by Nadav Shragai
Don't be deceived by Palestinian strongman Jibril Rajoub, who became the darling of the Israeli media on Sunday, or the "Palestinian prisoners" on whose behalf he spoke. Most of these "prisoners" are terrorists. Many of them are murderers who sowed blood, death and bereavement on our streets for many years. Some of them continued to engage in terrorism from inside prison.
The death of Arafat Jaradat in an Israeli prison is a tragedy for his family. Israel is a democracy brave enough to conduct an exhaustive investigation into his death, but Jaradat's story should not obscure the facts about the story of "Palestinian prisoners," a terror-glorifying myth that has been cultivated for the past 20 years.
Jibril Rajoub, who was released by Israel from a life sentence in 1985 as part of a prisoner swap, spoke sweet words to the Israeli public on Israeli TV, shying away from the phrase "third intifada." He promised that Israelis wouldn't be killed and also tried to enlist some of us into the strategy of the Palestinian struggle by calling on the "forces of peace" to "act against the right wing in Israel." Rajoub has sounded moderate tones before that are sweet to the ears of some Israelis, but Rajoub plays a different tune when talking to his own people.
Just three years ago (May 2010), Rajoub explained that he was "building a school to strengthen the steadfastness of his people as a form of resistance and that when there is a need to throw a grenade or launch a rocket, I will also do this." Three months later (Aug. 2010), Rajoub reported that the Sixth Fatah Conference had approved "struggle in any form, including resistance and armed struggle."
Last May, Rajoub explained to Arab sports journalists that "Israelis are devils and Zionists — sons of dogs." After the U.N. granted non-member observer state status to the Palestinians, Rajoub said on Palestinian television (Nov. 29, 2012): "These settlers — their place is in the garbage cans of history ... those who enter our region will leave on a wood panel [i.e., a coffin] ... we won't return the sword to the sheath until the establishment of a state. Resistance — in all its forms — is the strategic choice of Fatah."
Recent comments by Rajoub and other Palestinian officials outline what they expect will occur. They are counting on a split within the Israeli people, with the Left supporting the Palestinian "popular struggle." It is quite possible that soon the Palestinians will try to test the Israeli public's attitude toward attacks on settlers, based on the assumption that as long the attacks take place on the other side of the Green Line, the Israeli public won't be perturbed. We must not fall into this trap. We cannot agree to this.
The Palestinians could have come for talks with us long ago. They have now found an excuse, like the other excuses they found in the past, to ignite the area and try to cause us to give up on the few red lines we still have. This is a test that we must meet. We cannot let violence pay off for the Palestinians.
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