by Dr. Ephraim Herrera
As long as jihad is taught, along with the hatred of Jews and their state (which does not appear on the maps in PA textbooks), we must see [Abbas] as the chief arsonist
The wave of arson over the last week is a new form of mass terrorism against the Jewish state, and its purpose, just like that of its predecessors, is to destroy the State of Israel. In the classic wars, Arab armies suffered stinging, repeated and varied defeats; bombing terrorism was subdued and so too were the stabbing attacks. The war of consciousness is ongoing, and our enemies are desperately seeking new ways to fight us.
The use of fires to fight the enemy began with the founder of Islam: Muhammad set fire to a date palm grove belonging to a Jewish tribe living in Medina (the Banu Nadir tribe). At the time, the act was perceived to be a more serious crime than murder, as dates were a very important source of nutrition. But Muhammad had permission from Allah, referred to in a Quran verse. Since then, the burning of the enemy's property has been a part of jihad, permitted by Islamic law; and since then, Islam's enemies have too been burned.
These topics are taught in Palestinian Authority schools and in some Muslim schools in Israel. Moreover, since the land of Israel has been conquered in the past by Islamic armies, it forever belongs to Islam, and every Muslim is obligated to liberate it ("with blood and fire we will redeem Palestine"). The model developed by the Islamic State group, known as "lone-wolf terrorism," completely suits the situation, and even if we catch those who incited to arson, we can expect that lone wolves will continue on in the same manner.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas offered help in putting out the fires and declared as much in Arabic too on the PA's official news website -- and he should be praised for this willingness to help. But we must remember that the same Abbas names streets and schools after murderers and funds their families. As long as jihad is taught, along with the hatred of Jews and their state (which does not appear on the maps in PA textbooks), we must see him as the chief arsonist, who in his great mercy, approached us after the fact to offer to help put out the fire that he lit.
The path to a solution must include four fundamental dimensions: first, uprooting the pine forests near towns and planting oak forests in their place, as they stand up better to fire; second, handing out severe punishments (fines, detention and destroying homes) to arsonists as a deterrent; third, massively deploying troops to guard the areas likely to catch fire when weather conditions allow for fires to be easily started (and there are only a few such days each year); and the last and most important, complete prohibiting the teaching of jihad in schools, whether in Israel or in PA territory. We wouldn't be the first: The king of Morocco and the president of Egypt have already outlawed this before us. Our only new angle would be prohibiting schools from teaching the hatred of Jews.
We must stamp out arson terrorism while the flames are still small. If any embers remain, God forbid, it will spread again and again.
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