Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are calling it a "peaceful popular resistance." They are referring, of course, to the latest wave of stabbings, shootings and vehicular attacks against the Jews in Israel.
In the view of our leaders -- and, unfortunately, many in the international community -- this is a "peaceful popular resistance," an uprising, or an "intifada," like two previous uprisings we had in 1987 and 2000.
What is happening these days in the Palestinian territories and Israel, however, is anything but a "peaceful popular resistance." First, we are not seeing anything "popular." We are not seeing, as before, thousands of Palestinians participating in the violence or protests. These attacks are not protests launched by villagers, residents of refugee camps and members of professional unions in the Palestinian territories.
What we are seeing are pure terrorist attacks carried out mostly by impressionable young men and women whose hearts and minds have been poisoned by the inflammatory rhetoric and incitement of Palestinian leaders, mosques, the media, Facebook and other social media. The terrorists who carry knives or firearms to murder Jews are usually, it seems, disturbed youngsters, who have been fired up by the pervasive atmosphere of hate poured over them daily by their leaders and these leaders' media outlets. The current terrorists are not part of an armed group such as the Tanzim or the Fatah Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, nor a "popular resistance," a street gang, or any organized movement.
Contrary to what Palestinian leaders have been telling us, not to mention the rest of the world, these terrorists do not believe in any form of "peaceful and popular resistance" against Israel. After all, there is nothing peaceful or popular about stabbing or shooting Jews waiting at a bus stop or driving their cars on their way to work or back home. Surely, there is nothing peaceful about murdering a Jewish couple in front of their four children, or stabbing and seriously wounding a 13-year-old boy riding his bicycle on the streets of Jerusalem.
This is, bluntly, just another wave of terrorism: targeting Jews for being Jews. The terrorists and their apologists do not distinguish between a Jew living in the city of Beersheba, and a Jew from a settlement in the West Bank. In the eyes of the Palestinian leaders and media, these Jews are all "settlers" living in "occupied territories." To many of them, and as they repeatedly tell us, all of Israel is "occupied territory."
Official Palestinian maps continue to present Palestine as occupying all of Israel. And there are continual attempts erase history Jewish presence. Last July, Rachel's Tomb, the burial site of a Jewish Matriarch was attacked by explosives launched from slingshots. And just last week Joseph's Tomb, the burial site of a Jewish Patriarch, was torched. These are the same methods al-Qaeda and Da'esh (ISIS) have been using in Bamiyan and Palmyra to try to obliterate any evidence of a pre-Islamic presence other ancient sites. These attack were accompanied by requests from six Arab states — Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Tunisia, Morocco ad the United Arab Emirates — to have UNESCO declare the Rachel's Tomb, and Western Wall -- a retaining wall and all that is left of the Jews' Second Temple that the Romans destroyed in 70 CE — part of the Muslim Temple Mount under Palestinian control. The last request was removed before the vote, but in a grotesque rewrite of history, UNESCO did declare that two other Jewish holy sites, Rachel's Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs, were Muslim holy sites.
In addition, the official media of the Western-funded Palestinian Authority have been referring to the Jewish victims of the current wave of terrorism as "settlers." A 73-year-old woman who lives in the Western part of the city and who was stabbed at Jerusalem's central bus station two weeks ago was described as a "settler." Similarly, two Jews who were stabbed and wounded in the city of Ra'anana, on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, were also described by Abbas's media outlets as "settlers." Their city, Ra'anana, well within the "1967 line," has also been described by most Palestinian media outlets and journalists as a "settlement."
What does all this show? The answer is simple: Most Palestinians continue to see Israel as one big settlement that needs to be uprooted and destroyed. It also shows that these Palestinians do not draw a distinction between a Jew living a West Bank settlement and a Jew living in an Israeli city inside Israel. The Jewish victims of this wave of terrorism are all "settlers" and "colonialists" who deserved what happened to them because they are "living on stolen land." This is the message that the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and other Palestinian groups are sending to the Palestinians and the rest of the world: that "settlers" are "legitimate" targets that deserve to be slaughtered and shot dead by a people fighting for "independence and freedom."
The appropriate term for the current wave of terrorism is "jihad" (holy war). The attacks on Jews in Israel and the West Bank are part of the global jihad that has been waging for many years against Jews in particular, non-Muslims in general and even against other Muslims who might not agree with a differing version of Islam.
Almost all the terrorists involved in these recent attacks are affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two jihadi groups whose main goal is to destroy Israel by murdering and intimidating Jews. Like Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, the two Palestinian groups are also seeking to create an Islamic caliphate governed by Islamic sharia law.
This jihad is not aimed at "ending occupation" or protesting against misery and checkpoints. Rather, it is a jihad designed to drive the Jews out of the region. Period. The terrorists and their sponsors do not see a difference between an Israeli soldier and an Israeli baby. They do not see a difference between a "left wing Jew" and a "right wing Jew." The terrorists do not ask their victims about their political affiliation before sticking a knife into them.
This is a wave of terrorism based on lies, lies and more lies. Palestinian leaders, including Abbas and his Fatah faction, have been lying to us for months about the nature of the visits of Jews to the Haram al-Sharif, or Temple Mount. They told Palestinians that the Jews are "invading" and "desecrating" Islamic holy sites with the purpose of destroying them. By doing so, Abbas and his officials in the Palestinian Authority and Fatah have actually been urging Muslims to join the jihad against the Jews.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (right) ignited competition among radical groups as to which faction could incite the most violence. Left: official PA media incite Palestinians, from a young age, to murder Jews.
After the wave of terrorism began, the Palestinian leaders continued to lie about the circumstances surrounding the death of the terrorists. The leaders are now telling us that most of the terrorists were, in fact, innocent civilians who were shot dead by Israel while they were on their way to buy food for their families or going to work. The Palestinian leaders are lying when they tell us that the terrorists were killed as part of a new Israeli policy of "field executions" against young Palestinian men and women. Lying and distorting the truth has become an integral part of the jihad against Jews. The campaign of lies, distortion and fabrications is not less serious than the terror attacks. There is no difference between a Palestinian leader who incites and lies, and a terrorist who grabs a knife and takes to the street to murder a Jew.
It is time for us to open our eyes and see the reality as it is: this is yet another phase of the worldwide jihad against all the "infidels" and "enemies of Islam." Those who are murdering Jews today do not hesitate to murder other non-Muslims tomorrow, especially those who are seen as Israel's friends such as the U.S. and most nations in the West. So let us put things in context and start calling the wave of terrorism by its real name, not an "intifada" or a "peaceful popular resistance." It is a jihad.