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

April 30 2020

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.

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

 

Terror Returns to Israel

Nov. 28 2022

On Wednesday, a double bombing in Jerusalem left two dead, and many others injured—an attack the likes of which has not been seen since 2016. In a Jenin hospital, meanwhile, armed Palestinians removed an Israeli who had been injured in a car accident, reportedly murdering him in the process, and held his body hostage for two days. All this comes as a year that has seen numerous stabbings, shootings, and other terrorist attacks is drawing to a close. Yaakov Lappin comments:

Unlike the individual or small groups of terrorists who, acting on radical ideology and incitement to violence, picked up a gun, a knife, or embarked on a car-ramming attack, this time a better organized terrorist cell detonated two bombs—apparently by remote control—at bus stops in the capital. Police and the Shin Bet have exhausted their immediate physical searches, and the hunt for the perpetrators will now move to the intelligence front.

It is too soon to know who, or which organization, conducted the attack, but it is possible to note that in recent years, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has taken a lead in remote-control-bombing terrorism. Last week, a car bomb that likely contained explosives detonated by remote control was discovered by the Israel Defense Forces in Samaria, after it caught fire prematurely. In August 2019, a PFLP cell detonated a remote-control bomb in Dolev, seventeen miles northwest of Jerusalem, killing a seventeen-year-old Israeli girl and seriously wounding her father and brother. Members of that terror cell were later arrested.

With the Palestinian Authority (PA) losing its grip in parts of Samaria to armed terror gangs, and the image of the PA at an all-time low among Palestinians, in no small part due to corruption, nepotism, and its violation of human rights . . . the current situation does not look promising.

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More about: Israeli Security, Jerusalem, Palestinian terror