A couple of weeks ago, I sat at Dizengoff Square with one of my close friends and we discussed the current chaos in the region. Between the proposed judicial reform, the back-to-back terror attacks, the extremists in our government and toxic rhetoric in the media, lines of morality have become blurry.
One thing, however, that we understood very clearly was that Tel Aviv was going to experience another terror attack. Sitting on the busy Dizengoff square fountain, my friend told me, “It’s only a matter of time until the next attack and it’s going to happen on a Thursday.”
“It’s only a matter of time until the next attack and it’s going to happen on a Thursday.”The author’s friend
Exactly one week later, a Hamas terrorist shot three Israelis outside a cafe on Dizengoff Street, which is typically busy with people on a Thursday night.
There is much to unpack regarding obstacles to peace for Israelis and Palestinians. The media’s favorite talking points about this conflict include settlements, Israel’s military control in areas of the West Bank, checkpoints or certain unpopular politicians.
The real deterrent to peace is incentivized Palestinian terror attacks
But the actual deterrent to peace comes from the inability to address the real threat of terrorism: The Palestinian Authority incentivizes and rewards terror attacks against Jews and public figures. Brushing over it is what is making peace look impossible.
Since the start of the year, there has been an onslaught of terror attacks here in Israel. The non-stop attacks and the retaliation of those attacks by fringe Israelis from settlement communities have made life in Israel a chaotic and anxious experience. Anyone following the wave of terror has probably been on edge. For us Israelis, harmless sounds, like the construction work on the streets or an ambulance siren, can make the average person flinch.
A recent poll published by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) indicates that most Palestinians supported the terror attack near Huwara, where two Israeli brothers, Hallel and Yagel Yaniv, were shot to death while driving. According to the poll, 71% of respondents supported this attack, while only 21% opposed it and similar terror attacks.
The poll also found that the percentage of Palestinians who support a two-state solution has dropped and that 68% of respondents support newly formed terror groups like Lions Den, which operate in Nablus.
The support for Lion’s Den is not surprising since Nablus Governor Ibrahim Ramadan told The New York Times that the Nablus municipality supports and likes the newly formed terror group. The most frightening report from the PCPSR poll found that 58% of respondents support a return to armed conflict, meaning they would support a third intifada.
IT DOESN’T end at this PCPSR poll; The Jewish Chronicle recently exposed the alarming social media trends where terrorists are taught in detail how to carry out attacks such as stabbings and shootings against Israelis. Terrorists can find instructional videos on what type of knife to use and which parts of the body are best to stab to kill someone.
We saw a lot of similar posts during the stabbing intifada, where terrorists were able to find graphic images and instructions written in Arabic on Facebook on how to stab best and kill a Jew.
The Jerusalem Post recently published a piece which shed light on how terror organizations use social media to recruit Palestinians for terror attacks. The Jerusalem Post highlighted that Israel’s Shin Bet discovered that organizations like Hamas in Gaza recruit Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank to carry out these attacks, sometimes to the point where Palestinian youth are unaware of what they are doing, as Hamas will ask them to make deliveries of weapons and cash without telling them. The expose explains that this method contributed to many of the recent attacks carried about by Palestinian teenagers as young as 13 years old.
This conflict is not black and white and Israel is not immune to criticism from this conflict. However, global figures, NGOs, journalists and governments have turned a blind eye to the true essence of what is perpetuating this conflict.
The glorification of terrorism and the compensation of terrorists by the Palestinian Authority is why this conflict is still ongoing. If the numbers from the PCPSR poll won’t convince you, then maybe the fact that the Palestinian Authority just authorized the construction of a luxury neighborhood for terrorists might.
Media Watchdog HonestReporting just published an expose on how the Western-backed Palestinian Authority has approved the construction of 100 luxury homes for terrorists who have served at least five years in prison. Some reporters have described the homes as “the dream of every murderer of Israelis.”
Activists and journalists should scrutinize the Palestinian Authority’s misusing its funds to pay for terrorists. Yet, the lack of attention or accountability that the international community places on them once again shows how much obstacles to peace are irrelevant if it’s not coming from Israel.
The more international media and public figures choose to elevate other issues over the glorification and compensation of terrorism, the further we will go from reaching peace.
The writer is a social media activist with over 10 years of experience working for Israeli, Jewish and cause-based NGOs. She is the co-founder and the COO of Social Lite Creative, a digital marketing firm specializing in geopolitics.