Don’t Blame the Occupation for the Terrorist Slaying of Ori Ansbacher

Feb. 13 2019

On Thursday, a Palestinian terrorist, apparently affiliated with Hamas, raped and murdered nineteen-year-old Ori Ansbacher in the woods outside Jerusalem. Ben-Dror Yemini notes the absurdity of blaming his actions on “the occupation.”

We have always been told that, for as long as the Israeli occupation continues, Palestinian terror will not end. . . . In order to uproot it, [therefore], one has to give the Palestinians hope, and remove all cause for them to resort to terrorist activity. This thesis of “terrorism caused by occupation” is supported by many—too many, one might say. Not all of them are even anti-Semites or anti-Zionists; some are good people, who actually believe this nonsense.

Sometimes, there is indeed a connection between terror and a struggle for liberation. This is not the case when it comes to Palestinian terrorism, which in recent decades has evolved, practically speaking, into jihadist terrorism. These murderers were not born murderers, but the brainwashing, the incitement, and the overall environment has turned them into murderers.

During the week in which Ori Ansbacher was murdered, some 186 people were killed by jihadists elsewhere in the world. Since the start of 2019, 712 people have been murdered, while 2018 saw some 11,769 jihadist killings. The majority of these terror acts did not actually make international headlines, because they occurred in Asia and Africa—Congo, Chad, Somalia, Nigeria, Kenya, and many other places. That’s in addition to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria, where jihadist murders are carried out daily. The majority of the victims in these attacks are Muslims, and their sins are unclear. . . .

Ansbacher was killed because her murderer originates from a community where many sanctify death and hatred. She was killed because the highest religious official in the Palestinian Authority, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, regularly calls for the murder of Jews. She was killed because the environment that encourages murder is sustained by Palestinian Authority’s monthly salary payments to terrorists.

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More about: Israel & Zionism, Jihadism, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror

The Impossibility of Unilateral Withdrawal from the West Bank

Feb. 19 2019

Since throwing his hat into the ring for the Israeli premiership, the former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz has been reticent about his policy plans. Nonetheless, he has made clear his openness to unilateral disengagement from the West Bank along the lines of the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, stating the necessity of finding “a way in which we’re not controlling other people.” Gershon Hacohen argues that any such plan would be ill-advised:

The political and strategic precepts underlying the Oslo “peace” process, which Gantz echoes, vanished long ago. The PLO has unequivocally revealed its true colors: its total lack of interest in peace, unyielding rejection of the idea of Jewish statehood, and incessant propensity for violence and terrorism. . . . Tehran is rapidly emerging as regional hegemon, with its tentacles spreading from Yemen and Iraq to the Mediterranean Sea and its dogged quest for nuclear weapons continuing apace under the international radar. Even the terror groups Hizballah and Hamas pose a far greater threat to Israel’s national security than they did a decade ago. Under these circumstances, Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank’s Area C, [the only part still under direct Israeli control], would constitute nothing short of an existential threat.

Nor does Israel need to find a way to stop “controlling other people,” as Gantz put it, for the simple reason that its control of the Palestinians ended some two decades ago. In May 1994 the IDF withdrew from all Palestinian population centers in the Gaza Strip. In January 1996 it vacated the West Bank’s populated areas (the Oslo Accords’ Areas A and B), comprising over 90 percent of the West Bank’s Palestinian residents, and handed control of that population to the Palestinian Authority (PA). . . .

This in turn means that the real dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as within Israel itself, no longer revolves around the end of “occupation” but around the future of eastern Jerusalem and Area C. And since Area C (which is home to only 100,000 Palestinians) includes all the Jewish West Bank localities, IDF bases, transportation arteries, vital topographic sites, and habitable empty spaces between the Jordan Valley and the Jerusalem metropolis, its continued retention by Israel is a vital national interest. Why? Because its surrender to a potentially hostile Palestinian state would make the defense of the Israeli hinterland virtually impossible—and because these highly strategic and sparsely populated lands are of immense economic, infrastructural, communal, ecological, and cultural importance, not to mention their historical significance as the bedrock of the Jewish ancestral homeland

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More about: Benny Gantz, Israel & Zionism, Two-State Solution, West Bank