Vicious attacks by Palestinians, using knives, guns and vehicles as weapons of choice against Israeli civilians, are escalating to an alarming degree. In response, the so-called “international community” is siding with the Palestinian killers and blaming the Jewish victims, despite the clear source of the violence. Spurred on by hate-filled social media postings exhorting Palestinians to go out and kill as many Jews as possible, would-be Palestinian martyrs – including women and teenagers -- set out to do just that. In two dozen violent incidents since October 1st, at least seven Israelis have been killed and scores more have been wounded.
As just one example of the incitement to violence appearing on social media, the following tweet was posted last week under the hashtag “The Intifada Has Started”: "There is no greater reward in Islam than the one given for jihad, and there is no greater reward than the one given for #Slaughtering_the_Jews... Kill them wherever you find them." (Source: The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI))
There are also tutorials on how to most effectively stab Jews to death. For instance, in a tweet posted from an individual in Gaza under the hashtag " Poison The Knife Before You Stab," the following ghastly advice was offered: "Dip [your] knife in an active poison before carrying out [a stabbing], so that even if the knife does not manage [to kill], the poison will do the job." (Source: MEMRI)
Israel’s new ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon described in a communication to the United Nations Security Council and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon one recent horrific attack involving a 13-year-old Palestinian perpetrator and a 13-year-old Israeli victim. It may well have been the product of the call to kill Jews appearing on Palestinian social media:
“On Monday, in a particularly shocking and horrific attack, two Palestinian teenagers, one of them merely 13 years old, stabbed a 13 year old boy riding his bicycle and an Israeli man who was walking down the street. This was just one of the four attacks that took place on that day alone, three of which were carried out by minors.”
This disturbing account fell on deaf ears at the United Nations.
When Palestinian assailants die or are injured after Israeli security forces respond to quell the violence and take down the murderous aggressors, the Palestinians are hailed as martyrs in their own communities and are excused by the “international community” for simply acting on their “frustration.” Israeli security forces are accused of using “disproportionate” force even as they themselves are attacked.
The United Nations regularly issues statements condemning the violence by both sides and calling for restraint. However, when the UN does look to assign blame, inevitably the pro-Palestinian UN bureaucracy targets Israel.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is a UN agency established back in 1949, originally as a temporary relief agency for displaced Palestinians with the objective of resettling them in communities willing to receive them. It has morphed into a permanent fixture. Its clientele today are some 5 million registered Palestine “refugees,” most of whom are descendants separated by several generations from the actual refugees who left their homes when Israel was created and who were supposed to have been resettled and integrated into their new communities. UNRWA intends to stay in business until as many of the 5 million so-called “refugees” can return “home” from Jordan where they are already citizens of that Palestinian majority country and from Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. “Home” to UNRWA and its clientele is not limited to just a new state bordering Israel along essentially the pre-1967 lines. It also means the “refugees” claimed “right of return” to lands encompassing pre-1967 Israel.
Against that backdrop, consider UNRWA’s false rationalization for the recent spurt of Palestinian violence:
“The root causes of the conflict, among them the Israeli occupation, must be addressed. Across the occupied Palestinian territory there is a pervasive sense of hopelessness and despair resulting from the denial of rights and dignity. In the West Bank communities living under occupation feel profoundly marginalized. While in Gaza the latest demonstrations are evidence of a generation that has lost hope in the future; not least because of the lack of economic prospects -- youth unemployment is one of the highest in the world – but also because of the lack of reconstruction more than a year after the conflict. An entire generation of Palestinians is at risk.”
UNRWA condemned Israel’s response to the violence initiated by Palestinian killers. It claimed that “the high number of casualties, in particular those resulting from the use of live ammunition by Israeli forces raise serious concerns about the excessive use of force that may be contrary to international law enforcement standards.”
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are so very anxious to ingratiate themselves with the “international community,” as manifested by the United Nations. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Kerry is singing the same tune as UNRWA. At Harvard University this past Tuesday night, Kerry complained, as he does so frequently, about the failure to negotiate a definitive two-state solution and about Israeli settlements as an obstacle to peace. This time he linked both to what he characterized as the Palestinians’ “frustration,” which he contended was what led to their resort to violence.
"What's happening is that, unless we get going, a two-state solution could conceivably be stolen from everybody," Kerry said. "And there's been a massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years, and now you have this violence because there's a frustration that is growing."
Kerry’s remarks were absurd on their face. Elliott Abrams, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. who has served in government as a specialist in Middle East policy, went further in criticizing Kerry. He called Kerry’s remarks “morally obtuse and factually wrong.”
First of all, the issue that social media has been using to fire up the Palestinian assailants to engage in their recent attacks is not so much focused on the settlements. It involves the false rumors about alleged Israeli plans to change the status quo at the Temple Mount or, as Muslims refer to it, Haram al-Sharif. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that Israel is fully committed to maintaining the status quo at the compound. But that has not stopped exploitation of the false rumors by social media and by Palestinian leaders including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Secondly, when Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and uprooted all of the settlers living there, the Palestinians failed completely to seize the opportunity to build a prototype model of a state. Their “frustration” before Israel’s pull-out from Gaza did not give way in the least to constructive action after all the settlers and Israeli forces had left. Instead, the Palestinians squandered the opportunity in Gaza and irresponsibly rejected offers by successive Israeli governments for a peace agreement that would have given them much of what they have asked for in the West Bank.
With regard to the settlements in the West Bank, good faith moratoriums on settlement building have been ignored by Palestinian leaders. Moreover, as Abrams pointed out, there has not been either a massive increase in the number of settlements or in settlement size. The growth in settlement population that has occurred, Abrams observed, has occurred largely “in the major blocs–such as Ma’ale Adumim–that Israel will clearly retain in any final agreement.”
Violence is not the Palestinians’ last resort, born of frustration after seeing that nothing else has worked. It is the Palestinians’ first reflexive action in dealing with their own self-inflicted plight. The Palestinians regularly lie to the world with their propaganda campaign aimed at exonerating themselves of all responsibility and at delegitimizing the Jewish State of Israel. For the Obama administration to parrot the propaganda and join the “international community” in blaming the Jewish victims of terrorism for defending themselves is tantamount to anti-Semitism.