Two terror attacks disrupted the holiday spirit last week. In the later incident, which also proved to be the more fatal, two Palestinians used axes to kill three Jews in Ela’ad — a religious town located some 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) east of Tel Aviv. In the first event, occurring in a shopping mall in Ashdod — a seaside city 40 kilometers (nearly 25 miles) south of Tel Aviv, I was the victim. A Jewish terrorist attacked me by smashing a metal chair on my forehead during a live broadcast of a TV talk show. I was injured in my right temple and ended up with a couple of stitches.
Both attacks were vicious, well–planned and employing cold but effective weapons. In both cases, the attackers set their target based on what they deem to be ideologically unacceptable. The existence of an anti-Zionist Israeli citizen who dares to proclaim that the wars of Israel over the years were mainly an exchange of valuable blood for redundant territories that were or will be given back is not something that Jewish extremists can handle. I saw the hatred on the faces of my enemy audience in Ashdod. The words No Pasarán were written on their faces right from the start.
A short moment after I confessed that I don’t stand still during the Memorial Day siren because, in my opinion, the death of most IDF soldiers granted further wars rather than peace and safety — the chair was thrown directly at me. However, the suspected terrorist was not really alone. He had the crowd support that allowed him to sneak away while others cursed, spit, and even smashed my car window in what looked quite like an organized program.
A key to the success of terror is popular support. Just like nobody in Ashdod was trying to prevent the hooligans from lynching me, I am in doubt if anyone in the village from which the Ela’ad terrorists come from sees something wrong in their actions. As for my position — and I cannot hide that I am speaking from position — while violence of any type should not be tolerated, it is much easier here to understand the Palestinians. For decades, they have been living under occupation without expiration date, working mostly in low-paying manual jobs such as waiters, builders, drivers, etc. Jews in Israel, on the other hand, are the masters of the land. I expect a more dignified approach from the master than from the servant.
The law enforcement system thinks otherwise: While the Jewish terrorist from Ashdod was released to house detention after a brief four-day arrest, Palestinians who are even merely suspected of sympathizing with terror rot for most of the rest of their life in prison. Can you imagine a Jewish city put under curfew in order to detect a single terrorist? In the occupied Palestinian territories, this is the rule of the land. Think about that the next time you vehemently declare that Israel is a democracy where justice is for all, regardless of ethnicity.