by Dr. Limor Samimian-Darash
The current terror wave is nothing new and also doesn't stem from the lack of a diplomatic process. Quite the opposite, it is further expression of continuous Palestinian violence; whether by rifle and bomb or knife and stone, lone attackers or organized cells
The terrorist attack at Damascus Gate, in which courageous border policewoman Hadar Cohen was murdered, shattered our hearts and also certain conceptions about this so-called "terror wave." The pundits were quick to describe the incident as a turning point. The use of firearms, explosive devices and the distance the attackers travelled to reach their target all lend credence to this claim. So then, are we really dealing with an organized terrorist network?
For months, various journalists tried selling us the story of lone attackers. We have been told they are forlorn teenagers despairing over the "occupation," unwitting victims of on-line incitement for whose actions no one is responsible -- not their families and certainly not the Palestinian leadership. This discourse granted legitimacy to other outlandish claims as well. It's not for nothing that journalists from the Left have dared suggest that our security forces have "itchy trigger fingers" when it comes to dealing with these attackers, while international figures like U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro, who have intimated that these desperate teenagers' motives are understandable, have joined the chorus. Moreover, the way in which the problem has been defined has influenced the solutions being offered. After all, unplanned terrorist attacks, as esoteric and passing as a wave, are met with ad-hoc responses. We don't need to deal with root of the problem, because after the all no one knows what the root of the problem is.
Above all else, the sinful link between terrorism and the diplomatic process has been rekindled. Those who have been telling us for months that nothing can be done against terrorism argue in the same breathe that the despair causing this terror would dissipate if only there was a diplomatic process. Journalist Ben Caspit took it a step further over the weekend, writing that "this talk of incitement doesn't hold water. These youths do not need the Palestinian Authority's incitement to hate us. ... If we were Palestinians, we would hate us, too." In addition to this dubious rationale, Caspit recommends repeating the disastrous Gaza disengagement in Judea and Samaria, as well. Meanwhile, an editorial in Haaretz attributes terrorism to oppression and blames Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the absence of negotiations, and then goes on to warn us that if we dare punish the Palestinians harshly, their despair will grow and we will receive even greater outbursts of violence.
And yet as the days go by, we are increasingly coming to understand that these terrorist attacks are an integral part of the PA and Hamas' ongoing killing campaign. Indeed, the terror is the same terror and the murderers are the same murderers. The hate is the same hate. It was the same before and after the "occupation." It was the same before and after the Oslo Accords and it was the same before and after the Gaza disengagement. The PA encourages incitement day and night in its schools; PA President Mahmoud Abbas encourages it in his speeches. The PA gives money to the families of murderers while its leaders pose for photographs with killers. And it never, ever condemns terrorism. In other words: The current terror wave is nothing new and also doesn't stem from the lack of a diplomatic process. Quite the opposite, it is further expression of continuous Palestinian violence; whether by rifle and bomb or knife and stone, lone attackers or organized cells.
Furthermore, because we are talking about ongoing Palestinian violence, the solutions need to begin with "eradicating terrorist infrastructure." We need to strengthen the growing realization within the defense establishment that preventative measures have to be implemented before the terrorists ever enter Israel. And yes, that the price for encouraging terror needs to become unpalatable for the families and villages from whence the terrorists come. Moreover, we must not confuse cause and effect. Defeatist measures and political promises that enable the Palestinians to persist with violence are the cause for terrorism, not the effect. In the face of ongoing terrorism we must be steadfast, and we must not be tempted by diplomatic adventures that will breed the next "wave of terror."
Dr. Limor Samimian-Darash
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