So we’ve had another murderous terror attack. It happened when Border Police officer Solomon Gavriya (20), private security guards Youssef Ottman (25) and Or Arish (25), and community security team leader Amit Steinhart were opening the back gate of Har Adar, near Jerusalem. A Palestinian Arab approached them, pulled out a pistol and shot all four. Gavriya, Ottman and Arish were killed, and Steinhart was critically wounded. The terrorist, Nimer Mahmoud Ahmad Jamal, was from a nearby village. He had worked in Har Adar for some time and was well-known and trusted there, which is probably why he was able to get close to the guards. He was, thankfully, shot dead by others on the scene before he could get into the community.
Jamal was having family problems – his wife had recently left him – so naturally he chose to kill some Jews (and Ottman, an Israeli Arab from Abu Ghosh) and die a hero. He may or may not have been a member of a terrorist organization. Hamas distributed candy in the streets of Gaza as usual, and Fatah glorified him as a shaheed. The Palestinian Authority will pay his family 6000 NIS (about $1700) immediately and 2600 NIS (about $740) a month for life.
That’s the story, again. An unhappy Palestinian Arab solves his problems by murdering Israelis. It’s not surprising, because he’s been told how wonderful and heroic it is to murder us by his political and religious leaders, day in and day out. He learned it in school (Jamal would have been 14 in 1994 when Yasser Arafat took over the Palestinian school system and it began teaching the glory of martyrdom), he was told it by his Imam in the mosque on Friday, and he heard it countless times on Palestinian Authority radio and TV.
The PA is one of the most corrupt governing authorities on the face of the earth. It receives more than a billion dollars a year from the international community, which comes as direct aid to the PA, money for various projects, UNRWA support for “refugees,” NGO and church programs, and more. Much of this money also goes to Hamas, via UNRWA and in payments from the PA for salaries of PA officials in Gaza (who either don’t do anything or work for Hamas). There have been attempts to condition the flow of money on stopping incitement of terrorism, but the PA simply claims it isn’t inciting or – as in the case of the payments to the families of terrorists – refuses to stop.
We are living alongside, and sometimes intertwined with, a culture of hate and death. Unhappy husbands like Jamal, teenagers angry at their parents, women threatened with honor killing, pious Muslims overcome with shame over Jewish feet touching the ground near al-Aqsa, young men who want to impress their friends, cynically manipulated mentally disturbed individuals, workers angry at their bosses, and hardened terrorist operatives all end up committing murder. And they receive encouragement from their peers and authority figures, as well as payments from their government.
Yet the world loves them. The people that popularized airline hijacking, suicide bombing and vehicular terrorism are the toast of the Western Left. The UN has special sub-organizations set up to help them gain their ”rights,” which as they understand them, require dismantling Israel and replacing it with a racist apartheid state of Palestine, that – judging by the PA’s record – wouldn’t accomplish anything more than absorbing aid and training its children to be monsters. Their made-up history and stories of mistreatment at the hands of the Jews are believed without question. Their fake news and Pallywood video is broadcast without checking or criticism, even when it is obviously untrue.
An observer from another planet would be amazed. Israel is a functional country which provides a good life for its inhabitants, one of the few places where Muslims and non-Muslims can coexist even a little, a country that ranks 12th out of 156 nations in the happiness of its people (several places ahead of the US and far ahead of the UK), a country that generates technological and scientific progress greatly disproportionate to its size, which sends units of its army around the globe not to invade other nations, but to rescue disaster victims. And yet, the majority of the world’s nations support a cause dedicated to its destruction. If you ask why, they will tell you that they do it in the name of “human rights!”
In the early 1990s, the so-called “peace process” began. The Oslo Accords injected new life into the PLO and created the PA, which immediately began its programs of hate indoctrination, along with its “talk and shoot” strategy. The ignorance of the Israeli Left, which facilitated this and which even now after several wars and more than a thousand Israeli deaths from terrorism, believes that it’s possible and desirable to allow the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, is staggering. Recent history and simply listening to what Palestinians say – both their leadership and the people on the street – should make it clear that the goal of the Palestinian cause is the liquidation of our state.
But how is Israel’s “right-wing” leadership responding to the latest terror attack? How did it respond to the last one or the one before that or the one before that? How does it respond to soldiers getting run over at bus stops, or people being stabbed in supermarkets? Unfortunately, almost not at all.
There will be angry remarks by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Internal Security, and the Defense Minister. There will be demands for Mahmoud Abbas to “denounce” the attack. The terrorist’s home will be demolished, and his relatives may lose their permits to work in Israel. For a few days the IDF might carry out searches in his village, and maybe bring in his brothers for questioning. Then the media will move on to other things, the PM will be accused of something new, the army will have other jobs to do, and life will go on.
But not for Solomon Gavriya, Youssef Ottman, and Or Arish. These young men who got up Tuesday morning with plans, friends, and whole lives ahead of them are already in the ground. Their families are shattered. Nothing will be the same for those who were close to them. And nothing will be the same for countless other throughout the country whose loved ones were brutally ripped from them in the name of the “Palestinian cause.”
Perhaps we have been too much influenced by the world media and political institutions that treat terrorism against Israel as understandable. There seems to be an attitude here that there is an “acceptable” level of terrorism. After all, more people are killed in road accidents. But it is not acceptable to the families of those who are murdered. And it should not be acceptable to the state that our neighbors think that murdering us is praiseworthy, that they glorify and pay murderers.
It is not acceptable that there is a culture in which killing Jews is permissible and encouraged. It is our responsibility to our people to put an end to it. To destroy the culture of hate and death.
What else could “Never Again” mean?