The Obama Administration never tires of lecturing, hectoring, and insulting Israel – just the other day, hapless hashtag diplomat Jen Psaki of the State Department unloaded her deep thoughts about how Israel “could have done more to prevent civilian casualties” after the Palestinians murdered their way into a war, which they fought by launching rockets from schools and apartment buildings.
But the Obama team becomes quite muted when their Palestinian partners in peace commit deliberate war crimes and terrorist attacks on civilians. Frustrated pre-pubescent Obama staffers called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickens**t,” but they don’t seem to have such degrading language for Palestinian honcho Mahmoud Abbas… not even when he starts muttering about how he won’t allow the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to be “contaminated” with Jews.
He means business, too. Riots have been used to keep that Jewish “contamination” away from the holiest site in Judaism, a tactic Abbas fully endorses, celebrating the rioters as “heroes” who “have the right to defend themselves and the holy places.” The idea of waging a “holy war” has been floated.
And he’s the moderate Palestinian leader. The more excitable folks over in Hamas have gone gangster on Abbas’ Fatah faction, because they don’t think he’s extreme enough. “What the Palestinian people need is a courageous president,” a Hamas spokesman declared. Why, I do believe Hamas just called the leader of Fatah a chickens**t.
The Palestinians have developed a fondness for vehicular homicide, a low-cost method of terrorism against which there is no ready defense. All you need is a willing jihadi, a hefty vehicle with a full tank of gas, and a crowd of unsuspecting civilians to plow into. It’s the sort of brutally simple and effective strategy that we need to keep an eye on, lest it spread far outside the borders of Jerusalem. It’s bad enough to worry about terrorists wading into a crowd with automatic weapons or homemade bombs; how do you detect and prevent a plan to attack civilians with an unassuming, properly-licensed vehicle?
This tactic is so popular among Palestinians that they’ve written a song about it, entitled “Car Intifada.” The lyrics celebrate the heartless murder of little Chaya Zissel Braun – “Run over the two-month-old baby, that is how we get them!” – who, by the way, was an American citizen, a fact our lovable super-government took a suspiciously long time to confirm. She died after being flung ten to twenty meters out of her stroller by the impact of a Palestinian murder-mobile.
There’s also a shout-out in the song to Akari Ibrahim, who plowed his minivan through two groups of pedestrians waiting for a train in Jerusalem, killing two and wounding over a dozen people, before leaping out of his car and attacking everyone in reach with a metal pipe. Fortunately, the police decided to bring guns to the metal pipe fight, and Ibrahim got his martyrdom. One of his victims was not a Jew, but a member of the Arab Druze minority named Jedan Assad, who worked as a Border Police officer who leaves behind a three-year-old son and a wife who is five months pregnant. The Times of Israel links to security-camera footage of the van attack, if you’d care to see what the Palestinians are singing about, and you’ve got a strong stomach. Meanwhile, the music video for “Car Intifada” has racked up 350,000 views.
All observers seem to agree that Jerusalem is “on the edge,” a powder keg ready to blow. It’s currently fashionable to blame both sides for the tension, as if violating the prohibition against non-Muslim prayer at the Temple Mount was somehow morally equivalent to running over a baby with a car. Using police to quell the riots is denounced as a “provocation.” Fighting back against Hamas when it attacked out of Gaza was a “provocation,” too. Basically everything Israel does is a “provocation,” and Westerners who ought to know better are fueling this mad dash to bloody violence by conceding that the Palestinians have some right to kill when they feel provoked.
Which doesn’t leave much room for daydreams about a peaceful future of co-existence. As in so many other spots along Islam’s bloody borders, what is demanded is submission, not co-existence. The situation is discussed as though a bit more flexibility from the Israelis might allow Western mediators to hammer out a mutually acceptable agreement, some paperwork will be signed, and the Palestinian problem will go away. That seems like a difficult illusion for any honest observer to maintain when riots and terror attacks erupt over Jews praying in the wrong place. If an issue such as this cannot be resolved with some display of statesmanship from even the “moderate” faction of the Palestinian unity government, how is the “two-state solution” ever going to work out?
Concessions to savage violence bring more of it; when the murder of a tiny child is something the “civilized world” is willing to accept with only mild protest, instead of implacable condemnation, terrorists win the legitimacy they crave. A Palestinian youth engaged in throwing stones at police was honest with the UK Guardian, despite his mask. “We are here for the sake of the martyr,” he explained, referring to Akari Ibrahim. “And because al-Aqsa means a lot to us. Because of that, we are trying to provoke them.” Eventually the Israelis break down and respond to the provocations, and foreign officials who were relaxed about Palestinian vehicular homicide suddenly rediscover their capacity for outrage. If such tactics keep working, we’re bound to see more of them – not just in Jerusalem, and not just from the Palestinians.