The Palestinians have taken it upon themselves to sacrifice our younger generation -- on the altar of pointlessness -- again.
The Palestinians have been sending their children -- still in their teens, and intoxicated by hatred and lies as the assassins of old were intoxicated by hashish -- to the streets of Israel and the roads of the West Bank to murder Israelis again. And for what? Is Al-Aqsa mosque in danger? It is not. But the cynical, calculating Fatah, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Hamas -- and the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement which has just been banned -- are desperate to bring the Palestinian issue back to the headlines. They hope it would displace the true catastrophe of the chaos in Syria and Iraq, which has led to the flood of refugees to Europe.
The Palestinian "victims" -- victims of their own credulousness -- are known as shuhadaa, martyrs for the sake of Allah, victims of the misconception that Allah wants us to die for him. But Allah forbids us to murder. Muhammad forbids us to murder. The Qur'an forbids us to murder.
The Palestinian terrorists that murder Israelis usually die in the process; the question is, does murder keep the Al-Aqsa mosque out of "danger" -- which it is not even in?
Do the senseless deaths on both sides advance the cause of a political solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state? No, only, apparently, to many Europeans -- anti-Semitic racists who love Muslims as much as they hate Jews. These Europeans probably love Muslims because they hate Jews.
Europeans, in general, obviously want the Jews dead -- so long as the murder cannot be traced back to them. They seem to be hoping that their boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, combined with Arab and Iranian "hit men," will do the job for them. Sadly, the Palestinians, instead of looking like people who want peace, look like the Muslim extremists to whom the European racists offer ever more help. It seems inconceivable to these Europeans that we may not want to live with these savages any more than they do.
We do need to liberated, but not from the people you think. We do not need help being liberated from Israel, which, even if it is harsh, has always been fair to us, but from the self-satisfied diplomats even now -- in our name -- swanning down the glossy halls of Europe.
The Palestinians are, not surprisingly, trying to avoid negotiating for peace. As any Palestinian leader will be killed, and go down in Palestinian history as a traitor unless he is able to come back with 100% of Palestinian demands, Mahmoud Abbas would only end up having to turn down any realistic offer -- in full view of the international community. The Palestinian leaders are clearly hoping, as anyone would, that these Jew-hating Europeans -- and others who breezily turn Jewish heritage sites into Muslim heritage sites -- will hand them the whole 100% on a plate, free of charge.
The knife-wielding Palestinian children -- and the other young people who commit murder -- are also not a spontaneous occurrence. They do not simply "spring" full-blown from "imperialism," "Syrian bombings" or an "endangered Al-Aqsa." They are the product of a careful, methodical, ongoing tactic of brainwashing about how glorious it is to become a shaheed [martyr] by murdering.
Do the dispatchers send their own children out to become suicide bombers? Do the dispatchers go themselves? No, the Palestinians and other terrorists prey on swayable, possibly depressed children -- looking for love or a "cause" in their lives to counteract the internal emptiness -- to commit murder.
These murders by our young -- and of our young -- are, tragically, the direct result of the inflammatory lies of Muslim extremists, both secular and religious. Here, these include the Palestinian Authority (PA), Fatah, Hamas, the Islamic Movement In Israel (banned last week), and ISIS.
Also tragically, it has taken Mahmoud Abbas too long to realize that the ultimate objective of Hamas, the local representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, after killing Israelis, is to have this violence cost the Palestinian Authority its existence in the West Bank. There, they openly plan to set up another Islamic emirate, like the one in the Gaza Strip.
Abbas seems to have woken up, but only after the genie was out of the bottle. He then had no choice but to appeal to his only lifeline, Israel, for support -- while at the same time threatening to end security coordination with it. His hate-propaganda nevertheless machine continues to promote the murder Israelis while carefully ignoring Israeli deaths. Abbas instead still focuses on the "martyrdom" of the terrorists and their supposedly "cold-blood executions" at the hands of Israelis whose "crime" is stop them as they are in the act of trying to slit Jewish throats.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, speaking on PA television, September 16, 2015.
During the past six weeks, more than 70 Palestinians have been killed while trying to murder Israelis, and 12 Israelis have been murdered. Israel's population, contrary to Palestinian expectations, has not collapsed and is, as usual, successfully moving to protect itself.
The real damage has been done to the Palestinian Authority's credibility and to the belief, now held by fewer and fewer Israelis, that a political solution is possible.
The main questions still need to be directed to those who invented the slogan, "Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger":
- Is al-Aqsa mosque now less in danger? Given that, throughout the Middle East, mosques are being blown up one after another, Al-Aqsa mosque is not only in no danger, it is, on the contrary, eminently secure.
- Has the recent Palestinian violence and terrorism moved the Israelis one inch toward surrendering?
- Are the Islamists, including the Israeli-Arab members of Knesset, really working to benefit the lives and careers of the Palestinian people? Or, to benefit their own careers, are these politicians keeping their public whipped up like manipulated fighting dogs, and forever poor, to make sure that we will be forever dependent on them? This is a way you treat infants or animals, not people.
Fortunately, the attempt made by Hamas and its subcontractor for collective suicide, Ra'ed Salah's Islamic Movement, to incite a religious war around the totally false slogan "Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger," in order to oust Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies from the West Bank, the way they did in the Gaza Strip, has not succeeded. To begin with, their timing was off. The Arab and Muslim world is too busy engaging in mutual slaughter to bother itself with the lies of a gang of Palestinians. The Arab and Muslim world cannot be bothered with Israel, and it certainly cannot be bothered with preventing the overthrow of Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.
Even if the Israelis would like nothing better than to see Al-Aqsa mosque destroyed, a notion for which there is no evidence, they still protect it with the best of their police force, out of respect for others, as we all wish others would respect us. Protecting Al-Aqsa mosque guarantees Israel's security by respectfully honoring the religion of people different from them. It is also a reminder that all of us might actually benefit from respectfully honoring the religions of others different from us.
It is absurd and offensive that after the Palestinians initiated -- and then tried to justify the current wave of terrorism as "a legitimate non-violent peaceful protest against the occupation" -- that they now cry crocodile tears about the supposed "Israeli executions" of Palestinian youths who take their knives and go Jew-hunting, but who then get killed in the process. Dimitri Diliani, of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, even had the effrontery to claim, falsely, to Russia Today TV, that Israelis, to justify their crimes, tried to plant knives near the bodies of the purportedly innocent Palestinians to frame them.
Mahmoud Abbas denied the Jews any access to the Temple Mount on the fabricated pretext that the Jews were defiling Al-Aqsa mosque. The Temple Mount, however is as sacred to Jews and Christians as to Muslims. To Jews, the Temple Mount is the location of their two Temples (the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E.); to Christians, it was at the Second Temple where Jesus expelled money-changers and those who sold doves (Matthew 21:12).
Ultimately, the American secretary of state, meeting with the King of Jordan and the Israeli prime minister, concluded that it was Israel that guarded Al-Aqsa and would continue to maintain the status quo. Thus the status quo was confirmed in Israeli's favor.
The Palestinian Authority, Hamas and the Islamic Movement were left with nothing to say.
The upshot was that Mahmoud Abbas's claim of defilement was rejected, and that Jews would still be allowed to visit. The Palestinians no longer serve as active participants; the Jordanians will continue to serve as religious administrators of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Israelis will continue as sovereign, and manage the security of the Temple Mount and Jerusalem.
Secretary Kerry's repeated reference to the "Temple Mount, that is Al-Aqsa mosque" (Alharam Alshareef) to define the holy site struck a blow to both Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamists trying to deny the rights of the Jews. The Palestinian Authority has also -- embarrassingly to many -- been claiming that Jesus was a "Palestinian," and trying to use the Temple Mount as an Islamic religious fulcrum for its baseless nationalist demands.
Secretary Kerry also put a stop to France's pathetic attempts to curry favor with the Muslims living in its ghettoes when it proposed an international commission of inquiry to examine events in Al-Aqsa mosque. As Israel preserves full freedom of access throughout Jerusalem, the French can enter Al-Aqsa mosque and argue among themselves, but their attempts to enter Jerusalem through the back door was rejected by the Palestinians as an attempt to internationalize Jerusalem into a "Crusader city."
When the Palestinians torched the Tomb of Joseph, it became clear that under Palestinian Authority control, Jewish and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem would be reduced to ashes, and that the Palestinians in the West Bank were no better than ISIS or the Taliban, which destroyed Palmyra and the ancient statues of the Buddha in Bamiyan.
The Jews, who dealt with two previous intifadas, are not particularly terrified by the thought of a third one. We have repeatedly seen that every violent Palestinian attempt has backfired and caused far more damage to us than to the Jews. The Palestinian Authority's approval of Hamas's incitement not only threatened its own downfall, but also looked as if it would precipitate the installation of an Islamic emirate in the West Bank -- an event that would effectively have killed any dream of a Palestinian state.
Yes, the recent wave of stabbings and shootings has, to a small and transitory extent, diverted the world's attention from the real tragedies of the Middle East. However, the millions of refugees in the Middle East (many knocking at the gates of Europe), will keep pushing to the sidelines the Palestinian cause; the slaughter; the mosques blown up; the churches burned down, and the genuine persecution of minorities, as opposed to the fairy tales invented by Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas and the seditious Israeli Arab members of Israel's Knesset.
The other real loser is the trust between Arabs and Jews. Trust -- with special thanks to Palestinian groups working fiercely against "normalization" rather than toward peace -- has been totally eroded. Again, the only people we have hurt are ourselves: the demand of Israeli Arabs for equality is rapidly slipping down the list of public priorities. As the old Arab proverb says, "Ask someone with experience, not the doctor."
At the end of the current violence that we began, will be left, as usual, with nothing to show for it, while the Israelis, who always rebound, will continue to thrive, prosper and move forward.
Clearly the time will soon come again for direct negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis -- but the use of force, instead of than wresting concessions from the Israelis, will, as always, do just the opposite.
Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.