Sunday began as any other for Sgt. Gal Keidan but the 19-year-old soldier didn’t have a chance. He had no reason to suspect that the Palestinian approaching him as he waited at the Ariel junction in the Samaria District (northern West Bank) was going to produce a large knife and begin stabbing. Normal people don’t go on stabbing sprees. But Omar Abu Laila, the Palestinian stabber, was anything but normal. He was a product of a depraved culture steeped in gore, religious zealotry and vitriolic Jew-hatred.
From the day he was born, Omar Abu Laila was exposed to base hate where the Jew was compared to monkeys and pigs; where the Jew was reduced to a cowardly land grabber and usurper; where the Jew was deemed to be the consummate infidel. Abu Laila was exposed to this hate in the mosque, at school, on social media and through official Palestinian media outlets.
Faced with this incessant, Goebbels-like propaganda, that Abu Laila would turn out to be a blood-thirsty, Jew-hating murderer was a forgone conclusion. And the responsibility rests squarely with Mahmoud Abbas, aka Abu Mazen, and his so-called Palestinian Authority for encouraging and stoking this type of aberrant behavior.
Not satiated with the murder of Gal Kaidan, Abu Laila continued his blood lust. He grabbed Kaidan’s automatic assault rifle and began shooting at cars nearing the junction hitting 47-year-old Rabbi Achiad Ettinger, a resident of the community of Eli and father of twelve children.
Despite his serious injuries, Ettinger, who was armed, returned fire forcing the gunman to flee. Ettinger’s final act of heroism almost certainly saved lives. Despite valiant efforts by doctors to save his life, Ettinger succumbed to his wounds on Monday.
The gunman then stole a car and began shooting at other Israeli civilians and soldiers waiting at a different junction, seriously wounding 19-year-old Alexander Dvorsky, a Jewish immigrant from Moldova. Dvorsky is currently battling for his life.
Abu Laila fled to the Arab village of Bruqin where security forces are currently conducting intense searches. Abu Laila will be caught shortly, that is a certainty. The only question is whether he’ll surrender peacefully in which case he lives or he resists, in which case, he’ll meet his promised seventy-two black-eyed virgins.
Israeli forces have already identified members of the terrorist’s family, and have made arrests. Prime Minister Netanyahu has ordered the demolition of the terrorist’s house. Such measures have been found to be an effective deterrent against those contemplating carrying out similar acts of terror.
As noted, the Palestinian Authority failed to condemn the outrage. This is to be expected. The PA unelected, authoritarian “president” is an unabashed Holocaust denier. In fact, he wrote a thesis on Holocaust denial, which can be readily purchased in Palestinian bookstores throughout Judea and Samaria (West Bank) alongside copies of Mein Kampf, and the notorious early 20th century forgery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
In Gaza, things weren’t that much different. Hamas leaders praised the attack and militants passed out sweets to commemorate the terrorist’s “heroic act.” Hamas used the opportunity to gain some respite from three consecutive days of protests where Hamas security forces used live fire to disperse demonstrators, and in some cases resorted to breaking the arms and legs of opposition members.
Under the previous administration, Palestinians were infantilized and given a free pass. At most, a low-level State Department official would issue some banal, pro-forma condemnation coupled with the need to “exercise restraint” and “break the cycle of violence.” But there’s a new sheriff in town. United States Ambassador David Friedman took to twitter to lambast the Palestinian Authority for its failure to condemn the attack.
Friedman noted that Israelis who attack Palestinians are condemned, prosecuted and incarcerated by the Israeli government. Conversely, Palestinians who attack Israelis “are celebrated, compensated and venerated by the PA leadership and/or Hamas. And there lies the problem.”
Friedman’s comment succinctly and accurately summarizes the issue. For there to be peace between Israelis and Arabs, there first must be a seismic change in Palestinian thinking, one that substitutes the death cult mentality with cooperation, tolerance and engagement. Sadly, the Palestinian mindset that inspired the 1929 Hebron massacre has changed little from that time.