Make no mistake about it: The increasing terror wave in Israel by Palestinians has nothing to do with Israel occupying territories and nothing to do with Jews on the Temple Mount. The current terror wave has everything to do with annihilating Jews and Israel.
- The last year saw the largest rise of Islamic terrorism around the world. In Israel, the terror wave is increasing too.
- Several recent public opinion polls show an overwhelming majority of Palestinian Arabs support an intifada (terror wave) with the end goal of “liberating Palestine” and completely destroying Israel.
- Most Palestinians do not support a 2-state solution, but would rather have Israel destroyed and replaced with a Palestinian state.
- The daily incitement by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, along with the indoctrination to Jihad that many Palestinian children get in their schools, is brewing a society of hate and murder against Jews.
- Palestinian allegiance to ISIS is on the rise (24% support ISIS), which explains the growing number of Palestinian terror attacks in correlation with the growing worldwide conflict with ISIS.
- Contrary to what many believe, ISIS is not a direct threat to Israel.
- Israel needs to do more to protect its people.
Rise in Terrorism Worldwide & in Israel
According to the Global Terrorism Index Report of 2015, terrorism continues to rise. Deaths in 2014 reached 32,685 constituting an 80% increase from 18,111 the previous year. The numbers for 2015 are expected to be even higher. Israel is ranked as the 24th most impacted country by terrorism while some of her neighboring countries accounted for 78% of all worldwide terrorism-linked deaths. According to the GTI report, most terror attacks targeted private civilians.
Interestingly, but not unexpectedly, in the last 2 months to date, Israeli citizens suffered through 30 shootings, 12 car rammings, 82 stabbing attacks, 1,617 stone throwings and 651 molotov cocktails resulting in the deaths of 22 civilians and seriously wounding 251. That’s a total of almost 2,400 atacks in 2 months; an average of 40 attacks per day! You won’t hear about most attacks in the mainstream media though.
Incitement breeds terror – the last 2 months in Israel. pic.twitter.com/idbGWyy3QV
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) November 30, 2015
According to statistics published by the Israel Security Agency at the end of 2013, since the start of the second Intifada, 1,227 people have been killed by Palestinian terrorism and 8,549 were wounded. (These numbers do not include the deaths and injuries of Israeli soldiers during combat in Gaza.)
Are we to single out Israel’s terrorism problem as being a result of land occupation and Jews praying on the Temple Mount, while neighboring countries are suffering a similar fate due to religious fanaticism?
The Real Goal of the Palestinian Intifada
Let’s take a closer look as to why the Palestinians are committing terror attacks.
According to public opinion polls conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion prepared by Dr. Nabil Kukali and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, an overwhelming majority of Palestinians are in favor of an increase in terror attacks against Israeli civilians with the end goal of completely destroying Israel and replacing it with a Palestinian state. Only 11% of respondents said the goal of the “intifada” should be to “liberate” only those territories captured by Israel in 1967.
[The Pew Research Institute’s recent poll resulted in different numbers than the polls mentioned above, but still shows that 21% of West Bank arabs are not against ISIS.]
These poll results explain why terror attacks have been taking place in areas not considered “occupied territories” and against people not considered “settlers” or “occupiers.” Palestinian terrorists see all Israelis as occupiers and enemies that must be removed.
Daily incitement by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, along with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other Palestinian groups, is responsible for the constant brainwashing of Palestinians into believing that Israel is killing Palestinians mercilessly and is planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Abbas goes as far as to glorify terrorists, terror and martyrdom.
Even the education system in many Palestinian schools teaches and indoctrinates children to a life of terrorism, Jihad, martyrdom, and suicide attacks. How do children become terrorists? This video is one answer to that question:
The Rising Influence of ISIS in Israel
According to a poll conducted in 7 arab countries by the Arab Center for Research & Policy Studies, Palestinians had the highest percentage of support for ISIS than any other group in the Middle East. 24% of Palestinian Arabs support ISIS and more than 40% object to any military action against the Islamic State.
ISIS has also been trying to “hijack” Palestinian Jihad as its own. With the clear connection between Palestinian terrorists, the Jihad mentality of martyrdom and ISIS, it is obvious that the real goal of the terror wave in Israel is the baseless destruction of the Jewish people and Israel, similar to the Islamic State’s goal of destroying infidels.
Nevertheless, Israel should not fear ISIS. As Efraim Inbar explains in his analysis of How Dangerous is ISIS to Israel?:
“Suggestions that ISIS may constitute a bigger threat to Israel than Iran are ridiculous. The Israeli army and the ISIS militia are in different leagues. As long as ISIS behaves in a most unconventional bestial way, many in the world will be happy to see Israel doing the dirty work on their behalf, dealing ISIS blow after blow, if the opportunity and necessity arises.”
This is true in part because the ISIS military is relatively small and weak. It’s offensives were successful largely against weakened militaries and in places with political void. While ISIS is not a direct threat to Israel, it has been successful in generating support via social media and online recruitment channels.
Israel, Protect Your People
While we see no signs of the terror wave subsiding in Israel, the government needs to do more to protect its citizens. For starters, it should do more to catch and block propaganda material from reaching Palestinians in its midst. Easier said than done, I know. But we do see some strides being made when Israel recently closed radio stations involved in incitement and banned the inciteful Islamic Movement group.
However, let’s first take a quick glance at the recent terror attack trends in Israel and what can be done to prevent them. According to the findings of The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center:
- Most of those who carry out the attacks inside Israel are between the ages of 16 and 20, while most of those who carry them out in Judea and Samaria are between the ages of 22 and 26.
- Usually, national and religious motivations influence the attacker. His decision is influenced by frustration, the desire for fame and the glory achieved by becoming a shaheed, the desire to avenge the deaths of friends or relatives, and exposure to the intense incitement in the media and on the Palestinian street.
- Most of the attacks targeted the Israeli security forces (which shows the suicidal nature of the attacks), the rest targeted civilians.
- Have national-religious motivations and for years have had popular violence and terrorism as constant companions. They have been influenced by systematic, intensive anti-Israeli incitement and hate propaganda.
- Only a few of the terrorists were operatives of any specific organization.
How do we fight such an ideological form of terrorism? It can take years to uproot an ideology from the hearts of its supporters. What immediate response can there be to prevent any further attacks against Israeli citizens?
Looking at the findings above, it is clear that Israel needs to make it undesirable to commit terror attacks. Currently, jail time for terrorists and home demolitions do not seem to suffice as a deterrent to attack. If Israel would institute a law to deport immediate family members, a terrorist may think twice before committing an attack. If he or she knew that their parents, siblings, spouse and children would not be able to live in their homes and would lose their current form of income, then the spectacular vision of martyrdom may become a bit more dull.
While a majority of Palestinians routinely celebrate terror and death (as seen in the current terror wave in Israel, the recent Paris attacks, and as far back as the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York), seldom will you find any Israeli or Jew in the world celebrate the death of anyone, even an enemy.
In the meantime, with the holiday of Chanukah fast approaching, I pray that light will triumph over darkness, good over evil, and that only goodness will spread throughout the world for all peoples.