by Caroline B. Glick
Since the Palestinians must know that their new terror campaign will end in an Israeli victory, it is worth considering why they have anyway decided to launch it. Four explanations come to mind
An atmosphere of fantasy pervaded US President Barack Obama's Middle East peace processor George Mitchell's meetings with Israeli leaders on Thursday. In separate photo opportunities, Mitchell stood next to President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak and pledged to surmount all obstacles to achieve peace not only between
Mitchell's remarks yesterday were even more stunning than similar statements from him during previous visits because this week the Palestinians launched their newest terror campaign against
Beginning last week, convicted felon Raed Salah — who served a prison sentence for his Israeli Islamic Movement's Northern Branch's financial and other ties to Hamas — began inciting Israeli and Palestinian Muslim worshippers to make war against Israel. As he does every few months, Salah claimed falsely that Jews were committing the unforgivable "crime" of seeking to worship on the
As is their standard practice, Palestinian leaders used known euphemisms in their declarations of war. Rather than openly call for Jews to be slaughtered, they called on Muslims to defend the
This week's riots similarly recall the 1996 Palestinian onslaught. That aggression was justified by the false Palestinian allegation that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to open the Western Wall archaeological tunnel was part of a secret plot to dislodge the Aqsa mosque. Yassir Arafat used his manufactured libel as an excuse to order his US-trained and Israeli-armed Palestinian security forces to open fire at IDF soldiers. In the violence that followed some 15 soldiers were killed.
The most violent exploitation of fabricated claims of Jewish aggression against Judaism's most sacred site to date of course came in September 2000. Then Arafat and his deputies in Fatah supported by Hamas and the Israeli Islamic Movement claimed that then opposition leader Ariel Sharon's September 28, 2000 visit to the
Perhaps the most overt call for a renewal of jihad against
The newest round of violence has been building up for the past month. According to data released by the IDF, over the past month, the volume of terror attacks nearly doubled from 53 attacks in August to 95 in September. This week's spike in violence caused IDF commanders to warn of the possibility that the violence will spread throughout Judea and
Abbas and his prime minister Salam Fayyad have augmented their violent attacks against
How long the newest Palestinian campaign lasts, and how many Israelis will be killed is still unknown. Due in large part to their military training provided by the
Since the Palestinians must know that their new terror campaign will end in an Israeli victory, it is worth considering why they have anyway decided to launch it. Four explanations come to mind.
First, it is notable that the calls for jihad are being sounded three weeks before Hamas and Fatah leaders are scheduled to meet in
Then too, since Hamas is favored to win both of those elections, Fatah leaders may be using their calls for jihad to increase their popularity among Palestinians ahead of a possible bid to cancel the elections or in anticipation of the likely derailment of the negotiations toward a unity government. Whatever the case, the looming talks between Hamas and Fatah no doubt figure prominently in the new round of anti-Jewish violence.
The second reason for the renewal of Palestinian violence against Israel and the use of false allegations of Jewish provocations on the Temple Mount as a justification for that violence is that Fatah leaders believe that they can use their campaign to convince the Obama administration to redouble its pressure on Israel to make massive concessions to the Palestinians even before any "peace" negotiations begin. This was Arafat's goal in inciting the 1996 violence. At that time, his gambit was wildly successful. Then
There is also the possibility that Raed Salah — the most visible force behind this week's
The fourth possible explanation for the current round of violence is that it is being incited by the Syrian and Iranian governments who together control Hamas and are influential in Fatah and Israeli Arab circles. Iranian and Syrian interest in provoking such violence now is clear. If the Netanyahu government and the IDF are kept busy contending with Palestinian terrorism, it will be more difficult for them to address
All of these possible causes of the violence shed light on how events are likely to progress. Future events after all will in large part reflect the interests of the parties involved in inciting the current attacks against
By the same token, the European and American responses to Palestinian calls for violence against
And this brings us back to George Mitchell in
Israeli officials have sought to play down the significance of the events this week in
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.