Soldiers stand guard at the scene of a car ramming and stabbing attack at the Tekoa checkpoint in the West Bank near Bethlehem in July..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Terrorism should never be defended, justified or rationalized. Unfortunately, Israel is plagued with acts of senseless killings, stabbings, car rammings and even rocket attacks by Palestinian terrorists.
The Halamish attack, carried out by a 19-yearold Palestinian terrorist, claimed the lives of three innocent Israelis who were celebrating the birth of a grandchild. Yosef Salomon and his two children, Chaya and Elad Salomon, were observing the traditional Shabbat dinner when they opened the door – as is customary when there is a “simcha,” or celebration – to a terrorist who brutally butchered them in front of their family.
Palestinian Authority officials remained silent while the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on July 25, 2017 praised the terrorist and perpetuated a lie: “Omar al-Abed succeeded in killing 3 settlers and wounding a fourth during his operation, but he could also have killed the wife of one of the 3 settlers that were killed. However, he preferred not to do so as she was a mother holding two of her children in her arms, and thus he proved that morals have a place, even in war.”
In reality, Abed never made it up the stairs to where the mother hid because a neighbor heard the screams and shot him.
It is a vile and perverse insult to the three victims to spin the facts and portray the terrorist as humane.
This attempt to glorify and justify terrorism is at the forefront of Palestinian leadership incitement to violence and a primary reason these repulsive acts continue.
These senseless acts of terrorism need to stop. The focus must be a resolute and clear condemnation of all forms of terrorism by all parties. Palestinian leaders must be held accountable for incitement of terrorism and should join in the denouncement of terrorism at all levels.
Repeatedly, Israel’s leadership has explained that it has no partner for peace as long as the PA leadership incites its people to violence and to denial of the Jewish state. Further, the PA incentivizes violence by paying monthly salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons; the more heinous the crime and the more people you kill, the more money you get. Abed and his family will reportedly get more than $3,000 a month.
These monthly payments are equal to approximately half of the PA’s annual budget. Money which should be going to improve living conditions for Palestinian people is instead being used for terrorism.
These acts of provocation only broaden the conflict and diminish the chances for a true peace.
On August 3, 2017 the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the Taylor Force Act with a 16-5 vote. It threatens to stop American aid to the PA until it ceases its payments to terrorists and their families.
This bill will be voted on by the full Senate in September.
For the past 18 years, I have enjoyed a life in the United States full of comfort and safety. In a few weeks, I will devote a year to religious study in Israel.
From my travels to the Holy Land, I can wholeheartedly say there is camaraderie between all peoples, from all religions, denominations and cultures.
Jews and Palestinians alike deserve a reality where the PA prepares its people for peace, not war. Achieving peace may not be immediate and we may have to accept that it will be a gradual process. Yet, I am hopeful we will never again need to fear someone being murdered at their Shabbat table or in line at the grocery store.
The author was a 2016-17 StandWithUs high school intern and is spending a year studying in Israel before attending the University of Michigan in 2018.