Why is the world ignoring a wave of terror in Israel?

Attacks like these do not occur in a vacuum. Such acts of pitiless slaughter are the direct result of a pervasive Palestinian infrastructure

 Palestinian men throw stones at Israeli soldiers during riots at the Qalandia checkpoint near Ramallah Photo: EPA/ OLIVER WEIKEN

Palestinian men throw stones at Israeli soldiers during riots at the Qalandia checkpoint near Ramallah Photo: EPA/ OLIVER WEIKEN

The Telegraph UK (Oct 11) — In the last week, my country, Israel, including our capital, the Holy City of Jerusalem, have come under an unprecedented wave of Palestinian terror.

A week ago, Eitam and Na’ama Henkin were brutally executed by Palestinian terrorists point-blank in their car. Their four children, Matan, 9, Nitzan, 7, Neta, 4, and Itamar, 9 months old, who are now orphaned, were still in the back seat and miraculously unharmed. Their lives are now irreparably altered.

Days later, two more Israelis were stabbed to death in Jerusalem. One of the men killed was holding his two year old child at the time. More lives and families torn apart.

Two weeks ago, Alexander Levlovitz, who was on his way home after Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) dinner, was murdered when Palestinian youths threw rocks at his car and he lost control.

Over the past 48 hours in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and virtually all parts of Israel, we have had over 150 terror attacks, including stabbings, shootings, stones thrown and vehicular rammings.

Yet somehow the international community is silent in the face of this terror onslaught against my people. Is our blood cheaper? Do Jewish lives not matter?

Let there be no mistakes, ifs, buts or maybes. We are being targeted for one reason and one reason only: we are Jews.

I understand Europe has a number of pressing concerns, including Islamic State and the wave of Syrian refugees, but what about us? Do we not count?

Many leaders, especially in Europe, are quick to condemn Israeli settlements, yet sure take their time to utter a muddied, equivocal word of condemnation against these terror attacks. Likewise human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty.

Then I look at some of the media reporting on these attacks, such as that from the BBC, and ask myself how on earth they can twist the facts and logic beyond a semblance of recognition to actually place the blame on Israel.

Even more exasperating are those international leaders who, after only noticing the situation when Israel has the audacity to defend itself, then predictably call for us to exercise “restraint”. Excuse me? Restraint?

Imagine for a moment if people were being mown down with cars, guns or knives by Islamic terrorists on the streets of central London, Paris, Washington or Moscow. How would leaders of those countries react?

Where are all those so-called enlightened liberals, who continue to call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the Jewish State, but are silent in the face of Palestinian terror against Jews?

Israelis, like all people, have the right to live in safety and security, free from terror. And our government and security forces have an obligation to take whatever action necessary to ensure this.

The tension across Israel, especially Jerusalem, is increasingly palpable. Somehow this wave of terror feels different to last summer’s rocket barrage from Hamas. At least then we had the Iron Dome and time (albeit only 15 seconds) to find shelter. But it is something much more intimate and personal when a terrorist singles you out to kill you in cold-blood.

Many commentators and pundits are calling these “lone wolf” attacks. But how many lone wolf attacks does it take to constitute a co-ordinated wave of terror?

The bottom line is that attacks like these do not occur in a vacuum. Such acts of pitiless slaughter are the direct result of a pervasive Palestinian infrastructure headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, indoctrinating hate, inciting violence and instilling a worldview justifying such gruesome acts.

Barely a week ago, Abbas gave an incendiary speech before the plenary of the United Nations General Assembly, all but giving a green light to this wave of terror.

In a speech on Palestinian TV on September 16th, Abbas proudly stated “we bless every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem. With the help of Allah, every shaheed (martyr) will be in heaven.” He then added “Al-Aksa is ours and so is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. They [Jews] have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet.”

And people still wonder where these terrorists get their motivation.

Not only has the Palestinian Authority failed to condemn these barbaric terror attacks, they have now, incredibly, sought to condemn Israel for defending ourselves. Abbas is surely giving new meaning to the term “chutzpah”. Is this really a sign of a leader who yearns for peace?

Only when the Palestinian leadership unequivocally renounces terrorism and roots out and condemns all those who preach violence against Israel and hatred of the Jewish people, can there be hope for real peace.

As the PA continues to insist that the world recognize a Palestinian state, one must ask exactly what type of state it wants: one that teaches the virtues of peace, or incites and glorifies terror?

In a groundbreaking speech on Islamic extremism this July, the British Prime Minister David Cameron made clear, if you say “violence in London isn’t justified, but suicide bombs in Israel are a different matter” – then you too are part of the problem.”

To all those people who fail to condemn this Palestinian terror, or find ways to excuse, equivocate or minimize it, I say the same – “then you too are part of the problem.”

Arsen Ostrovsky is an international human rights lawyer living in Israel

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