The word “tough” has different meanings, and I am actually using it in more than one sense in this posting. The first meaning – difficult to deal with – applies to the video directly below. From “Jewish Voices on Campus,” it is exceedingly important and I ask you all to take the time to see it:
The second meaning I want to apply is slang, as in “You don’t like it? Tough.”
Orwa Abd El-Wahab Hammad, from the village of Silwad near Ramallah, was killed by the IDF on Friday. Arab sources said he was 14, the IDF says he was 17. Born in America, he has lived in Arab villages in Samaria since he was a small boy. He was shot because he was about to throw a Molotov cocktail into on-coming traffic on Highway 60. A Molotov cocktail is a home-made incendiary device, serving as a fire bomb, that can set its target on fire. Thrown at a car, it could be lethal and might cause multiple deaths.
Explained an IDF spokesman: “The forces fired immediately to neutralize the danger….”
Now, partly because of this, we’ve got rioting by Arabs in certain parts of eastern Jerusalem for the third consecutive day. These riots have been encouraged by Hamas
official Mahmoud Al-Zahar, who has told Palestinian Arabs in eastern Jerusalem to rise up against Israel and continue “resisting.”
“The escalation [of violence] in the city is the solution to ‘Israeli aggression.’”
Credit: AFP / Ahmad Gharabli
See critical information below about Hamas involvement in this situation.
Now, it’s not Israeli officials saying “tough,” it’s me. They are too diplomatic. But I am expressing a forthright and honest sentiment. Not a single iota of regret. No way. The Arabs don’t like it that one of their youth was shot? If he had not been attempting to create chaos and danger for Jews driving in nearby cars, he would still be alive.
As it happens, the death of this boy is not the only reason for the rioting. The crowds are also “agitated” about the death of Abdel Rahman Al-Shaludi, the terrorist who killed baby Chaya Zissel Braun when he ran his car into a crowd at the Light Rail station.
He was shot by a security officer at the scene and died some hours later. There are – I would say “incredibly,” except that this seems par for the course – claims by Arab sources that what happened was merely a “traffic accident” and that there was no reason to shoot him.
His funeral was supposed to be today, and when a terrorist is being buried that always stirs up the crowds. As I write I am not sure whether he was buried, or will be in the remaining hours of the day. Israeli officials sought to delay the funeral, and then to limit the size of the crowd.
I call your attention here to a critically important piece, written by Pinchas Inbari – who is an Arabic speaking Israeli journalist and exceedingly knowledgeable – for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. “The Role of Hamas and Fatah in the Jerusalem Disturbances.”
What is going on here in Jerusalem is not simply a matter of local Arabs expressing “distress.” What we have on our hands is a war with radical Islamists, who are now focused on Jerusalem. And so, we are back to my first definition of “tough,’ as something difficult to deal with. But something that must be dealt with, as Naftali Bennett put it, “with an iron fist” (all emphasis added):
“The deterioration of the security situation in Jerusalem cannot be understood only on the Israeli-Palestinian level; it is umbillically connected to the chaos in the Middle East and to the great struggle between the moderate Sunni regimes and the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to make the Jerusalem issue a rallying cry of the ‘Arab Storm.’ The Brotherhood’s strategy hopes to unite all of the regions Islamic movements around the idea of the Muslim Caliphate with the Al-Aqsa Mosque [on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem] as its hub.”
Inbari documents the “call of the Muslim faithful” to liberate the Mosque in a variety of contexts, both with regard to Hamas and Fatah. He says:
“On the issue of funding Fatah activity in Jerusalem, eyes are turned to Qatar, the great financier of all the movements that are undermining regional stability, including in Israel. The large sums evidently being used by the websites of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood to wage the Jerusalem campaign indicate that much Qatari money has already flowed their way, and Fatah is now waiting in line.
“Fatah’s very weak standing in the Al-Aqsa compound was apparent in the attack – wild to the point of life-endangering – on Palestinian religious affairs minister Mahmoud al-Habash when he visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the end of June this year. His attackers were Hamas and Hizbat-ut-Tahrir men, and the Palestinian Authority’s security forces had a very hard time rescuing him. The joint attack also conveyed a message that these two movement, which have struggled over hegemony on the Mount, have reconciled and are now acting in unison.
“Yet everyone is competing for Qatar money – a fact that only spurs local groups towards greater levels of violence. Fatah’s joining of the Al-Aqsa campaign as a wagon hitched to fundamentalist Qatar may well herald a take-over of Ramallah by the radical Islamic movements – unless the Palestinian Authority regains its bearings in time.”
Scary as hell, my friends, and I will continue to report on this.
Today it was not only police that were out in large numbers to quell the violence, but other security forces as well. Whatever it takes.
Please do know that, as horrific as it is, all of Jerusalem is not in turmoil. I live in the city, in a western neighborhood, and everything is entirely peaceful. The violence is occurring in certain Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem and in certain parts of Jewish neighborhoods past the Green Line that abut Arab neighborhoods, and at key points such at the Mount of Olives and the Temple Mount.
A major point here:
The US is on the wrong side with regard to this entire matter. Not surprising, but exceedingly distressing.
There is, first, the growing relationship of the Obama administration with Qatar, the major funder of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Then there is what we are seeing in terms of State Department positions in response to what is going on here. Last week I expressed great anger at the statement, after the Al-Shaludi attack, that, “We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident.” Instead of expressing concern for the Israeli populace and standing with Israeli attempts to protect those citizens. “Morally blind by design,” I wrote. And indeed this is true.
Now we have the latest press statement from Jen Psaki:
“The United States expresses its deepest condolences to the family of a U.S. citizen minor who was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces during clashes in Silwad on October 24. Officials from the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem are in contact with the family and are providing all appropriate consular assistance. We call for a speedy and transparent investigation, and will remain closely engaged with the local authorities, who have the lead on this investigation. We continue to urge all parties to help restore calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of the tragic recent incidents in Jerusalem and the West Bank.“
As commentator Yisrael Medad has pointed out, the term “clashes” is severely misleading. There were no clashes. There was an Arab youth threatening Jews, who had to be stopped.
Aaron Lerner, director of IMRA, minced no words in his description of the State Department statement, beginning with his title, “US declines to indicate if opposes murdering drivers with Molotov cocktails in State Department statement”:
Question: Why wasn’t State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki able to come up with a formula in the wording of the statement…to indicate that the United States of America does not condone, under any circumstances, the throwing of firebombs?”
Indeed! It is apparent to me, and I am reasonably certain Lerner intends to suggest the same, that it is not that Psaki was unable to come up with the wording, but chose not to.
I will mention here – and return to this – that when Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon was in the US recently, it has now been revealed, he was denied access to certain key officials with whom he wished to speak.