The latest outbreak of Palestinian violence around Israel looks on the surface to have been a spontaneous eruption of anger in response to any number of perceived Israeli misdeeds: in particular the growing movement to demand Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount, and the Palestinians’ usual bugbear, settlement building (no matter that no new settlements have been built for decades).
But the real picture is nothing like what it seems, and what appears to be spontaneous is in fact carefully orchestrated.
A pattern emerges, dear friends. The … five Palestinian Arab terrorists who have murdered or sought to murder Israelis in major incidents in the last couple of weeks . […] are not simply members of the Arab Muslim public, with no prior affiliation, who suddenly committed acts of terror (there have been a number of incidents involving such non-affiliated individuals in recent years.) Rather, all are members of Palestinian organizations. Hijazi and Hashlamoun are/were Islamic Jihad members. The others are/were Hamas members.
So it should be understood: what we are in the midst of is an orchestrated campaign, a declaration of war, if you will, whereby members of these organizations appear to have been given a general instruction to go out and kill Jews. I doubt there is anything more direct than this general instruction (except in the case of Hijazi, who tried to kill Yehuda Glick, where I suspect an organizational guiding hand may have been involved. This was the only instance involving the use of firearms and a clear target). So this is not, in my view, simply an outbreak of strange, spontaneous fury. It, and the whole hysteria around the ‘contamination’ of the Temple Mount by a Jewish presence is being whipped up, by political organizations.
Spyer goes on to speculate as to the motivations behind this incitement, and concludes that it is connected to the declining interest in the Arab world in the Palestinian cause due to the barbaric civil wars taking place all around the region:
Perhaps the Palestinian Islamists – on the rope financially, isolated, and having achieved nothing in a recent military contest with Israel in the Gaza Strip – hope to re-galvanise their venture through draping it in the pan-Islamic symbol of the al-Aqsa Mosque.
If so, it is a project unlikely to succeed. There are more important matters to be attended to in the region right now than the Palestinian cause, once the flagship of Sunni Arabism. The more important issues being the collapse of states and the war with the Shia/threat of Iran. Still, the current effort is likely to find echoes in the west.
It is interesting to note the influence of the West on the upsurge of Palestinian violence. Maybe if the West would butt out of our business, we would have more of a chance at reaching, if not peace, then at least a more bearable status quo. But as long as the jihadists are encouraged in their mission by well-meaning (and not-so-well meaning) Westerners, they have no reason to stop.
Khaled Abu Toameh at the Gatestone Institute examines the upsurge in Palestinian violence in the context of John Kerry’s efforts at restarting the peace process. He explains why our “peace partner” Mahmoud Abbas does not condemn the violence, and comes to a similar conclusion as Jonathan Spyer above, that Abbas wants to keep the Palestinian issue at the top of the international and regional agenda.
But his incitement has been too successful. The Palestinians are now so radicalized that Abbas could not now make peace even if he wanted to. And he wants to stay alive:
instead of being honest with his people and telling them that peace requires painful concessions also on the part of Palestinians, and not only Israel, Abbas has chosen — ever since the collapse of Kerry’s “peace process” — to incite Palestinians against Israel.
Abbas is well aware that his people will condemn him if he ever returns to the negotiating table with Israel. That is why he has now chosen a different strategy — to try to impose a solution with the help of the United Nations and the international community.
Abbas’s refusal to condemn the recent terror attacks on Israel may be attributed to two motives: fear of his people, and the belief that violence will force Israel to make far-reaching concessions. By refusing to denounce the attacks, and even praising the perpetrators as heroes and martyrs (as he did in the case of Mu’taz Hijazi, the east Jerusalem man who shot and wounded Jewish activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick), Abbas is indicating his tacit approval of the violence.
Not a single Palestinian Authority official, in fact, has denounced the wave of terror attacks on Israel. They, too, are afraid of being condemned by their people for denouncing “heroic operations” such as the stabbing murder of a 26-year-old woman or ramming a car into a three-month-old infant.
Abbas is hoping that the terror attacks will keep the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the top of the world’s agenda at a time when all eyes are turned toward the threat of the Islamic State terror group in Syria and Iraq. He also knows very well that the people he has radicalized would turn against him if he dared to speak out against the killing of Jews.
The West itself bears plenty of responsibility for the latest deterioration of the security situation. The civilised world’s ignoring of Arab incitement or downplaying it also plays a major part in encouraging Arab anti-Israel violence.
Here is just one egregious example from recent days:
Iranian Chief Mullah, Ayatollah Khamenei, tweeted a disgraceful nine-step plan to eliminate Israel – and whether he was aware of it or not, he published this plan on the anniversary of Kristallnacht. Meryl Yourish reports:
On the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Iranian Supreme Leader released a nine-step plan to eliminate Israel. The world media mostly yawned. The AP can barely manage to eke out one final-paragraph mention of it in its story about the Iranian nuclear agreement today.
Stop and take a moment to realize this: The leader of a UN member nation tweeted a step-by-step plan to eliminate another member nation, and the world basically ignored it. The media downplayed the steps, of course, because Khamenei thoughtfully insisted he wasn’t for the genocide of all Israeli Jews–he just wants to throw them out of the country. What a nice guy. He even says the should go back to the countries they came from. (Scroll down for a table of how many Jews fled those nations.) Like Iran, I guess. And Egypt, Yemen, Iraq, Algeria, Morocco, Syria, and Tunisia. Because Muslims were always so tolerant towards their Jewish populations. Oh, wait. No they weren’t.
When the media did pick up on the Ayatollah’s tweet, they downplayed the threats, playing right along with the Iranian propaganda.
Imagine the world reaction if Benjamin Netanyahu said that it was time for the Iranian regime to be eliminated. Just imagine the difference, and realize that nobody is saying much of anything after Khamenei openly called for the end of Israel and the expulsion of Jews from their homeland. Nonstop 24-hour stories, no doubt.
Read the whole thing.
We pro-Israel activists need to hold the international media to account not just for their mistakes, lies and propaganda against Israel, but also for their NON-reporting on such important issues like Palestinian incitement and official calls from Arab regimes for the elimination of Israel.
As long as this issues are ignored or downplayed in the media the Arabs will feel – rightly – that they have a free hand to act as they please.