Archive for the ‘Intifada’ category

Iran’s Leader Urges Palestinians to Launch Violent Uprising

February 21, 2017

Iran’s Leader Urges Palestinians to Launch Violent Uprising, Investigative Project on Terrorism, February 21, 2017

Make or Break Moment for Palestinian Violence

April 21, 2016

Make or Break Moment for Palestinian Violence, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Yaakov Lappin, April 21, 2016

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The coming Passover holiday represents a make-or-break moment that could decide whether Palestinian violence and terrorism fizzles out, or escalates into a new and more dangerous phase.

Israel’s defense establishment is on alert to the possibility that tensions surrounding Jerusalem’s Temple Mount (known to Palestinians as the Al-Aqsa holy site) could resurface and trigger a new outburst of terrorism, just as a seven-month wave of largely unorganized terrorist attacks begins to draw down.

The tensions could well appear again during Passover, when the number of visits by religious Jews to the Temple Mount rises. There is no shortage of elements in the Palestinian arena – from Hamas media outlets to social media users – who will eagerly present such visits as part of an imagined Israeli conspiracy to take over the site.

As a result, Israel’s defense establishment has advised the government to prohibit any politicians, from any political party, to further inflame tensions by visiting the site.

Against this background, the Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency has quietly thwarted a steady flow of mass-casualty, organized terror plots, planned and orchestrated by Hamas. Any one of these plots could have changed the strategic picture and led to an escalation on multiple fronts had they materialized.

Hamas has been deeply disappointed by the recent decrease in terrorism and by its failure to bypass Shin Bet’s intelligence networks.

On April 18, a Palestinian bomb blew up on board a bus in Jerusalem and injured 21 civilians, including, possibly, the bomber himself. A media ban is in place that prevents publication of further details on the investigation.

Israelis watched TV news broadcasts of scenes of a bus in flames and emergency vehicles attending the site with much concern. They had hoped such bombings, which tore through Israeli cities in the dark days of the second Palestinian Intifada 15 years ago, were long behind them.

Unlike 15 years ago, Israel’s security forces operate all across the West Bank on a nightly basis to thwart attacks. Yet it only takes one plot to slip through the cracks for the terrorists to achieve their goal.

The bus bombing goes to show the inherently unstable nature of the security situation. On one hand, the number of terror stabbings, shootings, and car ramming attacks – all part of the unorganized violence – have plummeted in the past two months. On the other, such incidents could soon resurge and be joined by organized, more lethal events.

Fatah’s official Facebook account praised the bus attack, but this is only part of the real picture.

Away from the rhetoric, on the ground, the Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority has actually improved its security coordination with Israel, and has stopped 20 percent of organized terrorism plots brewing in the West Bank, according to figures cited recently by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

A senior Israeli military source said in April that “tensions in Jerusalem, particularly in the context of Al-Aqsa, are there. It characterizes the holiday period. We are going with the working assumption that we will encounter this.”

The source described seeing “a lot of orchestrated terror attempts by [the large Palestinian] organizations. We can see many attempts being made on a continuous basis.” In West Bank raids, security forces discovered ready-made explosive devices and high-quality assault rifles, like M-16s and Kalashnikovs in the possession of would-be terror cells.

“The numbers [of such attempts] are high,” the source said. “But we are very effective. “The Shin Bet is a very significant aspect of this. Although there are attempts, and there is very high motivation [to carry out attacks], we succeed in thwarting them, and they have not been able to reach a situation in which they can really launch a quality attack.”

Ten would-be kidnapping terror plots were thwarted since October, the source added.

Israel’s defense establishment also is improving in an area that it has, until now, really struggled to deliver results – the ability to pick up warning signs of a lone-wolf attack and stop it in time.

Improved social media analysis, using new big data algorithms, are part of this improvement, defense sources say.


Meanwhile, to the south, the IDF announced this week the detection of a new Hamas cross-border attack tunnel, stretching from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.

It is the first tunnel discovered since the cessation of hostilities in August 2014 between Hamas and Israel and represents the renewed effort by Hamas’s military wing to prepare attack options for when war breaks out again.

Hamas views the current ceasefire as a tactical regrouping break. It has no intention of stopping its multi-generational jihad against Israel’s very existence, and it views Gaza as its base of operations for this “holy war.”

The Hamas military wing, the Izzadin Al-Qassam Brigades, is readying itself for future conflict. It is manufacturing rockets, mortar shells, and digging tunnels for Hamas’s elite Nuhba force of 5,000 heavily armed guerilla-terrorists who make up one quarter of all of Hamas’s armed members.

The plan was to inject these murder and kidnap squads into southern Israel through tunnels. But Hamas’s tunnel tactics are now in trouble. Israel used new technological and intelligence capabilities to detect the new tunnel, and has invested hundreds of millions of shekels in the research and development of new detection systems.

If the IDF’s Southern Command can begin to systematically detect tunnels as Hamas digs them, and destroy them, Hamas would find itself wasting treasure and blood (many workers die in tunnel collapses during the construction stage) for very little return. Hamas would lose one of its main investments in its future offensive capabilities.

That frustration could spur Hamas to try even harder to set up cells remotely that sow death and destruction in Israeli cities. Israel’s intelligence personnel will continue to work around the clock, away from the headlines and spotlights, to prevent that from happening.

The Regional Storm Hits Israel

November 5, 2015

The Regional Storm Hits Israel, Israel DefenseAmir Rapaport, November 5, 2015

bomb in SyriaAn aerial view of a bomb explosion in Syria (Photo: AP/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

1. High Tide/Low Tide. When the “Second Intifada” broke out in October 2000, IDF used to refer to the riots and terrorist attacks in the Judea and Samaria area, as well is inside the territory of the State of Israel as “High Tide/Low Tide”, as each wave of riots was followed by a period of relative quiet, and then a new trigger emerged, leading to a wave of renewed violence, and so on.

Eventually, the “High Tide/Low Tide” incidents assumed a pattern of a murderous terrorist offensive, which took the lives of more than a thousand Israelis through suicide attacks, until the Intifada finally subsided in 2004.

The wave of riots and terrorist attacks that erupted about 15 years later, in the fall of 2015, appears to be connected, in some way or another, to the state of instability that characterizes many areas throughout the Middle East. For the last few years, the lion’s share of the fighting takes place in Syria, where hundreds of thousands of people were killed and millions more became refugees.

The major question that arose within the Israeli defense establishment in the fall of 2015 was whether this latest wave of terrorist attacks marks the outset of a “Third Intifada”. Although outwardly the Israeli interest is to announce “This is not a new Intifada,” in effect, there is talk about a “new situation” and no one knows how it will evolve.

Analyses performed within the defense establishment point to a number of reasons that suggest that this is a significant wave of terrorism which could turn out to be prolonged, as well as to reasons that justify the claim “This is not a new Intifada”.

One of the reasons that this wave of attacks is serious and could be prolonged is the religious motive: the Israeli media does not speak about it too often, but the Arab world is raging around rumors or reports that Israel actually intends to change the status quo on Temple Mount.

Even when one attempts to fish only “comfortable” data out of the statistics of the latest terrorist attacks, it is impossible to ignore the increase, by tens of percent, in the number of violent incidents throughout the Judea and Samaria area as well as within the “Green Line” during the last few weeks.

On the other hand, one significant difference between October 2015 and “Black October” (following the outbreak of the Second Intifada 15 years ago), is that the Israeli security forces are currently operating freely throughout the Judea and Samaria area. Consequently, entering the hospital in Nablus did not call for tactical support by tanks and aircraft. During the Second Intifada, on the other hand, it took the IDF and ISA quite a long time before they succeeded in regaining control over the centers of the Palestinian cities, pursuant to Operation Defensive Shield, and even then, the control achieved was only partial.

The recent events erupted despite the fact that IDF and ISA operate continuously against terrorist detachments. In each of the last few years, 2,000-3,000 Palestinian inhabitants were arrested. 80% of them were sentenced by the courts to prison terms of several months minimum.

It is still difficult to predict how the events will evolve over the next few months, but in any case, it seems that we have “a new security situation” on our hands.

2. Vladimir Putin. Many people regard the regional instability as the direct result of the American strategy of minimizing US involvement in the region, due to separatism processes and shifting the focus of world attention to Eastern Asia and the Pacific region (among other things, owing to the reduced dependence on Arab oil).

The party that stepped very effectively into the vacuum left by the USA was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who currently positions himself as the regional “Sheriff”.

No one can overestimate the importance of the moves made by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who deployed military forces to Syria this fall and continues to position himself as the strong man of the Middle East who never abandons his allies, while the USA has “transmitted” that her allies cannot rely on US support (as the USA had abandoned Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011).

This fall, the Russians deployed to Syria fighter aircraft that attack targets of the rebels opposing the military of President Bashar al-Assad. These moves were carefully coordinated with Iran, which, for her part, deployed hundreds of troopers (who are currently helping Hezbollah withdraw some of its forces back to Lebanon).

The Russian-Iranian move may have been intended to exert pressure on Saudi Arabia that supports the rebels, as well as to raise the price of oil, which is important to the economies of both countries.

Complicated? Even if there is no connection between the moves in Syria and the energy market, there is a definite connection between the fighting in Syria and the war raging in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula. A solution in Syria may project on the war over there, as in both regions Iran and Saudi Arabia support opposing sides, with the conflict between the Shi’ite and Sunni factions of Islam as the backdrop.

Behind the scenes of the latest developments in Syria there has always been a Russian plan to bring about the end of the civil war in Syria by dividing it into areas of influence, with about 30% of the territory, in the Tartus and Lattakia area, remaining under control of the Alawite community of the current President, Bashar al-Assad.

Russia is interested in the sea ports in this area, and much less in maintaining Assad in control over a part of the disintegrated country. The Russians will not yield to the American demand to remove Assad from power until they have guaranteed their important interests. The party expected to pay the price is Israel, which may find itself, within a few months, facing a de-facto Iranian and Hezbollah domination on the other side of the border with Syria on the Golan Heights.

This situation could evolve despite the fact that Israel and Russia coordinate some of their respective moves, as indicated by the trip made by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s to Moscow last September, accompanied by the IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, and Head of the IDF Intelligence Directorate, Maj. Gen. Hertzi Halevi, during which they met with “Sheriff” Putin.

3. Meanwhile, in the South. The good news come from the south, where Egypt under Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is determined to defeat the forces of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State that operate throughout the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt, Israel and the USA cooperate closely in the context of this effort, owing to their shared interests.

El-Sisi regards Hamas in the Gaza Strip as an enemy, owing to the cooperation between Hamas and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood movement, which is engaged in an on-going conflict with his regime.

Hamas itself is under tremendous pressure from different directions: from Egypt, which cuts off the underground tunnels connecting the Gaza Strip with the Egyptian territory, as well as from al-Qaeda and elements identifying with the Islamic State, who urge the leaders of Hamas to renew the fighting against Israel and occasionally even launch a rocket into Israeli territory in order to motivate Israel (which regards Hamas as the party responsible for such launches) to attack Hamas.

The reality that emerged in the Gaza Strip is yet another example of the complexity in our region. Iran, encouraged by the signing of the nuclear agreement with the superpowers, has renewed its support for Hamas, both financially and militarily (despite the fact that Hamas identifies with the rebels fighting against Bashar al-Assad in Syria and in Iran itself).

The positive bottom line is that Hamas, owing to its own considerations, does its best to maintain the ceasefire agreement reached with Israel following Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014. That state of affairs remained in effect until the fall of 2015 but reality, as everyone knows only too well, is highly dynamic.

4. A Small Military. One of the most significant moves expected within IDF in November is the endorsement of the long-term plan for the coming five-year period, and the conversion thereof into an effective order for execution.

“Gideon” is the name of the new multi-year plan led by IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot. The plan is intended to rely on the long-term budget allocated to the IDF according to the recommendations of the Locker Committee, and will come into effect in 2016, after five years during which IDF have operated without a long-term plan, as the previous plan had ended as far back as during the tenure of Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi as Chief of Staff. The Gideon plan is intended to convert the IDF into a technological, cyber-based military organization, possessing fast maneuvering elements equipped with accurate, lethal weapons and enhanced sea and air branches. Above everything else, the most substantial investment will be made in intelligence.

The greatest concern among quite a few elements within the defense establishment pertains to the size of the military, as the new plan calls for the demobilization of quite a few units. One of the principles of Israel’s national security concept since the days of David Ben-Gurion is the need to maintain a strong, substantial military force, based on hundreds of thousands of reservists. The principle is still valid, but in effect, the emphasis is placed on intelligence, air power and commando operations. The substantial ground army, along with its massive tank OrBat, is reduced dramatically – which is inconsistent with the aforesaid principle.

5. Defense Exports. Nearing the end of 2015, the Israel Ministry of Defense and the Israeli defense industries embarked upon a massive sales effort. Between October and December, they will take part in not less than five major defense exhibitions in the USA, South Korea, Japan, Colombia and Thailand.

Even if that effort proves successful, the statistics for 2015 will indicate that Israeli defense exports still follow the downward trend that began in 2014. At best, the defense exports for 2015 will amount to US$ 5 billion, as opposed to US$ 7 billion in 2013.

The main reason for this decrease is the end of the global campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Several major deals that are still on the agenda, mainly in India, can still change the picture before the end of 2015 and lead to a positive trend in terms of the scope of exports. In any case, the contribution made by the defense exports, which amounts to billions of dollars, to the Israeli economy and to the Israeli security resilience is immense. The massive proceeds enable the Israeli defense industries to continue to invest funds in research in order to develop products at the cutting edge of technology.

The Palestinian Jihad: Lies, Lies and More Lies

October 24, 2015

The Palestinian Jihad: Lies, Lies and More Lies, Gatestone InstituteBassam Tawil, October 24, 2015

  • First, we are not seeing anything “popular.” We are not seeing, as before, thousands of Palestinians participating in the violence or protests.
  • It is just another wave of terrorism: targeting Jews for being Jews. The terrorists and their apologists do not distinguish between a Jew living in the city of Beersheba, and a Jew from a West Bank settlement. For the Palestinian leaders and media, these Jews are all “settlers” living in “occupied territories.”
  • The appropriate term for the current wave of terrorism is “jihad”. The attacks on Jews in Israel and the West Bank are part of the global jihad that has been waged for many years against Jews in particular, non-Muslims in general, and even against other Muslims who might not agree with a differing version of Islam.
  • This jihad is not aimed at “ending occupation” or protesting against misery and checkpoints. The terrorists do not see a difference between a “left wing Jew” and a “right wing Jew.” They do not ask their victims about their political affiliation before knifing them.
  • In a grotesque rewrite of history, UNESCO declared that two Jewish holy sites, Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs, were Muslim holy sites.
  • This is a wave of terrorism based on lies. Palestinian leaders, including Abbas his officials in the Palestinian Authority and his Fatah faction, have been lying to us for months. They told Palestinians that the Jews are “invading” and “desecrating” Islamic holy sites with the purpose of destroying them. Abbas and his officials are urging Muslims to join the jihad against the Jews.
  • The leaders are now telling us that most of the terrorists were, in fact, innocent civilians who were shot dead by Israelis while on their way to buy food or going to work. Lying has become an integral part of the jihad against Jews. The campaign of lies, distortion and fabrications is not less serious than the terror attacks.
  • This is yet another phase of the worldwide jihad against all the “infidels” and “enemies of Islam.” Those who are murdering Jews today do not hesitate to murder other non-Muslims tomorrow, especially those who are seen as Israel’s friends, such as the U.S.

Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are calling it a “peaceful popular resistance.” They are referring, of course, to the latest wave of stabbings, shootings and vehicular attacks against the Jews in Israel.

In the view of our leaders — and, unfortunately, many in the international community — this is a “peaceful popular resistance,” an uprising, or an “intifada,” like two previous uprisings we had in 1987 and 2000.

What is happening these days in the Palestinian territories and Israel, however, is anything but a “peaceful popular resistance.” First, we are not seeing anything “popular.” We are not seeing, as before, thousands of Palestinians participating in the violence or protests. These attacks are not protests launched by villagers, residents of refugee camps and members of professional unions in the Palestinian territories.

What we are seeing are pure terrorist attacks carried out mostly by impressionable young men and women whose hearts and minds have been poisoned by the inflammatory rhetoric and incitement of Palestinian leaders, mosques, the media, Facebook and other social media. The terrorists who carry knives or firearms to murder Jews are usually, it seems, disturbed youngsters, who have been fired up by the pervasive atmosphere of hate poured over them daily by their leaders and these leaders’ media outlets. The current terrorists are not part of an armed group such as the Tanzim or the Fatah Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, nor a “popular resistance,” a street gang, or any organized movement.

Contrary to what Palestinian leaders have been telling us, not to mention the rest of the world, these terrorists do not believe in any form of “peaceful and popular resistance” against Israel. After all, there is nothing peaceful or popular about stabbing or shooting Jews waiting at a bus stop or driving their cars on their way to work or back home. Surely, there is nothing peaceful about murdering a Jewish couple in front of their four children, or stabbing and seriously wounding a 13-year-old boy riding his bicycle on the streets of Jerusalem.

This is, bluntly, just another wave of terrorism: targeting Jews for being Jews. The terrorists and their apologists do not distinguish between a Jew living in the city of Beersheba, and a Jew from a settlement in the West Bank. In the eyes of the Palestinian leaders and media, these Jews are all “settlers” living in “occupied territories.” To many of them, and as they repeatedly tell us, all of Israel is “occupied territory.”

Official Palestinian maps continue to present Palestine as occupying all of Israel. And there are continual attempts erase history Jewish presence. Last July, Rachel’s Tomb, the burial site of a Jewish Matriarch was attacked by explosives launched from slingshots. And just last week Joseph’s Tomb, the burial site of a Jewish Patriarch, was torched. These are the same methods al-Qaeda and Da’esh (ISIS) have been using in Bamiyan and Palmyra to try to obliterate any evidence of a pre-Islamic presence other ancient sites. These attack were accompanied by requests from six Arab states — Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Tunisia, Morocco ad the United Arab Emirates — to have UNESCO declare the Rachel’s Tomb, and Western Wall — a retaining wall and all that is left of the Jews’ Second Temple that the Romans destroyed in 70 CE — part of the Muslim Temple Mount under Palestinian control. The last request was removed before the vote, but in a grotesque rewrite of history, UNESCO did declare that two other Jewish holy sites, Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs, were Muslim holy sites.

In addition, the official media of the Western-funded Palestinian Authority have been referring to the Jewish victims of the current wave of terrorism as “settlers.” A 73-year-old woman who lives in the Western part of the city and who was stabbed at Jerusalem’s central bus station two weeks ago was described as a “settler.” Similarly, two Jews who were stabbed and wounded in the city of Ra’anana, on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, were also described by Abbas’s media outlets as “settlers.” Their city, Ra’anana, well within the “1967 line,” has also been described by most Palestinian media outlets and journalists as a “settlement.”

What does all this show? The answer is very simple: Most Palestinians continue to see Israel as one big settlement that needs to be uprooted and destroyed. It also shows that these Palestinians do not draw a distinction between a Jew living a West Bank settlement and a Jew living in an Israeli city inside Israel. The Jewish victims of this wave of terrorism are all “settlers” and “colonialists” who deserved what happened to them because they are “living on stolen land.” This is the message that the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and other Palestinian groups are sending to the Palestinians and the rest of the world: that “settlers” are “legitimate” targets that deserve to be slaughtered and shot dead by a people fighting for “independence and freedom.”

The appropriate term for the current wave of terrorism is “jihad” (holy war). The attacks on Jews in Israel and the West Bank are part of the global jihad that has been waging for many years against Jews in particular, non-Muslims in general and even against other Muslims who might not agree with a differing version of Islam.

Almost all the terrorists involved in these recent attacks are affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two jihadi groups whose main goal is to destroy Israel by murdering and intimidating Jews. Like Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, the two Palestinian groups are also seeking to create an Islamic caliphate governed by Islamic sharia law.

This jihad is not aimed at “ending occupation” or protesting against misery and checkpoints. Rather, it is a jihad designed to drive the Jews out of the region. Period. The terrorists and their sponsors do not see a difference between an Israeli soldier and an Israeli baby. They do not see a difference between a “left wing Jew” and a “right wing Jew.” The terrorists do not ask their victims about their political affiliation before sticking a knife into them.

This is a wave of terrorism based on lies, lies and more lies. Palestinian leaders, including Abbas and his Fatah faction, have been lying to us for months about the nature of the visits of Jews to the Haram al-Sharif, or Temple Mount. They told Palestinians that the Jews are “invading” and “desecrating” Islamic holy sites with the purpose of destroying them. By doing so, Abbas and his officials in the Palestinian Authority and Fatah have actually been urging Muslims to join the jihad against the Jews.

1280 (1)Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (right) ignited competition among radical groups as to which faction could incite the most violence. Left: official PA media incite Palestinians, from a young age, to murder Jews.

After the wave of terrorism began, the Palestinian leaders continued to lie about the circumstances surrounding the death of the terrorists. The leaders are now telling us that most of the terrorists were, in fact, innocent civilians who were shot dead by Israel while they were on their way to buy food for their families or going to work. The Palestinian leaders are lying when they tell us that the terrorists were killed as part of a new Israeli policy of “field executions” against young Palestinian men and women. Lying and distorting the truth has become an integral part of the jihad against Jews. The campaign of lies, distortion and fabrications is not less serious than the terror attacks. There is no difference between a Palestinian leader who incites and lies, and a terrorist who grabs a knife and takes to the street to murder a Jew.

It is time for us to open our eyes and see the reality as it is: this is yet another phase of the worldwide jihad against all the “infidels” and “enemies of Islam.” Those who are murdering Jews today do not hesitate to murder other non-Muslims tomorrow, especially those who are seen as Israel’s friends such as the U.S. and most nations in the West. So let us put things in context and start calling the wave of terrorism by its real name, not an “intifada” or a “peaceful popular resistance.” It is a jihad.

Day of Rage: Intifada 3.0 (Dispatch 3)

October 17, 2015

Day of Rage: Intifada 3.0 (Dispatch 3), VICE News via You Tube, October 16, 2015


VICE News video:


(The following video is not from VICE news. More than four years old, it’s still relevant. — DM)


CNN: Jewish holy site somehow “catches fire” After Muslim attack

October 16, 2015

CNN: Jewish holy site somehow “catches fire” After Muslim attack, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, October 16, 2015


Setting Joseph’s Tomb on fire is some sort of national Muslim sport. It happens so often that I don’t think anyone has even collected all the incidents together.

If Jews were constantly setting a Muslim holy site on fire, there would be so many UN resolutions they would provide toilet paper for UN HQ for a year. But Jewish holy sites don’t matter. Jewish lives don’t matter.


The media is really doubling down on passive voice Muslim terrorism. Israel “actively” does things all the time. But terror attacks on Jews just seem to “happen”. Jewish holy sites just “catch on fire.”

Ask CNN. “Joseph’s Tomb site catches fire in wave of Palestinian-Israeli violence”

It caught fire from the wave of violence? The wave of violence was just sweeping around the place and ignited Joseph’s Tomb?

Even the New York Times headlined its story as, “Palestinians Set Fire to Joseph’s Tomb in West Bank”. The Washington Post called it, “Palestinian protesters set fire to a Jewish holy shrine in West Bank”.

The technical term for people who set things on fire is arsonist, not protester, but at least the Washington Post got “Jewish holy site” in the headline which no one else seems to have managed to do.

(But don’t give the Post too many bonus points yet. Here’s their headline describing a Muslim terrorist who stabbed an Israeli soldier and was shot. “Palestinian with ‘press’ logo on shirt shot dead in stabbing”.)

Let’s do a little thought experiment here.

Suppose a bunch of angry Jews stormed onto the Temple Mount and set the Islamic Al Aqsa Victory Mosque, planted by the Muslim invaders on the holiest site in Judaism, on fire. Would the headline read, “Al Aqsa Mosque catches fire in wave of Palestinian-Israeli violence.”

Or would it read, “Jewish Extremist Mob Torches Muslim Holy Site”?

Here’s a CNN headline from 2009. “Jewish Settlers Blamed over Mosque Attack”. Note how the mosque didn’t spontaneously “catch on fire”. It was attacked. The first words name Jews as the perpetrators because CNN believes it’s a priority to communicate blame in that instance to readers. Here its a priority for CNN to whitewash what happened. There’s no mysterious wave of violence that somehow relates to buildings catching on fire.

This isn’t just a headline issue. Ben Brumfield’s disgusting piece starts off, “Fire broke out overnight at the compound housing Joseph’s Tomb”.

The fire didn’t “break out”. There was no spontaneous combustion. It was set. But Ben Brumfield somehow takes 5 paragraphs to tell you that and to hint at who set it.

Some Palestinians had started a barricade to prevent Israeli troops from entering Nablus to destroy Palestinian homes when a smaller group tried to set fire to the tomb, a Palestinian official told CNN under condition of anonymity. Part of the compound burned, but the tomb remained intact, the official said.

So to summarize, Ben Brumfield’s warped spin here.

The Muslims were trying to protect themselves from Israeli soldiers… so naturally they set a Jewish holy site on fire. Or, as he puts it, they “tried to set fire to the tomb”. All those flames suggest that they succeeded insofar as there was a fire. Even if the tomb wasn’t destroyed.

For example, if CNN headquarters were set on fire by “Palestinian protesters” looking to defend themselves, the news network would still report that it had been set on fire, even if the building remained standing.

CNN follows that up with a lot of “context” and anti-Israel spin, none of which mentions how often Muslims attack Joseph’s Tomb. There was a Muslim arson attempt on the Tomb just this August. Then a Muslim terror cell plotted a bombing and shooting attack on the Tomb… also in August.

The plan of the four arrested terrorists was to set off explosives at Joseph’s Tomb and machine-gun the Jewish worshippers there.

Or, as Ben Brumfield might have reported it, “Explosives Were Set Off in a Wave of Palestinian-Israeli Violence.”

Setting Joseph’s Tomb on fire is some sort of national Muslim sport. It happens so often that I don’t think anyone has even collected all the incidents together.

Muslims vandals have defaced Joseph’s Tomb in yet another instance of Muslims attacking Jewish holy sites. The Muslims  hooligans destroyed furniture, desecrated holy Jewish books, sprayed anti-semitic graffiti throughout the tomb’s grounds. There was also evidence that they had attempted to destroy Joseph’s Tomb by fire.

According to Samaria Council Chairman Gershon Mesika, “Only barbarians are capable of doing terrible things like this, destroying a holy place. The State of Israel must reclaim the Tomb of Yosef, as described in the Oslo Accords.”

That one was two years ago. But destroying other people’s holy places is how Muslim holy places are created.

Unfortunately, this was not the first time that Muslims have attacked Joseph’s Tomb. In 2011, a nephew of Science and Culture Minister Limor Livnat, Ben-Joseph Livnat, was murdered by Palestinian Authority security forces while visiting Joseph’s Tomb and four other Israelis were wounded. At his funeral, Limor Livnat stated, “He was murdered simply because he was Jewish.”

Muslims then proceeded to set Joseph’s Tomb on fire and they also attacked the funeral procession of Ben Joseph Livnat with rocks.

Let’s give these lovely people a state.

Furthermore, in 2008, 16 burning tires were thrown at Joseph’s Tomb and in other instances Joseph’s Tomb has been vandalized with swastikas and other anti-semitic graffiti. In 2000, the Palestinian Authority stormed Joseph’s Tomb, killed an IDF soldier, demolished Joseph’s Tomb, and desecrated Jewish holy books at the Jewish holy site. A Palestinian flag was raised over the Jewish holy site. Afterwards, the Palestinians attempted to transform Joseph’s Tomb into a mosque. Indeed, Palestinians to date claim that Joseph was a Muslim, yet this supposed claim holds no validity; otherwise, the Palestinians would treat Joseph’s Tomb more respectfully than they historically have.

Here’s a brief Wiki summary of the incredibly respectful treatment Joseph’s Tomb has received from Muslims over the last decade or so.

In the early days of the al-Aqsa Intifada, on the morning of October 7, 2000, Israel withdrew the small contingent of IDF border policemen who had been guarding the site of the Tomb of the Patriarch Joseph and its Yeshiva. The holy site was located in Shechem in Samaria, the town the Arabs call “Nablus”. Over the preceeding days, the Tomb had been attacked with gunfire, stones, and firebombs. The IDF defenders in the compound withstood the attacks and stopped several attempts by armed Palestinians to break in. An IDF border policemen was wounded, and the heavy rioting prevented his evacuation for treatment in time to save his life.

The PA also pledged to prevent any vandalism and to return the Tomb to its original state after the violence settled down.

The PA pledge was brazenly violated about two hours after the Israeli evacuation, when a Palestinian Arab mob entered the Tomb compound and began to systematically destroy everything in sight, including all remnants of the Yeshiva. The furniture and books that were left behind were burned by the mob. The Palestinian police stood by, failing to prevent any of these violent activities, despite their commitment to guard the Tomb. Within hours, Joseph’s Tomb was reduced to a smoldering heap of rubble. Within two days, as an Associated Press dispatch reported, “the dome of the tomb was painted green and bulldozers were seen clearing the surrounding area,” as the Palestinian Arabs sought to transform the biblical Joseph’s resting place into a Moslem holy site.

Minister Natan Sharansky wanted the foreign ministry to publicize photos of the desecrated site, which is in the Palestinian Authority-controlled town of Nablus, the biblical Shechem.

“If we would have razed the gravesite of one of the founders of Islam, billions of Muslims would have taken to the streets,” Sharansky said. “It’s inconceivable that the world should not know about this travesty.”

Nablus mayor Ghassan Shakaa promised to repair the site to its pre-1967 state, and repairs were carried out; however, workers painted the exterior of the shrine’s dome green (the color of Islam), fuelling speculation that the Palestinians intended to build a mosque on the site. After some world outcry, the dome was repainted a neutral colour.

On February 23, 2003 the carved stone covering the grave was destroyed.

In February 2003 it was reported in the Jerusalem Post that the grave had been pounded with hammers and that the tree at its entrance had been broken; car parts and trash littered the tomb which had a “huge hole in its dome.”

In 2007, it was discovered that the tomb had been vandalised, and filled with burning garbage.

In early 2008, a group of MKs wrote a letter to the Prime Minister asking that the tomb be renovated: “The tombstone is completely shattered, and the holy site is desecrated in an appalling manner, the likes of which we have not seen in Israel or anywhere else in the world.”

In February, it was reported that Israel would officially ask the Palestinian Authority to carry out repairs at the tomb, but in response, vandals set tires on fire inside the tomb.

In December 2008, Jewish workers funded by anonymous donors painted the blackened walls and re-built the shattered stone marker covering the grave.

In late April 2009, a group of Jewish worshipers found the headstone smashed and swastikas painted on the walls, as well as boot prints on the grave itself

If Jews were constantly setting a Muslim holy site on fire, there would be so many UN resolutions they would provide toilet paper for UN HQ for a year. But Jewish holy sites don’t matter. Jewish lives don’t matter.

They will not drive us out because we have nowhere else to go

October 14, 2015

They will not drive us out because we have nowhere else to go | Anne’s Opinions, October 14th 2015
Professor William Jacobson, (a law professor at Cornell University, an avowed conservative, Zionist and staunch defender of Israel, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting a couple of times in Israel) who runs the law-blog Legal Insurrection kindly invited me to write a guest post on how we Israelis are feeling during this onslaught of terror. You can read my post at LI . Following is a slightly different version, taking into account the events of the past couple of days – anneinpt)

The words in my headline express what I and most of my family, friends and acquaintances are feeling at the moment. And yet, being obedient citizens and not generally of a murderous nature even when faced with an onslaught of terror, these feelings are not expressed in anything more violent than a noisy demonstration (which was cancelled last night precisely because of the security situation) and angry talkbacks or letters to the editor.

Even so, when Professor Jacobson asked if I wanted to wrote a post describing how we Israelis are feeling under the current onslaught of terror and vicious incitement, I thought to myself “How do I expand “furious, angry, frightened and frustrated” into a few hundred words? It is rather hard to put these harsh emotions into words and explain how they affect our lives, but I shall try.

Having taken not one single survey, (so my apologies for generalizing and extrapolating from my own emotions) I think the dominant feeling amongst the Israeli populace is not fear or terror (though there is that too) but anger, accompanied by a good deal of frustration.

We are angry at the government, particularly at Binyamin Netanyahu who urges us not to let the terror affect our lives. Mr. Netanyahu, it IS affecting our lives! How could it not? And yet, we are also frustrated because we know that Bibi is right. We were more frustrated a few days ago because we felt the government wasn’t being forceful enough in confronting the wave of terror, and concentrating on defensive rather than offensive steps. But they seem to be on the right path now, with the piling on of extra security in Jerusalem, on public transport and on the roads, plus easing the rules of engagement for the police and IDF and easing the way to obtaining a gun licence.

We are furious at the Arab members of the Knesset who incite their constituents to murder, who defy the government’s orders not to cause provocations by going up to the Temple Mount, who claim the Jews have no rights on the Temple Mount, and who then claim victimization and accuse the government of incitement.

For example, here is the (Arab) Joint List MK Zahalka screaming at Israelis;

“Why are you letting them in? It’s a disgrace, only to hurt Muslims’ feelings. This is not yours, get out of here, go home, you’re not wanted,”

Watch the video:

They are arsonists in a bone-dry forest, and they are as responsible for the terror as those miserable kids who are going around stabbing Israelis. The one piece of good news about which Israelis were very happy today (if that’s the right word) is that Bibi called for a criminal investigation against Hanin Zoabi for calling for a popular intifada. But knowing our soft-left Attorney General, I’m not holding my breath for an indictment to emerge.

It is not only the average Israeli who is angry at the Arab MKs. In a very unusual scenario, the Arab mayor of Nazareth, Ali Salam, hurled a furious tirade against MK Ayman Odeh, the head of the United Arab List, accusing him and the rest of his party of “ruining” the city.

The unrest throughout Israel, in which dozens of stabbings and rock attacks have taken place in recent weeks, has caused a dearth of traffic in public places throughout the country, and has badly hurt the economy of Israeli Arab-owned businesses in Nazareth, Jaffa, Ramle, and other areas with large Arab populations.

Salam, frustrated with the situation, spotted Odeh speaking to the Channel Two reporter – and in the midst of the interview, began screaming at the MK in Arabic, telling him how he had “ruined this city, ruined everything. We did not have even one Jew here today, not one.

“What are giving interviews for? You have done nothing! You have destroyed the world! Get Out of here!,” screamed Salam, venting his frustration.

Watch the video:

We are upset, and more than a bit mystified, at the President – Rivlin, not Obama (though him too, but that’s another story) for asserting that we are not at war with Islam. Those are pretty words meant to tamp down the fire that threatens to engulf us, especially in Jerusalem, and they may be true in theory, but in practice, Islam is at war with us. How does one square that circle? Not facing up to reality has been the cause of most of our woes.

We are both furious and frustrated with Mahmoud Abbas who incites to murder out of one side of his mouth with dreadful libels about the Jews desecrating Al-Aqsa with “their filthy feet“:

Yet calls for calm from his own chieftains, and then again pronounces his solidarity with the Temple Mount rioters from the other side of his mouth. He cannot have it both ways. He cannot be arsonist and firefighter, though the world seems to have no problem accepting him as such.

We are angry, frustrated and terrified of our own hotheads who take the law into their own hands and who could ignite a civil war with the throw of a stone or the touch of a match.

We are spitting mad at the international media who distort, lie, slander and generally lie about Israel, and in particular about our efforts at self-defence. No matter what we do or how we go about it, you can be sure that the BBC, CNN, the NYT et al will distort the news into “all the news that we see fit to print, and if it’s not to our liking, we’ll edit it or invent it accordingly”.

I mentioned some examples of this media bias in my previous post. In another example, David Harris, director of the AJC, talks about the world’s deafening silence when Israelis are under attack:

And I’ve been wondering, not for the first time, what it would take for the world to wake up and acknowledge — without equivocation, resort to moral equivalence, or diplomatic gobbledygook — that Israel, the lone liberal democracy in the Middle East, is facing violence that must be condemned unequivocally, and that it, like any other nation, has the obligation to defend itself.

It’s striking how, when it comes to these issues, some otherwise intelligent and thoughtful people in government, media, or think tanks, just shut down their critical faculties. Instead, they resort to a Pavlovian response mechanism that essentially rejects any possible legitimacy for the Israeli position and blindly defends whatever Palestinian narrative comes along.

In this mindset, if Israelis are being shot or stabbed, they must have done something to “deserve” it.

If Israeli authorities mobilize the army and police to stop the terrorism, then, by definition, Israel is using “excessive force.”

No matter how inflammatory President Abbas’s speeches at the UN may be, he is a man of “peace.”

No matter how many times Israeli leaders call for face-to-face negotiations with the Palestinians, Israel is always branded as the “obstacle” to peace.

Isn’t it long overdue to get real, see things as they actually are, and stop living in a world of self-imposed illusions and falsehoods?

While they do not hesitate to push, prod, and criticize Israel when they believe, rightly or wrongly, that Israel isn’t acting in the spirit of a two-state vision, they’re too often deafeningly silent when it comes to Palestinian behavior — including right now.

This double standard is the height of condescension or, indeed, infantilization.

And Brett Stephens in a very hard-hitting article in the Wall Street Journal decries the Palestinians’ psychotic stage and the way the world’s media reports on it:

Regarding the causes of this Palestinian blood fetish, Western news organizations have resorted to familiar tropes. Palestinians have despaired at the results of the peace process—never mind that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas just declared the Oslo Accords null and void. Israeli politicians want to allow Jews to pray atop the Temple Mount—never mind that Benjamin Netanyahu denies it and has barred Israeli politicians from visiting the site. There’s always the hoary “cycle of violence” formula that holds nobody and everybody accountable at one and the same time.

And would this be supplemented by the usual fake math of moral opprobrium, which is the stock-in-trade of reporters covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? In the Middle East version, a higher Palestinian death toll suggests greater Israeli culpability. (Perhaps Israeli paramedics should stop treating stabbing victims to help even the score.) In a U.S. version, should the higher incidence of black-on-white crime be cited to “balance” stories about white supremacists?

Didn’t think so.

Treatises have been written about the media’s mind-set when it comes to telling the story of Israel. We’ll leave that aside for now. The significant question is why so many Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust—by a communal psychosis in which plunging knives into the necks of Jewish women, children, soldiers and civilians is seen as a religious and patriotic duty, a moral fulfillment. Despair at the state of the peace process, or the economy? Please. It’s time to stop furnishing Palestinians with the excuses they barely bother making for themselves.

We are angry at the Administration who “urge us to be calm” but don’t urge the Arabs to turn off the terror. And we’re both highly amused yet really furious at the inane John Kerry who appears dangerously clueless or menacingly malevolent when it comes to understanding the Middle East. Click on the links within the following tweets to read the relevant stories:

The Elder of Ziyon has produced a great debunking of Kerry’s lies. proving that the conflict is not about the settlements at all:

The truth is that there has been next to no expansion. No land is being “gobbled up” by the supposedly voracious Jews. No Arab houses are being demolished so that Jews could move in.

The only reason these lies are so accepted is because people like John Kerry want to believe them.

More sickening is the idea that Kerry is justifying Arab violence by ascribing a bogus reason to it.

We are frustrated and depressed at the thought of this violence sparking up every few years for the smallest of reasons.

I find it profoundly depressing, almost nauseating, to realize that with the anti-Israel indoctrination by UNRWA-run schools with their extremist teachers, the anti-Jewish incitement from the rest of the Palestinian education system, and the malign influence of the Palestinian media, yet another generation of Palestinian children is brainwashed into vicious and unreasonable Jew-hatred, and there is not a chance in hell of us ever reaching any kind of workable way for the two nations to live at least in an armed truce if not peace in our little country.

It is terrifying to understand that the Palestinian masses can be “switched on” into an almost zombie-like mass hysteria by a few words – false words, vicious words, words that can, and do, light a conflagration; those words being “the Jews are attacking the Al-Aqsa Mosque!”.

Palestinian cartoons of incitement against Jews


It is even worse to bear when we all know that those words are utterly false. How many times does Bibi have to swear that Israel has no designs on the Mosque, that the Jews are not interested in entering the Mosque, that we have not changed that unholy status quo one iota; in fact it is the Muslims themselves who have changed the status quo by turning the holy site into a battlefield, complete with rocks, firecrackers and even weapons, ready to be turned on the Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall below the Mosque and on the Israeli police and troops who are there to protect those worshippers.

On these two subjects, the indoctrination of Palestinian children, and the Temple Mount libels, I would recommend two excellent articles from the Times of Israel, both of which describe the profoundly depressing nature of the conflict and its insolubility:

Armed with rocks and stones, the children of Oslo come of age by Avi Issacharoff:

This generation of Palestinian youth has been named the “children of Oslo” by Palestinian society. They were born after the Oslo agreements of 1993, and after the establishment of the Palestinian Authority. They have heard about the old model of the Israeli occupation, but don’t really know what it means. The Palestinian Authority, from their perspective, has been the government since before they were born, yet they view it with open contempt and suspicion.

They’re addicted to the Internet and, of course, to Facebook. The official media outlets of the Authority, such as Palestinian television and radio stations, are so 1990s. They pass around videos and messages in WhatsApp and other apps — like the video of the terrorist from Nazareth who was shot in Afula by cops after they surrounded her on all sides — and in that way create a communication and news network all their own. Even al-Jazeera seems to them “news for old people.”

Yet more incitement from the Palestinian Authority

And the second article: A stabbing war born of hysterical intolerance by the always incisive editor David Horovitz:

There is an almost surreal aspect to this particular eruption of conflict: Israel has been plunged into a terror war because of a false assertion that it intends to allow Jewish prayer at the holiest place in Judaism. This rather begs the question of why Israel would not allow Jewish prayer at the holiest place in Judaism, which it captured and liberated, to a great outpouring of Jewish emotion in the 1967 war.

The answer? Utilizing the rabbinical halachic consensus that forbids Jews from setting foot on the Temple Mount for fear of desecrating the site of the Holy of Holies, Israel’s defense minister 48 years ago, Moshe Dayan, took the pragmatic decision not to fully realize renewed Jewish sovereignty at the Temple Mount, and therefore not to risk a religious confrontation with the Muslim world. Instead, Israel opted to bar Jewish prayer there and to permit the Jordanian-run Waqf authority to continue to administer the Muslim holy places. That Israeli forbearance has all too evidently been misunderstood and misrepresented among many Palestinians as evidence that the Jewish state has no genuine attachment to the Mount. That Israeli forbearance is now rewarded with violence.

As to the fear that we are experiencing, yes, we are scared of the terrorist acts that are popping up all around us, not only on the dangerous roads of Samaria, but in the middle of Jerusalem, in our major cities like Tel Aviv and Hadera (and even my quiet little hometown of Petach Tikva!), and on our major highways.

But we Israelis have known a lot worse. The deadly days of the Second Intifada are not easily forgotten, when we thought twice about going to the mall or riding a bus into town. Yet we did go to the mall and ride those buses and eat in those pizzerias; we just did it all with our eyes darting around and our ears sharpened for strange noises. My own method for dealing with the terror in those days was: no mooching in the mall if it was for no particular reason (that applied mainly to my teenage children), but if you need to go there to buy something, then go. Ditto for driving in Judea and Samaria, for eating out etc. In other words, the terror did affect our way of life, but we tried to minimize the impact as much as possible. We simply hunkered down and just got on with it.

That is the attitude that is starting to take effect now as well, at least for myself and my circle of family and friends. We are trying to carry on as normally as possible: my husband still drove on Route 443 from Jerusalem the other day although it is regularly stoned along the way because it was the quickest way home; my son drives in and out of his settlement because he has to work near Tel Aviv even though an IED was discovered on the approach road a couple of days ago. But – I admit I’m having second and third thoughts about visiting both him and our daughter in her settlement because there have been several stoning attacks and even, allegedly, a shooting the other day. For the moment I can wait a while to see my grandchildren. But for how long? At some point, if this situation continues, I will take the risk to drive out there. I can’t stay away forever. And the settlement’s residents too have to drive in and out in their daily lives.

For that is the one thing that the Arab world has not internalized about us – they will never drive us out, no matter how much terror they pour on us, no matter how much delegitimization they activate against us in the international sphere, no matter what weapons they launch at us.

For we have nowhere else to go.

Terror slowdown as Israelis absorb first shock and gear up for the next round

October 14, 2015

Terror slowdown as Israelis absorb first shock and gear up for the next round, DEBKAfile, October 14, 2015

Central_Bus_Station_in_Jerusalem_14.10.15Anti-terror operations in Jerusalem

Israelis have absorbed the first shock of the wave of Palestinian terror unleashed in the last two weeks. The Palestinians are likely absorbing the package of tough penalties for terror and deterrents the Netanyahu government began putting together Tuesday night. Wednesday, Oct. 14, saw relative calm after the deadly violence reached a new peak Tuesday with the first Palestinian shooting attack on a Jerusalem bus – this time by adults.

The relative lull is expected to last only until the Palestinians and their Israeli Arab supporters take stock, before inevitably launching their next round of terror.

Meanwhile, Jerusalem saw “only” two stabbing attacks. In the first, a terrorist wearing army fatigues tried to stab a Border Guardsman at Nablus Gate in Jerusalem, and was shot and killed by policemen and visitors. Two hours later, another terrorist attacked a woman bus passenger at the city’s central station. A police special ops officer ran after him up and shot him dead.

One of the counter-terror measures that went into effect Wednesday morning was the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee’s approval of Emergency Order 8 authorizing the mobilization of an additional 600 Border Guards combatants from the reserves, over and above the 800 already called up.

DEBKAfile’s military experts note that the rapid processing of this new intake with equipment and operational orders will reduce the need to detach from their regular duties the 500 IDF soldiers allocated for manning the streets of Jerusalem.

That is all to the good, because managing police officers and soldiers in harness is bound to be problematic.

Israel is not the first country to inject military strength into its capital to fight terror. The British and French governments have been known to deploy paratroops and armed personnel carriers into the streets of London and Paris when they were beset by a rising level of terror. This deployment never lasted more than a few days – just enough to calm a terrified citizenry.

But Jerusalem is different. The state of security is such that soldiers once in place may face a long-term stay in the capital to contend with a long-running security threat.

Another difficulty is that the soldiers assigned to this mission have been pulled out of tank, artillery and engineering courses with no training for combating urban terror. Those who come from outside the city will furthermore need to familiarize themselves with a new environment and its rhythms.

The Jerusalem Police are special. They must cope with complex, demanding and multi-tasking challenges to the town’s security. More than one terror attack may take place at different parts of the city. Unlike ordinary soldiers, they are trained and have the experience to quickly spot and take action against a terrorist in ordinary clothes who may pop up suddenly from among a large crowd to sow death.

A seasoned police officer can judge when to cut the assailant down to save lives and when to arrest him.

But the IDF servicemen to be recruited for anti-terror duties in support of security forces are much younger than the average policeman – on average around nineteen years old. Their firearms and kits are designed for conventional warfare on the Golan in the north or the Gaza Strip in the south – not for securing civilian buses or heavy vehicular and pedestrian traffic in a crowded city center.

That Border Guards reservists were hastily mobilized at the same time as the military units indicates that someone had the sense to understand that the presence of IDF troops on the streets and buses was good psychological first aid for people jumping at shadows for fear of a lone terrorist, but hardly an effective operational arm for the war on terror.

Curfews and Internet restrictions can’t be avoided for reining in Palestinian street terror

October 10, 2015

Curfews and Internet restrictions can’t be avoided for reining in Palestinian street terror, DEBKAfile, October 10, 2015

Nablus_Gate10.10.15Holding the line at Nablus Gate, Jerusalem

After nearly a month of rampant Palestinian violence and murder, Israel’s leaders and its forces of law and order were Saturday, Oct. 10, fast approaching an unavoidable decision to impose a curfew on the Old City of Jerusalem – both to bring the stabbing attacks at every corner under control, and to isolate this source of contagion from the disorders spreading in the West Bank and across Israeli Arab coummunities.

Once a curfew is in place, the security authorities – whose forces are stretched to the limit by the multiple outbreaks proliferating across the country – will be able to deal quietly and systematically with the disorders.

A major hindrance until now has the refusal of the heads of government, especially Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, to realistically appreciate the dynamic of the wave of terror, and their insistence on playing down its eruption in one place after another as random and uncontrolled.

They keep on harping on the incitement and lies spread by Mahmoud Abbas and radical Israeli Muslim leaders, although the street has since taken over.

Friday night, Ya’alon commented in a television interview that terrorists had committed “only” four fatal stabbings out of a population of four million.

This challenge was taken up with a vengeance. That night, Israeli Arabs staged riotous disturbances from northern Israel to the south, attacking security forces and blocking highway traffic on Routes 6, 444 and 65, with rocks and burning tires.

The following morning, the focus of violence switched back to Jerusalem and the Palestinians: A 16-year old Palestinian stabbed and badly injured two elderly religious Jews wrapped in prayer shawls.

He was shot dead when he brandished the knife against approaching police officers. A second Palestinian was killed after stabbing three police officers at Damascus Gate.

This sequence of events indicates that, while there is no single controlling hand behind them, they are nonetheless orchestrated in a way that keeps every Israeli constantly looking over his or her shoulder for fear of being taken off guard by the next attack – whether on an Israeli highway or town like Afula or Petach Tikva, or in Judea and Samaria. But Jerusalem remains the constant focal point because it is a powerful unifier.

Official Israeli spokesmen have tried relaying messages to Abbas and putting out reports that he has responded favorably to appeals. Saturday, Netanyahu asked US Secretary of State John Kerry to intercede with the Palestinian leader for help to quieten things down. However, none of the three, any more than Jordan’s Abdullah, holds the levers for controlling current events.

That is because they are being orchestrated to a large extent through messages of incitement and false inflammatory information which bounce back and forth between the cell phones and social media networks of young Palestinian and Israeli Arabs hungry for trouble.

In the latest example, the networks were flooded all day with calls to torpedo the international soccer match between Israel and Cyprus taking place Saturday night at the Teddy stadium in Jerusalem – even to setting the arena on fire.

This move had two objects: to dilute police strength in the Old City in order to reinforce security at the stadium and to terrify the public into staying away from the game.

Israel’s security authorities are finding they can no longer avoid stepped up measures, such as a curfew on the Old City of Jerusalem and blocking selected Palestinian cell phone networks and Internet connections and IPs of known inciters. This method was used by Turkish President Erdogan to stem the rising tide of opposition against him in 2014.

These measures are far from pleasant and will be frowned on by many people including Israelis. But they may possibly calm the turbulence and save Israeli and Palestinian lives.

Time is running out. Wednesday, Oct. 14, members of the Middle East Quartet are due to arrive in Israel. The Netanyahu government can’t afford to be found at a loss in the face of a major threat to its authority in Jerusalem. The ineffectual measures applied till now no longer serve.

The Palestinians’ New Intifada

October 8, 2015

The Palestinians’ New Intifada, Gatestone InstituteBarry Shaw, October 8, 2015

  • “I saw a mob of 40 to 50 masked Palestinians on the side of the road. They were holding rocks and cinder blocks. … I have no doubt that I would be dead now if I hadn’t used my gun. They were going to kill me.” – Josh Hasten, Oct. 7, 2015.
  • Arab children watch other Arab children on television throw rocks and firebombs, and speaking of knifing and shooting Jews, and they want a part of the action.
  • When Arabs hear from their leaders that Jews are “desecrating” Islamic holy places with their “filthy feet” and plotting to destroy them, it is a code, telling them to go out and attack Jews.

Yesterday, a friend, Josh Hasten, was set upon by a crowd of rock-wielding Palestinians, while he was driving to Jerusalem. “I saw a mob of 40 to 50 masked Palestinians on the side of the road. They were holding rocks and cinder blocks,” Hasten said. “As they approached my car, I took out my gun and fired one round in the air. The shot obviously scared them and they ran up the hill away from the road. I have no doubt that I would be dead now if I hadn’t used my gun. They were going to kill me.”

In Europe and the West, acts of terrorist violence are relatively rare; in Israel, they occur several times a day — on a regular basis.

Last week, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas spoke at the United Nations, highlighting Israeli “crimes,” but without specifying any. He is, apparently, aware of losing control of the Palestinian “street,” which now seems to feel closer to radical elements within Palestinian society — especially since Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad take credit for recent murders in Israel.

Palestinians who commit terrorist attacks are not, as in Europe, radicalized primarily by social media or clerics. They are, rather, radicalized primarily by their own Palestinian Authority or Hamas leadership. Arab children watch other Arab children on television throwing rocks and firebombs, and speaking of knifing and shooting Jews, and they want a part of the action.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government is prevented by international pressure from disbanding these groups or arresting their leaders. The equivalent is as if Britain were plagued by daily terror attacks directed by a leadership based in Birmingham, and with the British government prevented from acting against the source, under pain of condemnation and punishment from the European Union and the United Nations.

The current wave of Arab riots and terrorist attacks has been compared to an “intifada,” an Arabic word meaning “uprising” or “shaking off” — a word used to describe the desire of Palestinian Arabs to drive the Jews out of the land.

The violent demonstrations and riots are initiated and orchestrated by the Palestinian leadership, seemingly concerned about losing the support of their own people. Palestinian leaders have been seeing, in local surveys and student elections, a growing disenchantment with the corrupt and sclerotic Fatah-led Palestinian governance, as well as a growing popularity for Hamas.

Palestinian Authority leaders have also been seeing the rise in popularity of rival groups at the same time as they are being ignored by the world’s media and diplomatic community, who are busy with Iran, Russia, Syria and ISIS.

The current violence has a greater religious component than earlier intifadas.[1] Perhaps seeing that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are strongly Islamic, PA President Mahmoud Abbas latched onto the extremist — albeit totally incorrect — Islamist theme that Jews are trying to destroy Islamic holy places. He thereby ignited a firestorm of competition among radical groups as to which faction could incite the most violence.

1280Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (right) ignited competition among radical groups as to which faction could incite the most violence. Left: official PA media incite Palestinians, from a young age, to murder Jews.

Hamas, ruling in the Gaza Strip, has made no secret of its wish to deepen its influence in the West Bank. This time, it was assisted by the Palestinian Authority, which used the Jewish high holy days as an excuse to accuse Jews praying at the Western Wall, of trying to take over Muslim holy places. The Western Wall, a holy place to Jews, is all that is left of the Jews’ Second Temple, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.

When Muslims hear from their leaders that Jews are “desecrating” Islamic holy places with their “filthy feet” and plotting to destroy them, it is a code, telling them to go out and attack Jews.

In addition, Muslim women, in organized groups funded by the Islamic Movement in Israel, have been bused to Jerusalem, and paid to abuse, and sometimes use violence, to prevent non-Muslims, mainly Jews, from visiting the Temple Mount. The women punch, kick, spit, and hurl insults at Jews (and often other non-Muslims) who visit or attempt to visit the Temple Mount.

For years, Mahmoud Abbas has been whipping up the Palestinians with claims — all false, as can be seen throughout the Bible — that Jews have no heritage or history in Jerusalem, and therefore have no right to be there. It is a charge he repeats despite a Jewish presence and culture in the land that dates back over 3000 years.

Incitement to violence leads to actual violence. So, on October 3, an impressionable 19-year-old Arab man became a murderer. Muhannad Halabi, before setting out on his killing spree, wrote on his Facebook page, “The Third Intifada has erupted!…Defending the sanctity of Al-Aqsa and its women is out pride and honor… We know only that Jerusalem is undivided and that every part of it is holy.”

This young killer was apparently caught up in the passion of the false claims of Abbas that Jews were defiling Islamic holy places with their “filthy feet,” that he took a knife and entered the Jerusalem’s Old City in search of Jews. There, he attacked a Jewish family that on its way to pray at the Western Wall. He stabbed Aharon Banita, and his wife, Adele. Hearing the screams of the victims, 41-year-old Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, armed with a pistol, ran over to stop the attack. Halabi stabbed and killed Lavi, took his gun, and shot and wounded 2-year-old Matan Banita. Seconds later, security forces arrived and killed Halabi in a shootout. Adele and Matan Banita survived.

During the attack, as the wounded and bleeding Adele Banita ran through the street screaming for help, she was jeered at, spat on, hit and insulted by Arab passersby and local Arab shopkeepers. None of them helped her. She reported later from the hospital that many of them screamed at her to die. The anti-Jewish incitement by Palestinians resulted in the killing of four Jews – simply because they were Jews.

In the minds of radicalized Palestinians, there is no difference between shooting or stabbing women and children, and shooting men.[2]

Many in the Western media fail to portray events in Israel accurately. The most morally tortured headline came from BBC News. Its headline on October 4 read “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two.” It appeared a clear effort to make readers believe that the Palestinian terrorist was the victim.

Unless the West persuades Abbas to stop the incitement, perhaps by linking financial aid to performance, his intifada will continue to escalate.


[1] In the first “intifada,” from 1987-1993 Arabs attacked primarily Israeli soldiers and police, mainly with rocks and firebombs. The second “intifada” (2000-2005), planned by the late Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, included widespread attacks — suicide bombings, shootings and car bombs — against any and all Israeli targets, mainly civilians.

[2] In 2011, for example, three of the six children from the Fogel family in the village of Itamar were hacked to death in their beds, along with their parents, when Palestinian terrorists broke into their home. It was near Itamar that four small children from the Henkin family miraculously avoided death under a hail of bullets on October 1, when Palestinians murdered their parents (Eitam and Naama Henkin) in a drive-by shooting. The nine-year-old son recited the mourner’s prayer at his parents’ graves the following day.