Israel’s Memorial Day Shouldn’t Be Used to Mourn the Deaths of Palestinian Terrorists

This past Tuesday, on Yom Hazikaron—the day the Jewish state commemorates those who have lost their lives in its defense—two organizations composed of both Palestinians and Israelis held a “joint event” intended to mark the deaths of members of both peoples. These groups have been holding such ceremonies annually since 2006, but this year, they claim, 170,000 people logged into Facebook to watch, compared to last year’s 20,000. As Jonathan Tobin points out, Tuesday’s proceedings garnered much media attention, and, unlike in previous years, “received an outpouring of support from American Jewish groups, including the Reform movement’s Union of Reform Judaism, J Street, the New Israel Fund, [and] Peace Now, as well as the openly anti-Zionist IfNotNow and Churches for Middle East Peace.” Tobin writes:

By asserting that there is no difference between efforts to defend Israel and efforts to eradicate it, the organizers are . . . encouraging those who want to continue the conflict, rather than those who want to end it.

The most prominently featured Palestinian speaker was Yaquab al-Rabi, whose wife, Aisha, was killed as a result of his car being stoned by an Israeli teenager. The Rabi family suffered a terrible tragedy, and the perpetrator deserved to be severely punished. But the irony of highlighting a Palestinian victim of a stoning was lost in most press accounts of the ceremony: . . . examples of Israelis attacking Arabs in this manner are rare. By contrast, Arab stoning attacks on Israelis cars—with often similarly terrible results—are commonplace.

The “both sides are to blame” narrative also ignores the way that the two societies regard those who commit acts of terrorism. The teenager held responsible for Aisha al-Rabi’s death was prosecuted. . . . By contrast, the Palestinian Authority continues to honor terrorists. Just last week, its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, and his Fatah movement honored the perpetrators of the Munich Olympic massacre on the anniversaries of their deaths.

We should mourn all victims of senseless violence, be they Jews, Arabs, or any other people. But we should be wary of efforts to establish a false analogy between those who died to save Jewish lives and those whose purpose was to spill Jewish blood.

Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, J Street, New Israel Fund, Palestinian terror, Yom Ha-Zikaron

Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security