If you’re old (enough) like me, you’ll remember the iconic American public service announcement and parental injunction, “It’s 10:00 p.m. Do you know where your children are?”
Parenting is hard enough. In the most idyllic families, there are challenges and frictions. These grow and evolve during adolescence. Even the best parent needs to be aware of outside influences on his/her teen’s life, especially in a day of dangerous and inappropriate materials available on line 24/7.
This is no different in Israel, but it comes with its own unique set of challenges. At an age where their Jewish neighbors celebrate rites of passage as a bar or bat mitzvah and other mundane things, an endless barrage of incitement makes growing up as a Palestinian teenager dangerous to others. In recent months, violence by kids in this age and demographic group, Pales-teens, has increased.
Compounding that, parents of Pales-teen terrorists go out of their way to proclaim pride in their kids’ terrorist acts. This is bad no matter how you slice it (pun intended), either because they really are proud, or because their society expects them to say that.
Several cases of terrorist acts committed by Pales-teens against Israelis in the past few months, adapted from various news sources, highlight the risk.
Most recently, a 13-year-old girl approached the entrance to a community near Jerusalem, brandishing a knife, and attempted to stab the guard. According to police, she “(had) a knife in her hand…ran toward the civilian security guard….and intended to die… The guard opened fire. Medics pronounced her dead shortly afterward.”
Investigators revealed that the girl, Roqaya Abu-Eid, had fought with her parents and stormed out their house with the knife, declaring that she wanted to die. Wow, if every argument between a teen and his or her parent was an excuse for, or ended in, a terrorist attack, there’d be no place to put all the terrorists.
Also recently, Israel arrested 18-year-old bomb-making twin sisters Diana and Nadia Hawila. Investigators discovered pipe bombs and other explosive materials in their home. So much for band, cheerleading or other more wholesome teen activities.
Diana admitted that she purchased the chemicals necessary to create explosives, learned how to make bombs by watching videos online, and was inspired by Islamic extremist videos encouraging women to take part in terror attacks against Israelis and Jews, which “strengthened her decision to act.”
In November, Jerusalem police shot dead a 16-year-old Palestinian and seriously wounded her 14-year-old friend after the two girls stabbed and wounded an elderly man on the street. The police reported, “Two female terrorists carried out the stabbing using scissors. Both…were shot by officers who responded; one was killed and the other one was taken to the hospital.”
Video of the attack shows the two terrorists wildly stabbing the elderly man in the head and then charging a police officer, who shot them. Both ignored repeated warnings to drop their weapons. Perversely, the 14 year old has formally complained to police about the officer who shot her. Hamas celebrated the attack as “heroic.”
Another attack in Jerusalem’s Pisgat Zeev neighborhood, involved two Palestinian boys, 13 and 15. Ahmed Manasra and his cousin Hassan stabbed two Israelis. Ahmed, 13, was seriously injured when he was hit by a car while fleeing the scene. He was treated in Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital and arrested upon his release. Despite video evidence, he claimed “I didn’t stab anybody because I don’t like blood. In the middle [of the attack], I changed my mind.” He conveniently blamed his 15-year-old cousin who was shot dead after charging at police with a knife. “(Hassan) actually committed the stabbings.”
Manasra became the center of a campaign of Palestinian lies when PA President Mahmoud Abbas denounced “aggression by Israel…who commit terror against our people,” and “execute our children in cold blood, as they did to the child Ahmed Manasra.” After being caught lying, while little Ahmed was recovering and eating pudding in the hospital, Abbas’s office walked back the libel, saying Abbas was “misled.” But the President’s incitement was already out there.
One of the more gruesome terrorist attacks was carried out by 15-year-old Murad Ideis, who stabbed to death a 39-year-old Israeli nurse, and mother of six. He was arrested and following his interrogation, it was revealed that he was inspired to undertake his murderous attack by watching incitement on Palestinian TV, filled with hate and lies as Abbas’ above.
The shows he watched presented Israel as “executing young Palestinians.” On the day of the murder, influenced by these TV shows, Ideis decided to undertake a stabbing attack with the goal of murdering a Jew. This attack demonstrates the seriousness of the threat of wild incitement being conducted against Israel and Jews in Palestinian media, influencing Pales-teens to murder and other serious terror attacks.
After his arrest, Ideis’ father said he was “proud” of his son. A chip off the ol’ block.
The day after Ideis’ murderous attack, as the victim was being mourned, and when another Pales-teen stabbed and injured a pregnant Jewish woman, the US ambassador to Israel leveled sharp criticism, alleging that Israel had two standards of law, one for Israelis and one another for Palestinians.
The Prime Minister’s office responded, “The words of the ambassador, on a day in which a murdered mother of six is buried and on a day in which a pregnant woman is stabbed — are unacceptable and incorrect.” Indeed.
Since September, dozens of Israelis have been murdered, hundreds injured, and many more treated for trauma. While Israelis pray for and genuinely seek peace, it’s hard to imagine that happening when generation after generation of Pales-teens are raised with hate, inspiring, inciting, and legitimizing attacks like these.
As former Prime Minister Golda Meir once said “We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.” I would add, and stop the child abuse of lauding terrorism on which their children are raised and which are the Pales-teens role models.
If Palestinian Arab society truly desires peace, and their own state, they would be well off to end the hate and incitement upon which their children are raised, stop the lies and blaming Israel for all their problems, build for their future rather than attempt to destroy ours, establish role models who are not terrorists and those who inspire terrorism.
And Pales-teens’ parents would do well to pay attention to the American PSA in more than a rhetorical way. Do you know where your children are? Are they safe from outside hateful incitement? Do you do anything to propagate this incitement? What are you prepared to do so that your children thrive and not be victims of this abusive culture that surrounds you?