There is carnage in the streets of Jerusalem and throughout Israel. The Arabs who call themselves Palestinians, primarily ones who are “millennials,” are responding to the relentless incitement of “President” Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority: a lifetime of brainwashing in schools, on TV, in the mosques and at “summer camps.” The result is haphazard attempts to kill Jews with knives, axes, guns, or vehicles.
The latest provocation is that Israel plans to destroy the Al Aksa mosque on the Temple Mount and replace it with the Third Temple. Yes, there is a tiny group of religious radicals who want to do just that. But the Israeli government staunchly supports the status quo on the Temple Mount, which was adopted (wrongly in my opinion) after expelling the Jordanian Army during the Six Day War of 1967. Nevertheless, Arabs throughout the region are easily persuaded that they must save Al Aksa by shedding Jewish blood.
Of course, Israelis are not taking terrorism lying down. Ex-IDF officers and others are armed and vigilant; there are large contingents of police and border guards throughout Jerusalem’s Old City and throughout Israel; and ordinary Israelis are vigilant and willing to confront murderous antagonists. Still, this situation must stop.
Western diplomats such as Secretary of State Kerry do more harm than good by blaming murderous activity on the “settlements.” The Arabs don’t go on killing sprees because Israelis live in communities beyond the 1949 Armistice Line (Green Line). They murder Jews because both Islam and their government tell them to and because the Palestinian Authority rewards them and their families with honor, prestige, and money. Becoming a “martyr” has other benefits as well, such as “72 virgins” awaiting them in Paradise (women too?).
There is a kernel of truth in blaming the “settlements.” That is because Arabs in the Middle East consider ALL Jewish communities settlements. That includes the city of Tel Aviv, founded by Jews early in the 20th century, and other Jewish towns and cities irrespective of which side of the Green Line they are located on. For the Arabs there is no “Israel proper,” a term which some journalists have adopted for Israel within the Green Line. All of Israel is illegitimate as far as Arabs are concerned.
Some pundits excuse murderous acts by Arabs against Jews justified because of the “suffering” inflicted upon them by the “occupation.” Are “Palestinians” the only people in the world who have disputes with neighbors over borders? Hardly. But they are the ones in that category (i.e. Kurds, Cypriots, Kashmiris, Tibetans, Berbers,etc.) who routinely resort to murder because of their ethos to destroy Israel and theJews.
The plain fact is that the Jews are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel, a people who have had a continuous presence in the land for at least 3,000 years, a people who have been the majority in their capital Jerusalem since at least the mid-19th century, a people who were so successful in developing “Palestine” that it attracted hundreds of thousands of Arab economic migrants in the first half of the 20th century (a situation being repeated in Europe today).
We Jews will not succumb to Muslim terror, which seeks to expel us from our homeland. Western diplomats pandering to the Muslims only exacerbate the Arabs’ dilemma, which is a product of their own making. In the same period that the Jews have built the third Jewish “kingdom” in the Land of Israel, a modern, progressive country, the Arabs who claim a Palestinian state have built nothing! Their efforts are fixated on destroying the Jewish state, not on building their own. They believe that there is no room for two states in this tiny piece of geography between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, only for “Palestine.”
I will end this essay with the recent thoughts of a clear-thinking Arab realist, Bassam Tawil:
“Palestinian scholar Bassam Tawil points out that the Palestinians carrying out stabbing attacks were financially well-off and well-educated. And because of their permanent resident status [in Israel], they could freely travel in Israel and enjoy the state’s health care and other social benefits.
“What does all this mean? It shows that the Palestinian terrorists are not driven by poverty and deprivation, as many have long been arguing. Palestinian terrorists are driven by hatred for Jews because of what their leaders, media and mosques are telling them: that the Jews are the enemy and that they have no right to be in this part of the world.
“It also shows that this conflict is not about Islamic holy sites or Jerusalem, but about murdering Jews whenever possible. Murdering two Jews inside the Old City of Jerusalem or a Jewish couple in front of their four children has nothing to do with the Aksa Mosque or ‘occupation.’ It is simply about the desire to murder as many Jews as one can. The terrorists did not draw any distinction between a Jew living in east Jerusalem, the West Bank, Tel Aviv or Afula [northern Israel]. For the terrorists and their sponsors, all Jews are ‘settlers’ and Israel is one big settlement that needs to be eliminated.
“Our [Arab] conflict with Israel is not about ‘occupation’ or Jerusalem or holy sites or borders. Nor is it about poverty and poor living conditions or walls and fences and checkpoints. This conflict is really about Israel’s very existence in this part of the world. The current wave of terrorism is just another phase in our dream to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. This is not an intifada. It is just another killing-spree aimed at terrorizing the Jews and forcing them to leave this part of the world. It already succeeded in the rest of the Middle East, and is now being done to the Christians as well.” (http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6669/palestinian-terrorists)