Ongoing incitement from Palestinian schools, media, and political and religious leaders under the watch of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “positively guarantees” the continuation of anti-Israel violence and terrorism, David Horovitz, founding editor of The Times of Israel, wrote on Tuesday.
Horovitz acknowledged that although security cooperation between Israel and the PA has been successful (a point that Abbas has been emphasizing lately), and that any successor to the nearly 81-years-old Abbas may very well be more intransigent, Abbas himself is “impossible.”
His duplicitous terrorism-fostering predecessor Yasser Arafat assured the Palestinians that they had no reason or need to compromise with the Jews because we were colonial invaders, an unrooted and temporary presence that his people’s stubbornness and terrorism would eventually see off. Abbas chose not to counter that narrative, not to acknowledge to his people the Jews’ history of sovereignty in the Holy Land, and more recently intensified the strategic campaign of misrepresentation — telling Palestinians that the Jews have no business at the Temple Mount.
Meanwhile, the Fatah hierarchy he heads has been openly encouraging attacks on Israelis, and the Hamas terror group with which he seeks to partner in government is again plotting suicide bombings, developing more sophisticated rockets, and digging tunnels under the Gaza-Israel border ahead of its next planned war.
Even if Abbas’ security forces are physically attempting to prevent terror and violence, “he’s presiding over an ongoing, strategic demonizing of Israel and Israelis — via his education system, political and spiritual leadership and mainstream and social media — that positively guarantees Palestinian violence and terrorism.” This has resulted in a situation where if a young Palestinian “has a row at home, feels depressed, or wants to make a name for him or herself,” he or she will procure a weapon and find a Jew to attack.
Horovitz pointed out that Israel released dozens of convicted killers from jail to get Abbas to attend peace talks in 2013 and 2014. Before that, Abbas turned down a 2008 offer from then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, which would have provided for an independent Palestinian state in all of the Gaza Strip, most of the West Bank, portions of Jerusalem including the Old City, and would have offset any lost territory with one-for-one land swaps.
Abbas’ behavior, along with that of Hamas and his predecessor Arafat, who turned down a peace offer from then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2000, has convinced Israelis “that they dare not relinquish territory to the Palestinians.” This “bleak fact,” Horovitz wrote, is something that the United States and much of the international community still refuse to “internalize.”
Horovitz noted that after Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, Hamas violently expelled Abbas’ Fatah party from the territory and rocket fire against Israeli towns intensified. The war with Hamas in 2014, during which the terror group shut down Ben Gurion Airport with a single errant rocket from Gaza, underlined the dangers of ceding territory. If Israel unilaterally disengaged from the West Bank as it did from Gaza, “Hamas would be running the show within days, and our entire country would be paralyzed and isolated.”
But, Horovitz wrote, had the Palestinians shown through their actions that their goal was peaceful coexistence with Israel in the years following the Gaza withdrawal, “we probably would have withdrawn unilaterally from much of the West Bank as well.”
The frequency of incitement-fueled stabbing attacks by Palestinians against Israelis caused Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog to declare last week that did not believe a two-state solution could be implemented any time in the near future. Horovitz observed that Herzog’s “sad and sober conclusion underlines that there can and will be no quick fixes.”
Towards that end, Horovitz recommended a grassroots effort to combat incitement to violence.
What’s needed, what has always been needed, to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is a grassroots approach to peacemaking. An approach focused on education. An approach under which international resources and leverage are utilized to rewrite educational curricula, to marginalize extremist political and spiritual leaders, to promote moderation and peaceful interaction.
Horovitz concluded that the Arafat-Abbas-Hamas strategy of fomenting anti-Israel hatred has backfired, as it has failed to achieve statehood for the Palestinians and has “even managed to persuade the center-left opposition, the peacemaking Labor Party, that Israeli readiness for compromise is insufficient.”
Now, Horovitz wrote, perhaps those in the international community who insist that Israel should take risks with its citizens’ security in the name of peace will arrive at the same realization that Herzog did, and recognize that Palestinian society must reform before peace becomes a viable possibility.
Ynet reported on Tuesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for saying that the recent wave of Palestinian terrorism could be explained as “frustration” stemming from “human nature to react to occupation.”
“The UN Secretary General’s remarks give a tailwind to terrorism,” said Netanyahu. “There is no justification for terrorism. The Palestinian murderers do not want to build a state – they want to destroy a state and they say this openly. They want to murder Jews simply because they are Jews and they say this openly. They do not murder for peace and they do not murder for human rights.”
Since September, 30 people have been killed and 290 injured in a series of Palestinian stabbing, car ramming, and shooting attacks, according to Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency services. The two most recent fatalities were Dafna Meir, a 38-year-old mother of six who was killed at the entrance to her home last week in Otniel, and 23-year-old Shlomit Krigman, who was stabbed to death in a grocery store on Monday.
The terrorists who fatally stabbed Krigman also injured a second woman and planted home-made bombs near the store before being shot to death by a security guard.
At her funeral, Krigman, who had graduated with a degree in industrial design from Ariel University, was remembered by a teacher as someone who was “open to the world” and “full of curiosity.”
In a concrete example of the problem Horovitz described, Israel’s internal security organization, the Shin Bet, said on Sunday that the Palestinian teenager who killed Meir attacked her “while under the influence of the programs he had been exposed to on Palestinian television,” which led him “to commit a stabbing attack with the goal of murdering a Jew.”
[Photo: Flash90 ]