

About the Author
Arthur Horn has worked in government for more than forty years. He has a background in political science and economics. He is a frequent traveler to the Middle East and has worked with organizations focused on the political, social and economic issues of that area.