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Guest Column

Palestinian terrorism: institutional or random?
By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
Oct 25, 2015 - 12:10:05 AM

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In contrast to national liberation movements, Palestinian terrorism has targeted -- deliberately, institutionally and systematically -- Arab and Israeli non-combatants, sometimes hitting combatants.

Palestinian terrorism has haunted Arab societies in Jordan (especially during the 1968-1970 PLO terrorism), in Lebanon (particularly during the 1971-1982 civil wars), in Kuwait (during the 1990 invasion by Saddam Hussein), in Iraq (until 2002, serving as an arm of Saddam Hussein's ruthless domestic oppression), in Syria (until 2012, bolstering Assad's regime of horror) and currently in Egypt (collaborating with the Muslim Brotherhood terror organization). Pro-US Arab regimes consider Palestinian terrorism a clear and present, lethal threat, never fighting on behalf of Palestinians, sometimes dealing them severe military blows (e.g., 1970 Black September in Jordan) and expulsions (e.g., 300,000 expelled from Kuwait), showering them with rhetoric, but not resources.

Since the establishment of the Arafat/Abbas' Palestinian Authority in 1993, Palestinian terrorism has afflicted the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, denying civil liberties and instituting a corrupt, oppressive reign of horror. It caused the flight of most Christians from Ramallah (Abbas' headquarters!), Bethlehem and Beit Jallah. In addition, Muslim emigration from the Palestinian Authority has increased since 2000: 25,000 net-emigration from Judea and Samaria in 2014 and 20,000 in 2014. While Egypt prevents emigration from Gaza through Sinai, Gaza's Arabs have emigrated, in increasing numbers, via the Mediterranean. Moreover, Palestinians flow to Jerusalem's municipal lines, escaping Abbas' tyranny, in order to receive Israeli I.D. cards, social benefits and human rights.

Palestinian terrorists have targeted pro-US Arab regimes and "the arrogant, infidel, Great Satan," the USA, joining the Ayatollahs in Iran (since the toppling of the Shah in 1979), Taliban, Al Qaeda, ISIS and other Islamic terror organizations. For instance, the role model, and spiritual mentor, of Bin Laden was Abdullah Azam from Samaria.

Palestinian terrorism has been a recent branch of Islamic terrorism, which has plagued the Middle East -- and beyond -- since the appearance of Islam in the 7th century. The current intensification of Islamic terrorism throughout the Middle East provides a tailwind to Palestinian terrorism.

Palestinian terrorism has inspired terror cells in Europe, Africa, Asia and the American continent, including sleeper cells in the US.

Anti-Jewish Palestinian terrorism has been a Middle East fixture since, at least, the 1920s, well before the 1948 establishment of Israel and the 1967 return of Jewish communities to Judea and Samaria. Its well­-documented collaboration with Nazi Germany intended to prevent the existence -- and not reduce the size -- of the Jewish State. The political guideline of contemporary Palestinian terrorism -- the Palestinian Covenant -- was published in 1964, three years before the reunification of Jerusalem.

Palestinian terrorism is nurtured by 23 year of Palestinian hate-education in kindergartens, schools, mosques and media - the most effective production line of terrorists. It was established by Mahmoud Abbas (Arafat's chief deputy) in 1993, highlighting the fundamentals of Islam, which have intensified Palestinian terrorism: the supremacy of Islam over all other religions; the permanent state of war between the Abode of Islam and the Abode of the "infidel;" the inadmissibility of "infidel" sovereignty over Waqf lands, which are divinely ordained to Islam; the sublime honor of sacrificing one's life on behalf of Islam's war against the "infidel"; and the provisional nature of agreements concluded with "infidels."

Palestinian terrorism has been encouraged by Mahmoud Abbas' systematic policy of naming streets, squares, monuments and sport tournaments in honor of terrorists, and extending generous financial assistance to their families.

Palestinian terrorism - an endemic feature in the Middle East - provides the writing on the wall, which highlights the destabilizing, anti-Western, terroristic nature of the proposed Palestinian state. An Israeli withdrawal from the mountain ridge of the Golan Heights would provide a platform for Islamic terrorists to traumatize northern Israel; but, an Israeli withdrawal from the mountain ridges of Judea & Samaria, would provide Muslim terrorists with a platform to topple the Hashemite regime in Jordan and traumatize Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Ben Gurion Airport and 80% of Israel's population and infrastructures.

Palestinian terrorism is adrenalized by the immoral moral equivalence (between Israeli counter-terrorism and Palestinian terrorism), misrepresenting Middle East reality. It is fueled by foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority, which funds hate-education. It is rewarded by calls to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority, while Mahmoud Abbas conducts hate education. It is emboldened by Western pressure for further Israeli concessions and Western denial of Israel's moral high ground in the topographic high ground of Judea and Samaria.

In order to defeat Palestinian terrorism, it is necessary to defy political correctness, shifting gears from chasing individual terroristic mosquitoes to draining the terroristic swamp: to launch a large-scale, disproportional, preemptive military operation throughout Judea and Samaria and Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem; to precondition any (US and Israeli) direct and indirect contact with -- and assistance to - the Palestinian Authority upon an end to hate-education; and to severely punish families and communities of terrorists for failing to exercise communal responsibility.

In order to frustrate Palestinian terrorism, which aims to set Israel on a path of retreat, Israel should proclaim a constructive response, expanding Jewish construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. While it would trigger short-term international pressure, it would yield long-term strategic respect, as documented by the legacy of Prime Ministers Ben Gurion, Eshkol, Golda Meir, Begin and Shamir, who defied much more severe international pressure with slimmer military and commercial resources at their disposal.

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
The Ettinger Report
"Second Thought: A US-Israel Initiative"
First published in "Israel Hayom" newsletter, October 23, 2015


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