While the western world expressed its solidarity with France following the November 13, 2015 Paris terror attack by Islamic State local affiliates, few expressed similar sympathy and support for what Israelis have had to endure from Palestinian-Islamist terror in recent weeks, and for almost a century. It began with the anti-Jewish Palestinian-Arab terrorist riots of the 1920’s, and continued with the Arab Revolt (1936-1939), which was typified by terror attacks of Palestinian-Arabs against Palestinian-Jews (the Yeshuv, the Jews of Palestine were commonly called Palestinians). Following Israel’s war of independence in 1948, and Israel’s absorption of over a million refugees from Europe’s Holocaust and the Arab world, terror resumed in the 1950’s by Palestinian-Fedayeen from Gaza trained by Nasser’s Egypt.
The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), founded in 1964, began its terror attacks against the Jewish state from Jordan first, then from Lebanon and Tunisia, with a platform that sought to destroy the Jewish state and replace it with a “secular, democratic Palestinian state.” The Oslo Accords of 1993 committed the Palestinians to forgo terrorism and incitement. Lasting less than a year, Palestinian terror resumed using the latest terrorist weapon introduced by the Palestinians to the world: suicide-bombers. In September, 2000, Yasser Arafat launched the Second Intifada, which was far more violent than the first. Mahmoud Abbas, the new Palestinian Authority president and PLO chairman, like Arafat, never stopped the incitement and the resulting terror against Israeli-Jews. In October, 2015, yet a new weapon in the Palestinian terror arsenal was introduced…knifing and car ramming.
The Times of Israel reported on November 24, 2015, that Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, (speaking at the UN headquarters in New York, Solidarity with the Palestinians Day) “repeated two of his accusations against Israel that have drawn furious responses over the past few months – that the Jewish state is seeking to alter the status quo on Temple Mount in Jerusalem”, and that Israel “is carrying out “extrajudicial killings” of those Palestinians perpetrating terror attacks against Israelis.”
A Reuters report (November 23, 2015) explained the reasons for the Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers, using knife stabbings, firearm shootings, and car ramming intending to kill Jews indiscriminately. The article suggested that “the bloodshed has been driven in part by Muslim agitation over stepped-up Jewish visits to a contested Jerusalem shrine (The Temple Mount or Haram al-Sharif –JP) and by long-deadlocked talks on the U.S. sponsored peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.”
According to Reuters, the Palestinian violence that began on October 1, 2015 has resulted in the death of 83 Palestinians shot in self-defense, and 19 Israelis, mostly civilians, including an 18-year old American student. The latest victim was a 20-year old Israeli woman stabbed to death by a Palestinian.
It appears that the Palestinian leadership has adopted Josef Goebbels (Nazi Germany’s Propaganda Minister) idea that “if you tell a lie often enough and repeat it, people will come to believe it.” Regrettably, at the UN, Palestinian lies and fantasies are readily acceptable. The same is true for a large portion of the European media, and some in the American media. It seems that Reuters also bought into the assertion that the bloodshed has been driven by “stepped up Jewish visits to the Temple Mount.” Although Reuters qualified it as “Muslim agitation,” the fact is there is no contest over Temple Mount. Israel has maintained the status-quo on Temple Mount since 1967, when Israel liberated Jerusalem and reunited the old city with Western Jerusalem. Under the arrangement set 48 years ago, Jews can visit the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism (where the ancient Temples stood) but cannot pray there. Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly denied the charge that Israel seeks to change the status quo on Temple Mount.
Ironically, Abbas has recently used the same ploy as the Mufti of Jerusalem (Haj Amin el-Husseini, an ally of Hitler and Nazi Germany, during the 1920’s) to incite Palestinian violence. The Mufti charged that Jews were seeking to take over Temple Mount, which inflamed Arab-Palestinians to murder Jews indiscriminately; history is repeating itself but the world refuses to acknowledge it.
Another one of Abbas’ accusations alleged Israeli “extrajudicial killings” of Palestinians. This accusation defies logic while being an unabashed lie. The PA issued a statement charging that Israel is “accusing every victim of holding a knife, or ensuring a knife was dropped at the side of the alleged attacker.” Considering the absurdity of this statement, a Palestinian charging an unsuspecting Israeli with a knife is not an innocent young man carrying a knife for cooking. Moreover, the PA cynical statement saying “ensuring a knife was dropped at the side of the alleged attacker,” defies logic.
The deadlocked peace talks offered as an explanation by the Reuters article is another bogus argument. The Voice of America reported on November 18, 2015 that “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has publicly admitted for the first time that he turned down a chance for a two-state peace deal with Israel in 2008 that would have given him nearly all the land the Palestinians wanted. The offer by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert included a near total Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and a land link to the Gaza Strip. The Old City of East Jerusalem, home to Jewish and Arab holy sites, would have been under international control.” Abbas revealed all of this in an interview with Israel’s Channel 10-TV. He said that he rejected the deal because “he was not given the chance to study the map that spelled out Olmert’s offer.
Similarly, Yasser Arafat turned down a generous Israeli peace offer in July, 2000 at Camp David, witnessed by U.S. President Bill Clinton. Arafat would not agree to sign a document that ended the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Instead, he chose to incite the Palestinians to kill Israelis, and launched the second intifada, gambling on the weakness of Israeli society.
Whenever the moment of truth approaches, when Israel has made all possible concessions, the Palestinians have walked out. Arafat did it in July, 2000 and Abbas in September, 2008.
Clearly, the Palestinian leadership is far more interested in maintaining a terror infrastructure in order to de-stabilize and destroy the Jewish state, than assuming responsibility for the Palestinian people and provide them with a future.
Addressing the World Zionist Organization in Jerusalem last month, Israel’s PM Netanyahu told the delegates that the escalated attacks by Palestinians were completely unrelated to stagnated peace talks. “Some of the worst (Arab-Palestinian) terrorism that Israel has experienced in its history occurred when the peace process was at its peak. We had terrorism when there was a peace process; we had terrorism when there was no peace process. We had terrorism when there was an Israel; and we had terrorism when there was no Israel. We had terrorism when there were settlements; and we had terrorism when there were no settlements.”
France and Europe have now experienced the full brunt of Islamic terror, committed in the name of ‘no particular grievance’, but because of hatred for the western way of life they seek to eradicate. The same intolerant hatred motivates the Palestinians. The Palestinians resent the progressive values Israel shares with the rest of the West. It is time for the West to show its support and solidarity for Israel.