The latest slaughter in the land of Israel took place in Halamish, Samaria, on July 21. A Palestinian stabbed to death a Jewish grandfather and two of his children. The grandmother was injured seriously. Countless similar attacks occurred in Israel in the recent and not-so-recent past.
The murderer was praised by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas. If he had been shot to death, he would have instantly become a martyr of Islam. A street in Ramallah would be named after him. His picture would be posted in storefronts in the territories occupied by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, and his family would be rewarded with a high "salary" for life.
The killer explained his crime by his willingness to "defend the al-Aqsa mosque" -- which in fact was never attacked or even threatened by Israel. He did not hide his hatred for Jews. In his last Facebook post, he described them as monkeys and pigs.
His mother showed her pride for her son and his actions.
The murders followed Muslim riots after Israel installed metal detectors at the Temple Mount entrances, as exist in other mosques worldwide -- in response to the murder of two Israeli policemen by Muslim terrorists who succeeded in bringing weapons to the site. The Israeli government did not prohibit access to the al-Aqsa mosque; it only wished to prevent further attacks. That a mosque could be used as a base for terrorist attacks seems to have been considered normal by the rioters.
Since then, the Israeli government decided to remove the metal detectors, as well as surveillance cameras that had been added later.
Although the rioting subsided, Israelis reacted negatively to their government's decision: polls showed that 77% of them strongly disapproved of the removal of the metal detectors, and thought that the Israeli government should not yield to threats and intimidation.
The director of public affairs at the Bar-Ilan University's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, David M. Weinberg, said that it is "urgent, through resolute Israeli action, to deprive the Palestinian leadership of its delusion that he can bully Israel into retreat."
For now, Palestinian leaders have every reason to believe that there is no delusion, that terrorism and violence pay off. It would be hard to prove them wrong.
When the Arab and Muslim world waged conventional wars to destroy the Jewish state, Israel, despite its smaller number of soldiers, won every time and acquired a reputation for courage and invincibility.
In 1964, the Arab and Muslim world adopted a new strategy. It created the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The war became a terror war. Unpredictable attacks were launched against Jews in Israel, Europe, and North and South America.
The PLO presented itself as a "national liberation movement". A people was invented, the "Palestinians" -- actually ordinary Arabs -- that the PLO was supposed to "liberate". Attacks became more frequent. Soon, after intense propaganda, Israel was no longer perceived as a small country that the Arab world of 21 nations wanted to crush, but as a powerful country trying to annihilate a small people, deprived of everything. The world, believing this inversion of history, began to withdraw its sympathy from Israel.
Continuing to use terrorism and propaganda, the PLO also commenced a diplomatic offensive -- with the support of, the Arab world, the Soviet Union and Western countries, especially France. The PLO obtained an observer seat at the United Nations in 1972. A diplomatic delegation of the PLO opened in Paris in 1975. The PLO became the first terrorist organization to have a seat at the UN and diplomatic representation in a Western country.
After failing to overthrow the king of Jordan in September 1970 , the PLO retreated to Lebanon, led the country into a civil war, and used camps it built on Lebanese territory to carry out attacks against Israel. Israel intervened in Lebanon in March 1978, then in June 1982, and almost eliminated the PLO which, thanks to French President François Mitterrand, retreated to Tunisia. The Sabra and Shatila massacres in Lebanon, perpetrated by Christian militias, were falsely presented as if they had been Israel's fault. The PLO and the Palestinians were described as victims of the Israeli cruelty. Palestinian massacres such as the coastal road attack in March 1978 were completely forgotten.
The PLO continued to incite Jew-hate among Palestinian Arabs. The result was the "first intifada" (1987-1991). Israel won militarily, but lost the public-relations war: Palestinian terrorists used children as human shields so that the Israeli army could be portrayed as made of ruthless killers.
Concessions were demanded from Israel; Israel ended up succumbing to false hopes of peace. It agreed to participate in the Madrid Conference in 1991, and then, in 1993, entered the Oslo Accords. In them, Israel recognized the PLO and accepted the creation of the Palestinian Authority, a quasi-state ruled by the PLO, which promised to renounce terrorism.
Almost immediately, the Palestinian Authority launched innumerable, terrorist attacks. These decreased only when Israel began building a security fence in 2002. Terrorism, propaganda and especially lies had allowed the PLO to obtained a terrorist quasi-state accepted by Israel. Even though attacks never stopped, Israel was pushed to pursue the peace process as if there was no terrorism.
To this day, the Palestinian Authority launches relentless campaigns to spread murder and terrorism against Israelis. The most recent one began in September 2015, when PA President Mahmoud Abbas falsely claimed that the Jews' "filthy feet" were defiling the Temple Mount; he added that he welcomed "every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem". Tourists of all religions visit the Temple Mount compound -- although not the mosque -- by agreement with the PA.
Every day, the PA uses the schools and the media it controls to incite genocidal Jew-hate.
The Palestinian Authority, a terrorist organization with anti-Jewish genocidal goals, is all the while being subsidized to the tune of millions of dollars annually from the West, which, unhelpfully, presents it as more "moderate" than Hamas, the equivalent of saying that al-Qaeda is more "moderate" than ISIS. That is still insufficient reason to bankroll al-Qaeda.
The only peace they contemplate is the "liberation" of all Palestine, "from the river to the sea" – in other words, the total destruction of Israel and its replacement by themselves, as any map of "Palestine" clearly corroborates.
The murderers of Jews, who in turn are killed by the Israeli Defense Forces, are considered by the Palestinian Authority as shaheeds, jihadi fighters who died for Allah : "martyrs".
Since the days of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, before the state of Israel was founded in 1948, Palestinians have been using the lie that the Jews are trying to destroy the al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount as a pretext to stir up Muslim Jew-hate and uprisings, and they continually repeat the slander.
The removal of the metal detectors from the Temple Mount entrances means that more attacks will almost certainly occur. It is perceived as a victory by the leaders of the PA and other Islamic leaders.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he understands those who criticized the government's decision, and added that he had to take into account broader security imperatives. It is probably true. The Palestinian Authority leaders may well have hoped to ignite the entire region and launch a regional war.
Many Israelis, however, viewed the move as terrorism having dictated a retreat yet again. They know that the PA is an enemy that wants them dead. They heard what many of the rioters in Jerusalem were shouting: "Jews, remember Kaybar, the army of Mohammed returns" -- a reference to the massacre of a Jewish community in Arabia by the Islamic Prophet Mohammed in 628. They see that the conflict is essentially religious as well as political. According to Islam, all belongs to Allah -- especially places that were once under the rule of Islam, as the land of Israel was during the Ottoman Empire, and must be retaken and held in trust forever for Allah.
Islamically speaking, Muslims must never fully accept the existence of Israel on a land once conquered by Islam, and therefore, in their minds, obligated to be Islamic for eternity. The thought that Jews control a land that once was ruled by Islam is particularly repellent.
Even if Israelis accepted years ago that Muslims could pray on the Temple Mount, what they accept less and less is that Jews have no right to pray there. They see the Israeli decision to leave the Temple Mount and its management in the hands of the Muslim Waqf when Jerusalem was reunited in June 1967 as a tragic mistake that ended up creating an Islamic enclave on Israel's territory. Israelis, understandably tired of being attacked, are, as Daniel Pipes emphasized a few months ago, ready for an absolute Israeli victory, and an absolute Palestinian defeat.
Daniel Pipes suggested measures to move the conflict in a constructive direction without causing major conflagration: requiring the Palestinian Authority to pay for all damages inflicted by terrorists, including an extremely high price for each stolen life; burying dead terrorists without returning them to their families; severely limiting access to West Bank territories ruled by the PA; banning the PA leaders from entering Israeli airports if they make inflammatory remarks and each time there is anti-Israeli violence, or even asking them to use Jordanian airports from now on.
Israeli leaders could also speak more frankly. Why not tell European leaders that the Palestinian Authority is still a genocidal terrorist organization? Why not ask them how they can agree to finance in the Middle East what they claim to reject with horror in Europe? Do they want Israeli Jews dead, too?
Why not say bluntly that offering a state to the Palestinian Authority would be rewarding terrorism and murder -- far beyond what Israelis can accept, a few decades after the Holocaust? Are they hoping it will spare Europe more Islamic terrorism?
Telling all this to the Trump administration's emissaries is not necessary. The American administration already knows it. President Donald J. Trump told Mahmoud Abbas what no other Western leader dared to say. He knows that there is nothing to expect from the Palestinian Authority and that Jason Greenblatt's mission is destined to fail.
Telling all this to European leaders, however, is critical.
President Donald Trump told Mahmoud Abbas what no other Western leader dared to say. He knows that there is nothing to expect from the Palestinian Authority and that Jason Greenblatt's mission is destined to fail. Pictured: Trump and Abbas give a joint statement on May 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Image source: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
That Mahmoud Abbas could use a blood libel in a speech he gave at the European Parliament -- and receive a standing ovation -- in 2016 is as revealing of Europe's deepest wishes as it is of Abbas's.
That French President Emmanuel Macron could warmly embrace Mahmoud Abbas and thank him for working for "non-violence", when precisely the opposite is demonstrably evident, is just as revealing.
When Macron welcomed Netanyahu in Paris to attend the annual commemoration for the Vel d'Hiv deportations a few days after he met Mahmoud Abbas, the new French president denounced French behavior towards Jews during the German occupation, but seized the opportunity to emphasize the "urgent need" to create a "Palestinian state" with Jerusalem as its capital. Netanyahu politely replied that the Palestinian Authority did not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Like many anti-Semites, French leaders, and many others in Europe, always seem ready commemorate Jews who are dead while contributing to the murder of Jews who are alive.
Dr. Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, is the author of 27 books on France and Europe.