This article first appeared in New English Review.
This past week or so I have watched the news reports about the fires raging in Israel with sadness and outrage. These are not accidental fires rather cases of arson. Suspects have been arrested, and it is pretty clear that these fires are the latest terror tactic of the Palestinians. Indeed, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are celebrating in their usual style. They heartily approve of these outrages.
Just as they heartily approve of other acts of terror against innocent Israeli citizens-not to mention acts of terror against the US, such as 9-11.
I am old enough to remember the late 1960s and 1970s, after the 1967 war launched against Israel by her Arab neighbors, a war won in 6 days by Israel. (To be accurate, Israel launched a preemptive strike as Arab armies were gathering on her borders.) I clearly recall the skyjackings carried out by Palestinian terrorists. I also recall the 1972 Munich Olympic terror attack that wiped out the entire Israeli team. I was living in Italy in 1985 when the Achille Lauro Italian cruise ship was boarded by Palestinian killers. An elderly American Jew named Leon Klinghoffer was shot and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by those savages.
It was the Palestinians who gave those outrages to the world. Unlike the Israelis and Jews they sought to murder en masse, Palestinians were contributing nothing else to the world in the way of inventions, arts, science, music, sports, or anything else. Just murder.
But then the Palestinians gave us suicide bombings, suicide belts and blowing up buses. That was the new tactic since skyjackings had become too difficult. Long security lines at airports, which we still endure today, had cut those to a minimum (notwithstanding 9-11. That was not conducted by Palestinians; they just celebrated.). Soon, Israelis had to fear boarding buses or going to a simple pizza parlor lest some Palestinian walk in with a bomb strapped against his or her waist. Mothers were now raising their children to be suicide bombers.
Naturally, the Israelis had an answer to that. They built a wall, not to keep their own citizens trapped inside a'la the Berlin wall, but to keep murderers out and protect Israeli citizens. It has been pretty effective. Yet, US college campuses have wailed in protest. How dare Israel hinder the travel of
Palestinians? How dare they set up humiliating check points?
Of course, while all this was happening, the noble government of Gaza (otherwise known as Hamas) was periodically lobbing rockets into southern Israeli schools in places like Sderot. The Israelis responded militarily trying to attack the Hamas fighters while minimizing civilian deaths, an impossible task especially when you consider that Hamas shields their fighters by using civilians and their homes and schools from behind which they fight. Again, the world reacts in selective outrage against Israel.
Then there is the West Bank under the control of Mahmoud Abbas. This is the entity that US presidents expect Israel to negotiate a peace treaty with. All they do is educate their children that Jews are evil monsters via textbooks, music and cartoon shows that would make the old Nazi publisher and Gauleiter, Julius Streicher, and his Der Stuermer blush with envy. In addition, every once in a while, killers set forth to murder Israelis living in the disputed settlements. In one truly infamous case in 2011, two young Palestinians entered the home of the Fogel family in the settlement of Itimar and slit the throats of Ehud and Ruth Fogel and three of their children as they slept in their beds. Even their 3-month-old baby was murdered in its crib. And what was the reaction of the Palestinian population? They danced in the streets and passed out sweets-just as they did on 9-11. The killers were celebrated as heroes. What kind of culture is this?
Now the Palestinians have added a new facet to their celebrated culture: Forest fires and arson. And once again, the people cheer and celebrate the actions-not of pyromaniacs, but cold-blooded arsonists.
I am no expert on the origins and history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I am not denying that Palestinians may have some valid talking points and grievances, Yet, when they embraced terrorism as their weapon, murdering innocent Israelis, Americans and others in pursuit of their goal, they lost my sympathy a long time ago. At this point in time, they have not demonstrated to me that they are worthy of running their own country. At this point an independent Palestinian state would be nothing more that a base for terror against Israel and any country that has friendly ties with the Jewish state.
Like the United States.
That is why I take issue with the American college students and their faculty enablers who support the Palestinian cause. They damn Israel for trying to protect itself while totally ignoring the murderous culture of the Palestinians, a murderous culture of death that seeks to eliminate every last
Jew from the Holy Land.