This is a difficult posting to write, because the issues are so complex. But an exceedingly important one.
Since I posted yesterday, there have been several more attacks by Palestinian Arabs on Jews.
The most recent took place in Afula, in the north, where a Jewish man was moderately stabbed by an Arab, who was apprehended. I believe it has been reported that he has a Jerusalem residency card.
Before that, in Kiryat Arba, next to Hevron, a Jewish man was seriously stabbed by an Arab teenager. The assailant got away and is being sought.
Prior to this, a terrorist in Tel Aviv attacked first a soldier and then three others with a screwdriver. The terrorist was shot and killed.
Earlier, at about noon, near Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem, a yeshiva student was stabbed in the neck with a knife. He was taken to the hospital in serious condition and had to undergo surgery. The terrorist – who is from Shuafat in Jerusalem – is in custody. I was sorry to hear this. Although it is of course better than his having escaped, my preference would be to know that he had been killed.
And this is just today.
Yesterday, a man in Petah Tikva was badly stabbed by a man from the Arab town of Dahariya in the Shomron; he too is in custody.
While at a checkpoint outside of Ma’aleh Adumim (east of Jerusalem), Arabs in a car attempted to run down border policemen. The driver was shot and wounded.
And in the Abu Tor neighborhood of Jerusalem, an Arab youth (19, erroneously reported to be 15 at first) was arrested for attempting to stab police on patrol.
And all this is without reporting on various mob riots and clashes with police.
This isn’t war? But officials refuse to even call it an intifada.
I’m reading that security officials are saying that the situation is under control. Really??
I’m also reading that Abbas is helping to quell the violence. Tell me another one. Abbas may have made statements in this regard and even given lame orders to PA security about quieting things down. But this is only one side of the two-faced Abbas.
It’s time for all Israeli officials to recognize this openly. I have no doubt whatsoever that Abbas gave the word for the violence we have been confronting.
’”Fatah leaders who met in Ramallah on Wednesday ‘saluted’ the Palestinians for ‘rising to defend their al-Aksa Mosque and confronting terrorist settlers.’
”The members of the Fatah Central Council, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, called on Palestinians to ‘preserve the popular nature’ of the current protests ‘as part of a comprehensive national strategy to avoid sliding into the Israeli square.’” (Emphasis added)
Precisely what message do you imagine Palestinian Arabs derive from this? We can be sure it was not, “Go home and be peaceful.”
At an executive committee meeting of the PLO chaired by Abbas, it was advocated that the Palestinian National Council [the legislative body of the PLO] be convened, and that Hamas and Islamic Jihad be included.
As reported by Palestinian Media Watch, the following was in the official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 2:
“Palestinian users of the social networks Facebook and Twitter posted pictures from the scene of the settlement Itamar operation [i.e., terror attack murder of Na’ama and Eitam Henkin in front of their four children] south of Nablus, the most significant being the picture of the killed woman settler and her husband, alongside expressions of joy over the operation which they described as ‘heroic.’ [Palestinian] citizens expressed their joy over this event.” (Emphasis added)
Yesterday, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported that Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muhaisen said that: “It is important that the popular uprising increases.”
These are not aberrations. This is the true face of Mahmoud Abbas and his people. We, collectively, have to recognize it, and, most importantly, Israeli leaders must recognize it. It is ludicrous, and insulting to Israel, to refer to “negotiations for peace” and our willingness to come to the table. Or to talk about how cooperative Abbas is in quelling the violence. They do not want peace and we must stop pretending that they do – even if it is what Obama and the EU want to hear from us.
Days ago, I wanted to discuss Netanyahu’s speech in the UN, which was magnificent except for his reference to willingness to negotiate two states. And I wanted to look at the history of Oslo, because of things said by Abbas at the UN. But events overwhelmed me, and distracted me from this path. Even now, I can only allude to my desire to look at this in more detail. Here, I will simply say it’s time for a change of approach that is unapologetic and clear in its message.
So we’ve got Abbas, who is an enemy of Israel in real terms. Perhaps more significantly, we have Arabs – among us – who hate us.
Netanyahu is assuring us that we will deal with this terrorism as we’ve dealt with terrorism before. But my opinion is that temporarily quelling the violence is not sufficient. Because they are among us. And because they take orders from an ugly hateful man and his cohorts who seek to damage us. It might be quiet for a while and then he might unleash them again. I think that’s part of the message that is being delivered to us: Be afraid.
And so, the gut-wrenching question is what is to be done.
One way or another we must vanquish them, make them afraid of us. But how?
The war that should happen will not happen, because no one wants to call it a war.
I’ve read a lot of suggestions both on the Internet, and from readers’ emails. What I will say here is that some of the suggestions that seem appealing – from the gut – will not work. We cannot banish all the Arabs to Gaza. We cannot take down whole Arab villages. We cannot.
It is clear from what I wrote yesterday why we cannot. We are fighting a new kind of war – one that is not just military, but also fought on a diplomatic/ media/ political level. And the Arabs are very good at it. Look what happened when we fought Hamas, which was launching rockets and mortars at our civilian population. We were accused of killing their civilians, and all over the world there were furious anti-Israel demonstrations.
The international anti-Israel venom matters, because – as the second lawyer I cited yesterday explained – it foments delegitimization of Israel, EU sanctions, and more.
There is no justice to be had here. The first lawyer made this clear when he spoke about: very clever Palestinian manipulation of Obama and the EU and their evidently existing predisposition to harm Netanyahu and hence harm Israel.
At the same time that Abbas met with the PLO regarding incorporation of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Palestinian National Council, he also “urged [UN Sec.-Gen.] Ban Ki-moon to apply the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and force Israel to comply with ’international law’ and withdraw from Judea-Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.” That’s not going to happen. The “international law” he invokes does not even exist. But this is how he plays it – calling on the international community to stand against Israel in the name of justice and “international law.”
Were we to take an action such as razing an Arab village in Israel and deporting all its residents, it would ring bells all over the world. We would be accused in the most extreme terms of violating Arab human rights and then the repercussions would be major.
But please be assured, I am not suggesting that Abbas has us cornered and that there is nothing we can do. This is only the case if we allow ourselves to be cornered. I believe attitude has a great deal to do with it. We must convey a self-confidence – a belief that we are in the right – which we are, and IN CONTROL.
No expressions of gratitude to Abbas for his cooperation on security matters. How ludicrous. Rather, a very quiet message to Abbas that if he doesn’t let his people know that they should cool it, it will go very badly with them and he will pay the price.
David Rubin, former mayor of Shilo, makes a host of suggestions in a blog on Arutz Sheva.
Among his suggestions: Freeze all building in any [Arab] town or village from which the terror attacks have emanated, and pass a law demanding the expulsion of anyone found guilty of launching a terror attack against Israeli citizens.
In line with this thinking there is a great deal more that might be done that lets the Arabs know who is in charge. Perhaps random searches of persons or houses (bolstered by proper laws referring to a national emergency). Perhaps laws against Arabs carrying knives in the street. Perhaps other sorts of restrictions. Maybe a law that rescinds citizenship of any Israeli Arab involved in terror, or residency rights of Arabs living in Jerusalem.
They have got to know they will pay in a host of ways, and that it is Israel that is in control. What is required here is determination, creative thinking, and the belief that we can do it.
Rubin makes other suggestions, including:
“Declare the Levy Report, which in 2012 proved the legal basis for Jewish sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, to be the basis for government policy in ‘the territories.’”
Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis (Likud) has advanced a similar thought, but with a different emphasis that is important (emphasis added):
“I said it many times in the past and I’ll say it again now: construction in our country is a right – not a favor. The international attempt to connect this right with any diplomatic struggle is invalid.
“I believe we need to adopt the Edmund Levy Report and renew the construction, without any connection to the escalation of terror…”
As co-chair of the Legal Grounds Campaign – http://israelrights.com/en/ – I bless him for these words.
No matter how I might wish it would be, I do not expect the Levy Report to be adopted now. But there is nothing to stop our government from declaring our rights, just so.
I realized after I posted yesterday that I had failed to provide sufficient clarity on this issue: Our rights to the land should never be linked with terrorism – as if our building would be in retaliation for a terrorist act and not because we have a right to build.
Here I have the opportunity to elaborate.
As I reported yesterday, Netanyahu declined to increase building in Judea and Samaria as part of the response to the terrorism: he had been asked to do the building in retaliation for the terrorism. I regretted that the request had been couched that way, and, for those who might have noticed, I wrote only about exercising our right to build.
The jury may still be out on whether Netanyahu should permit an increase in building in Judea and Samaria now (and I’ll come to that in a minute). But there is nothing to stop our prime minister from saying, “I have decided that now is not the time to build, but I want to clearly assert that we have the unequivocal right to do so.”
As to whether Netanyahu should refrain from building now because of US threats, this came to my attention after I posted yesterday:
“The US State Department denied reports it issued Israel an ultimatum this week threatening not to veto a UN Security Council resolution declaring West Bank settlements illegal if Israel announced new settlement construction.
“Deputy State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said that while his office was aware of such reports in the press, they were ‘false.’
“’Our position on settlements is well known and hasn’t changed,’ he said. ‘We convey it regularly to the Israeli Government. I know we don’t generally comment on private conversations, but I’d like to nip that story in the bud. We haven’t issued any kind of ultimatum on this.’
“Toner emphasized that far from issuing any such ultimatum regarding a UN resolution, ‘there’s not even a resolution out there right now.’”
Hmmm… tough to know precisely how to interpret this or where truth lies. One thing that has occurred to me is that the State Department denies having delivered any ultimatums, and perhaps that is true, because the stories we heard originally said that threats came from Obama.
Maybe there was no direct threat, but just an innuendo from Obama that made an overly nervous Netanyahu think twice. Maybe… maybe… Obama has a history of playing dirty to get his way.
I have picked up reports about the left wing mainstream US media slanting the news on what is going on here. Once again, we are made to be the villains – acting with undo harshness against Arabs.
Thus do I urge you to share this information very broadly. Pass this posting along. But draw from it for letters to the editor, and Internet talkbacks, and Facebook pages. Get the word out especially, on the number of attacks Israelis are enduring all over the country, and on the position of Abbas and Fatah, as I have detailed it above.
The good news for today: Major oil reserves have been discovered in the Golan Heights – enough to keep Israel oil-sufficient for years.
“We are talking about a layer which is 350 meters thick,” Dr. Yuval Bartov, the chief geologist of Afek Oil and Gas told Channel 2 News. “On average in the world strata are 20-30 meters thick, so this is 10 times as large as that, so we are talking about significant quantities.”
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.
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