The Recent Terror Attacks Should Be a Learning Experience for Israeli Leaders
The terrorism plaguing Israel has been described in the media, perhaps for lack of a better term, as a “terror wave.” This implies that what is happening is somehow a sudden and unexpected occurrence that has come to afflict us without warning. This is untrue. The warnings were crystal clear and have been present for decades, visibly and scarily disturbing for anyone who cared enough to take notice.
The Palestinian Authority has been demonizing and dehumanizing Jews since it was established with the Oslo Accords in 1993. This has been evident to anyone who has been watching their TV broadcasts and reading their newspapers, as Itamar Marcus, director of the NGO Palestinian Media Watch, has been documenting since the 1990s.
In a 2012 interview, Marcus stated: “The tragedy is that the Palestinians were much closer to peace with Israel before the Oslo Accords. An ocean has developed because of hate promotion by the Palestinian Authority.” Marcus estimated that chances for peace may have been better in 1996, when after decades of contact with Israelis, a poll of Palestinians showed that 78% considered Israel to be positive in democracy and human rights. That figure sounds like science fiction today.
Two decades later, there is a generation of people raised on an unadulterated diet of hatred of Israel and the Jewish people, courtesy of Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and their ilk. In kindergartens and schools, in the written and electronic press, on TV and especially on children’s TV, Jews have been called monkeys and pigs that need to be killed. Schoolbooks show Israel erased from the map, history lessons deny the existence of Jewish nationhood and never teach the Holocaust, monuments are erected in honor of terrorist murders of Jews in city squares, and terrorists are rewarded with fat salaries. Documents show that terrorists responsible for some of the worst attacks on Israelis pocketed salaries of $52,000 to $78,000 in 2013. Former PA Prisoner Affairs Minister Ashraf al-Ajrami’s comment: “They are seen as heroes and we are obligated to their welfare.” Is it any wonder that the perpetrators of the stabbings and shootings are all young terrorists, as young as 15 and not much older than 20, when this is what they have been fed their entire lives?
All the above is sponsored by Western taxpayer money and expertly executed with the aid of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency. In this way, the international community actively aids and abets the terror and ultimately the murder of Jews in Israel.
There is a tragic, almost unbearable irony in the fact that changing Israeli governments have allowed this demonization and dehumanization to go on, unhindered, for decades, with the lethal and harrowing consequences that now haunt our cities and roads again with terror attack upon terror attack. How pathetic that the Jews, of all people, have forgotten the lessons of what a committed and unwavering propaganda machine, fabricating the biggest, most horrendous lies and repeating them to their people, especially their youngest, ad nauseam until it becomes their truth, can do. Because that it exactly what Joseph Goebbels’ propaganda machine did to the Jews before and during the Shoah.
This is the generation that the world would have us make peace with and give concessions to. How do you make peace with people who have been raised to see you as less than human and as something that should be killed?
It is said that you reap what you sow; we have helped to bring about this generation of hatred by not interfering with the propaganda machine that created it — by not taking the statements seriously, by pretending that it was for some inexplicable “internal consumption” within the PA and on the “Arab street.” What does that even mean? If people say, “We want to kill you,” take their word for it.
The recent incitement by Mahmoud Abbas pales in comparison with the constant incitement that his PA has been conducting all these years. Israel cannot undo that, but every effort should now be made to stop all incitement, wherever it is found in the PA, immediately. That, in itself, will not solve the current terror problem, but it is a first step in acknowledging the lesson that has been bought with blood and endless sorrow, so as never to repeat it again.
Judith Bergman is a writer and political analyst living in Israel.
This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.