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- Israel Hayom publishes today Ambassador Yoram Ettinger's latest analysis -
Palestinian terrorism is not random
Unlike national liberation movements, Palestinian terrorism has deliberately, institutionally, and systematically targeted Arab and Israeli noncombatants, sometimes hitting combatants.
Palestinian terrorism has haunted Arab societies in Jordan (especially during the 1968-1970 era of PLO terrorism), Lebanon (particularly during the 1971-1982 civil wars), Kuwait (during the 1990 invasion by Saddam Hussein), Iraq (until 2002, as an arm of Saddam Hussein's ruthless domestic oppression), Syria (until 2012, bolstering Bashar Assad's regime) and currently in Egypt (collaborating with the Muslim Brotherhood terror organization). Pro-U.S. Arab regimes consider Palestinian terrorism a clear and present danger, never fighting on behalf of Palestinians. Sometimes these regimes launch severe military blows (1970 Black September in Jordan) and expulsions (300,000 expelled from Kuwait), showering them with rhetoric, but not resources.
Since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1993, Palestinian terrorism has afflicted the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, denying the Palestinians civil liberties and instituting a corrupt, oppressive reign of horror. It prompted most Christians to flee from Ramallah (home of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' headquarters), Bethlehem and Beit Jallah. In addition, Muslim emigration from the Palestinian Authority has increased since 2000. While Egypt prevents emigration from Gaza through Sinai, Gaza's Arabs have emigrated, in increasing numbers, via the Mediterranean. Moreover, Palestinians flow across Jerusalem's municipal lines, escaping Abbas' tyranny to receive Israeli residency, social benefits and human rights.
Palestinian terrorists have targeted pro-U.S. Arab regimes and "the arrogant, infidel, Great Satan," the U.S., joining the ayatollahs in Iran (since the toppling of the shah in 1979), Taliban, al-Qaida, Islamic State and other Islamic terror organizations. Osama bin Laden's role model and spiritual mentor, Abdullah Azam, was from a village in Samaria.
Palestinian terrorism is a modern-day branch of Islamic terrorism, which has plagued the Middle East -- and beyond -- since the appearance of Islam in the seventh 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 U.S.
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 sought to prevent the existence -- 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 years of Palestinian hate education in kindergartens, schools, mosques and media -- the most effective means of producing terrorists. It was established by Abbas (then Yasser Arafat's chief deputy) in 1993, highlighting the fundamentals of Islam that serve to intensify 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 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, represents writing on the wall, warning us all of 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 and Samaria would provide Muslim terrorists a platform to topple the Hashemite regime in Jordan and target Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Ben-Gurion Airport and 80% of Israel's population and infrastructure.
Palestinian terrorism is fueled by the inherently immoral "moral equivalence" between Israeli counterterrorism and Palestinian terrorism, which grossly misrepresents 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 Abbas promotes hate education. It is emboldened by Western pressure for further Israeli concessions and Western denial of Israel's moral high ground in the physical high ground of Judea and Samaria.
In order to defeat Palestinian terrorism, it is necessary to defy political correctness and shift gears, instead of chasing individual terroristic mosquitoes, the terroristic swamp needs to be drained. A large-scale, disproportionate, pre-emptive military operation needs to be launched throughout Judea and Samaria and Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem. Any (U.S. and Israeli) direct or indirect contact with and assistance to the Palestinian Authority needs to be conditioned upon an end to hate education. Families and communities of terrorists need to be severely punished for failing to exercise communal responsibility.
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 David Ben-Gurion, Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, who defied much more severe international pressure with slimmer military and commercial resources at their disposal.
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