Terrorists are a product of their conditions

For Israeli Jews, who feel disproportionately hurt by attacks carried out by Palestinians, this could seem like an insane proposition. I know this because of the words of one of my teachers after the attacks in Jerusalem. He said he cannot imagine what in the world could cause someone to act this way.

He said he doesn’t know why a Palestinian would attack Jews in East Jerusalem, even when it happened just days after an IDF raid in Jenin. My face felt disproportionately hot after hearing this. 

He cannot imagine. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, though. Probably many Israeli Jews feel this way. They are comfortable in their houses, watching TV, going to work, one that pays enough for them to live comfortably, and when a Palestinian commits murder after his city was broken to pieces, they are clueless as to why something like this happens. 

These people, these terrorists don’t come from money, they don’t come from financially comfortable backgrounds. They don’t have anything to lose, and when they see their people being murdered by a foreign army, they snap and commit horrible crimes. 

But Israelis don’t feel the connection between IDF raids in the Palestinian territories and terrorist acts being committed against Jews just days later. 

They feel that one is a perfectly regular army operation, and the other is a tragedy that came out of the blue. But the reality is that one is a response to the other. When the Israeli army doesn’t enter a Palestinian city every week leaving trails of blood after them, a Palestinian is less likely to pick up a gun, a knife, or an assault rifle and kill people. 

It’s horrible that anyone has to die in this war. But it’s essential we understand its context and the consequences of the actions of an oppressing nation. 

When a Gazan turns out to be a terrorist we act surprised, enraged, and infuriated. But not even for a second do we think about the financial circumstances of this Gazan. 

It may seem oversimplified, to blame terrorism on poverty, but the economic blockade on Gaza which Israel has imposed does have its consequences. When someone doesn’t have anything on the line, nothing they could live for, nothing to eat, nothing to drink, they could just about turn to anything as a distraction, and the anti-Jewish, anti-Israeli propaganda they grow up on turns their desperation into rage. A rage that materializes in attacks, bombings, and anything they can think of. If we only ever think of terrorists as faceless, emotionless monsters, the attacks will never stop, terrorism will never stop. 

I’m obviously not asking anyone to feel sorry for a terrorist who killed multiple people, however, we must know what turns them from ordinary citizens into the attackers we all fear. 

And that is economic hardship and aggression against their people, the Palestinians. 

Aggression they are in no power to fight, or rebel against. 

For terrorist attacks by Palestinians to stop, they all have to feel safe. They cannot feel as if it doesn’t matter what they do. They cannot feel like whatever they’ll do, the end of their lives will come in army uniforms. 

In order to stop terrorism, the IDF must exit the Palestinians’ territories for good. 

About the Author
Fred is an 18-year-old writer sharing his many thoughts about American and Israeli politics. He was born in Budapest and since he was 11, he is also an Israeli citizen.
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