by Daniel Greenfield
This isn’t random terrorism, it’s carefully calculated terrorism.
On Thursday, Jan 26, the Palestinian Authority announced that it was suspending “security coordination” after Israel broke up a Jenin terror cell that had been planning a major attack.
On Friday, Jan 27, an Islamic terrorist opened fire outside a Jerusalem synagogue killing 7 Israelis, including Asher Natan, a 14-year-old boy, Eli and Natali Mizrahi, a married couple who rushed out to help the victims, and Shaul Hai, a 68-year-old synagogue sexton.
The shooter, despite being branded a “lone wolf” with no previous connection to terrorism, was described as having advanced shooting skills. And the death rate testifies to that. It seems highly likely that he was selected and secretly prepped to carry out this attack.
On Saturday, Jan 28, a second shooting in Jerusalem injured two other Israelis. Another armed terrorist was taken out by the town’s security team in Kedumim. That may not be the last of it.
There is nothing coincidental about the timing of this surge of violence: the deadliest in years.
CIA director Bill Burns arrived in Israel on Thursday. The same day the PLO announced the end of its security coordination. Secretary of State Blinken is expected to visit Israel this week. Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan came to Israel the week before. The PLO’s suspension of security coordination and the attacks that followed were put on for their benefit. 7 Israelis thus far were killed to help the Biden administration pressure Israel.
Had Israel not taken out the terror cell in Jenin, the numbers might be far higher.
The last time attacks on this scale took place was when 11 Israelis were killed in three attacks in late March 2022. Those attacks also came after the Palestinian Authority had suspended “security coordination” a month earlier and overlapped with the Negev Summit featuring Arab leaders and Secretary of State Blinken.
What is happening is not random terror, it’s carefully calculated terror, executed, as usual, through plausibly deniable attackers who will be rewarded by the PLO’s pay-to-slay fund.
The Palestinian Authority made a show of suspending its mostly worthless “security coordination” before launching terror attacks to show that it can turn the violence on and off.
But not all of the pressure is coming from the outside.
The attacks were launched less than a month after the new Israeli government was sworn in. The Netanyahu government has pledged to reform the leftist judiciary which enables terrorism.
While the Israeli police claim that they responded to the Jerusalem attack in 5 minutes, local residents claim that it took more like 20 minutes with the police initially refusing to come because they believed that the gunfire was actually celebrations from nearby Arab Muslim occupied areas in Jerusalem.
This conveniently undermines Itamar Ben Gvir, a key right-wing coalition figure and major target of the Left, who had assumed authority over the Israeli police and promised to create a strong and responsive force. When Ben Gvir arrived at the scene, angry crowds jeered and chanted, “death to the terrorists” and “death to the leftists”. Some berated a leftist reporter and the media is shrieking that the real threat isn’t coming from the Islamic terrorists who murdered Israelis, but from Israeli “right-wing extremists” who may attack Muslims and, worse still, the media.
This will serve as a pretext for expanding pressure on Netanyahu to push out Ben Gvir and collapse the coalition while also shutting down Ben Gvir’s proposals to make guns easier to obtain for Israeli civilians.
Did the Israeli police authorities delay their response time to undermine Ben Gvir and efforts at police reform while putting further pressure on overstressed Israelis in Jerusalem? There’s no way to know, but the attacks targeted the sorts of people who would generally be likely to vote for members of the Netanyahu government, rather than those who belong to the authorities.
Either way the attack shifts the focus away from judicial reform, which has the potential to break the Left’s grip on the country, and toward terrorism. And that is exactly what the Left wants.
The attack weakened the conservative government’s image with its base. Netanyahu will either launch an inadequate crackdown on the terrorists which will lead to more fighting and further pressure from the Biden administration or fail to do so and lose support from his base.
It’s a Catch 22 that will either sideline the domestic reform agenda or the support for it. Either way the Left wins.
A generation of Israelis has grown up in a state of siege because the terrorists waging war on the country enjoy extensive foreign support from Iran, the EU, and the State Department in the United States, as well as domestic support from the Israeli Left, which uses its official and activist arms to undermine the fight against terrorism in every possible way.
The Left was able to legitimize the PLO and give it control of sizable parts of Israel by crippling previous efforts by conservative governments to defeat the terrorists and expel them from Israel. Long after their terrorist deal fell apart into treachery and rocket attacks on Israeli cities, they still rely on using the terrorists as their “stick” to defeat conservatives and retain institutional power.
The Jerusalem shootings took place far from the stomping grounds of the Tel Aviv ruling class like Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara, who came out against the death penalty for terrorists enabled the previous government’s dirty Hezbollah deal, claimed that judicial reforms threaten “democracy”, and tried to stall action against the home of the latest terrorist.
The dead in Jerusalem were mainly Mizrahi, descendants of Middle Eastern Jewish refugees, often poorer and more likely to live near Muslim areas and become targets of violence.
They are representative of the ‘two Israels’: the one that seeks a deal with the terrorists and the one that seeks to defeat them. The new Netanyahu coalition was elected by those voters, Mizrahi, Orthodox Jews, people living in development towns and in Judea and Samaria, in Jerusalem and in the not so nice parts of Tel Aviv and Haifa, who want to beat the terrorists.
And they want to roll back the power of the leftists who have enabled a generation of massacres, who imported terrorists into the country, armed them and promised that it would lead to peace and improve Israel’s position in the world, when just the opposite has happened.
These are the real Israelis, the ones who confronted the reporters exploiting their deaths in Jerusalem, and who went to the polls to be heard above the lies of the elites. Their deaths are of far less interest to the elites than the media outrage over judicial reform, cuts in subsidies for Kan’s leftist public broadcasting and an end to an environmental tax on disposable utensils.
That is what is at stake here.
What is going on in Israel is not just warfare, but a culture war between the democratic majority and an entrenched leftist elite that will use any means to protect its power and privilege.
The terrorist massacre in Jerusalem did little to impede the terrorist supporters in Tel Aviv which protested judicial reform by waving PLO flags. That same media which gushes that the leftists in Marxist shirts waving terror flags are the “youth” campaigning for “democracy”, will paint every angry word by young Mizrahis protesting the terrorists as a grave threat to “democracy”.
If an Arab Muslim house is vandalized in a “price-tag” attack, the media will clamor that it is a badge of eternal shame for the entire country and requires a war against the “extremists”.
Anyone who follows Israeli politics has seen this cynical farce play out any number of times.
The new Israeli government was elected by desperate people in the hopes of finally breaking the cycle of appeasement and terror, of fake political scandals and third parties, of an unelected judiciary that claims supreme power in the name of “democracy” and of police and prosecutors who connive to remove any elected officials who defy their power. That is to say, of the Left.
These people, courageous and beleaguered, hanging on in bad neighborhoods and outposts in Judea and Samaria, are the real resistance. The terrorists in Jerusalem and around the country came for them. They killed innocent people on behalf of the Islamic terrorists inside the nation, and of the Biden administration and the Left, as part of their shared mission to destroy Israel.
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