An Israeli man was stabbed and wounded in Jerusalem last week. His crime: waiting for a train while Jewish. The Palestinian Arab stabber was captured. He’s 14 years old.
How does a 14-year-old go from playing ball and doing homework to concealing a large knife in his book bag, traveling to a site where defenseless Jews are quietly waiting for a train, and then stabbing them?
No child is born a terrorist. Somebody raised him that way.
No child is born a terrorist
The terrorist lives in Beit Hanina, an Arab neighborhood on the edge of Jerusalem. That’s within Israeli territory, but it’s just 11 kilometers from the Palestinian Authority capital of Ramallah – in other words, within broadcast range of PA Television and PA Radio.
So, this young terrorist grew up in a home where the atmosphere likely was steeped in PA TV and radio programs glorifying violence against Jews, portraying Israelis as evil monsters, and promising heavenly rewards for “martyrs” who are killed while murdering Israeli Jews.
Of course, it’s not just television and radio that influence a child’s upbringing. Parents play a major role. We don’t yet know anything about this particular stabber’s parents. But we do know that again and again, the parents of Palestinian Arab terrorists have declared their support for their children’s murderous actions.
In a memorable appearance in the PA news media a few years back, the father of 16-year-old Murad Adais declared, “I am proud of my son.”
The occasion for this burst of parental pride was not an impressive report card or doing his chores without having to be asked. No, what Murad did to bring honor to the Adais family was that he broke into the home of a young Israeli Jewish mother of six and brutally stabbed her to death.
Not long after that, the official Facebook page of the Fatah movement (the ruling faction of the PA) posted a large photo of the mother of the late Muhammed Shamasneh. She was smiling broadly and making a “V” sign with her right hand. The caption under the photo read: “How great you are, O mother of the Martyr.” Shamasneh, 22, was a Palestinian terrorist who stabbed three Jews near the Jerusalem central bus station.
Earlier this year, a young Palestinian Arab named Muntasir Al-Shawa informed his mother that he intended to carry out a terrorist attack against Israeli Jews. A normal, responsible parent would have tried to dissuade him. “Don’t do something crazy just because your friends are doing it,” she might have said. Or, “I’m not giving you the car keys if that’s where you’re going.” Instead, Mrs. Al-Shawa gave her son tips on how to properly prepare himself to carry out the attack. She told PA Television on February 21 how she responded to him.
“I laughed and told him: ‘Do you think being a martyr is something trivial? Go bathe, pray, bow down to Allah, and then there might be a chance that Allah will agree to accept you [as a martyr]. The following night he came back to me as a martyr. Praise Allah.”
In other words, the would-be terrorist’s mother urged him to undertake religious preparations that would – in her view – spiritually enhance his murderous activities. She didn’t ask the boy’s father to stop him. She didn’t enlist the family’s imam to intervene. She didn’t take away Muntasir’s gun or scold him. She did the exact opposite because she wanted him to be a more effective “martyr.”
Advocates of the Palestinian Arab cause often tell us that ordinary Palestinians are just like ordinary folks everywhere. They say Palestinian moms and dads have the same concerns as moms and dads in America, Israel, and everywhere else. Even president Bill Clinton epitomized this attitude during his visit to the Middle East in December 1998. He met with Israeli parents of terror victims and then traveled to Gaza to meet with Palestinian parents of imprisoned terrorists.
The president told reporters: “If I had met them in reverse order, I would not have known which ones were Israeli and which Palestinian.” How sad that the president of the United States was unable to tell the difference between those two sets of parents. The Israeli parents were the ones mourning the deaths of their innocent children. The Palestinian Arab parents were the ones cheering on their children for murdering the Israeli children.
What do you get when you combine the hate-Israel programming in the official PA news media with the hate-Israel attitudes among ordinary Palestinian Arab parents, something that the PA actively encourages? You get hate-filled children who try to stab Jews waiting for a train in Jerusalem.
The writer is president of the Religious Zionists of America. He is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995 – and the author of A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror. Note: The RZA is not affiliated with any American or Israeli political party.