Courage and incitement

In his last moments, he tried to save innocent people and prevent more bloodshed and killing. As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “We are alive because of heroes like Ari."

Ari Fuld (photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Ari Fuld
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Last week, the world marked the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords and the day that prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat signed an agreement that was supposed to bring peace to the Middle East and end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. For 25 years, that peace has evaded us and on Sunday, we received a stark reminder why.
The murder of Ari Fuld, the Israeli-American national, stabbed to death outside the Gush Etzion mall is a reminder how Israel needs to remain vigilant in face of attempts by Palestinian terrorists and others to undermine the state and instill fear among its citizens.
Fuld’s life was an illustration of the resilience and courage that have symbolized the State of Israel since it was established 70 years ago and is exactly the reason why Israel’s detractors and enemies will ultimately fail.
A native of New York and a graduate of Yeshiva University, Fuld moved to Israel, established a family and lived in Efrat, south of Jerusalem. He worked night and day to provide for IDF soldiers. One example was over the summer, when Fuld initiated the “Cool-A-Chayal” campaign to distribute to 10,000 soldiers a neck brace that provides refreshing cool air.
He was a proud and strong advocate of the State of Israel and never shied away from debates. On the contrary, he embraced them. After news of his death, social media lit up with condolences, including from Peace Now board member Yariv Oppenheimer and Meretz member Uri Zaki. The three often co-hosted a TV show and while they couldn’t disagree more with Fuld and his staunch right-wing views, they mourned the loss of their friend.
Fuld’s courage was evident in his last action. After being stabbed in the back, and with a punctured lung, he chased after his attacker, pulled out his sidearm and opened fire. In his last moments, he tried to save innocent people at the mall nearby and to prevent more bloodshed and killing. As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday night: “We are alive because of heroes like Ari. We will always remember him.”
We still do not know what prompted Khalil Yusef Ali Jabarin, the 17-year-old Palestinian attacker from Yatta near Hebron, to leave his home Sunday morning with a knife and go hunt a Jew to kill. Jabarin, though, is probably no different than many of the other Palestinian terrorists in recent years who were motivated to perpetrate their attacks due to the hateful incitement spread by the Palestinian Authority.
Jabarin, like other Palestinian teenagers, was poisoned by leaders of the PA who not only refuse to condemn terrorist attacks, like Sunday’s stabbing, but actually promote them. In 2016, after a wave of attacks by Palestinian teenagers, the PA issued a statement – translated by Palestinian Media Watch – that lauded teenage martyrs.
“The families of the Martyrs and their relatives find themselves proud of the Martyrdom that their children achieved with the Creator... for death as a Martyr is the path to excellence and greatness, and the path of those who know how to reach the great victory,” the statement read.
When schools in the Palestinian Authority are named for terrorists and when squares in Palestinian cities are named for suicide bombers, can we really expect more from teenagers like Jabarin? When Jabarin and his family begin to receive a stipend from the PA under the pay-to-slay policy, is it really possible to imagine a different future? Sadly, it is unlikely that this situation will change as long as the PA continues to incite against Israel and promote as heroes vile terrorists and murderers like Jabarin.
A quarter of a century after the Oslo Accords, Israel still has to fight to protect its citizens and their right to live as proud Jews in the land of Israel. This does not mean that peace is unattainable, but it does mean that more work needs to be done before it will be possible. As a first step, here is a suggestion for the PA: Don’t pay Jabarin a salary and stop your incitement.