It was the worst attack in years by the numbers. Four dead, ten orphans. It was the worst attack ever documented. The video of the victim fighting for her life at the gas station and the additional stabbing as she lies lifeless shows the hatred with which Palestinians target Jews. What was documented was something that is more than terror, it is horror.
I have Arab friends. I understand their frustration. I understand their anger. Their anger stems from relentless propaganda that blames Israel. Their anger stems from many small slights they feel living in Israel while the Israeli government treats Palestinians as equals, but in reality there are still many cases of discrimination of Jews against Arabs as well as Arabs. towards the Jews. These instances of discrimination are felt much more acutely by the culture of honor of the Arabs than by the calmer moral culture of the Jews.
This culture of honor is triggered every day by propaganda on social media and on Arab television that shows Israeli police arresting teenagers without showing the context of the arrest. The constant barrage of inflammatory content on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook characterizes all Jewish Israelis as the border guard trying to do his job, or overzealous in his job. What my friends don’t understand is that the hate they spread is not meant to bring about political change but to cause war.
Terror is a blunt tool of political change. It is the tool of the uneducated and of those who have little power but have the will and ability to take life. Terror is Putin threatening the world with nuclear weapons or killing people in Mariupol to achieve a specific result: the capitulation of Ukraine. Terror is the fall of the center of world commerce to cause the United States to withdraw troops from the Middle East the same way Regan withdrew troops from Beirut.
But what we see in Israel is not terrorism. There is no political goal. There is no goal of a two-state solution. There is no goal of an independent Palestine. We know this because no matter how many times Israel offers this result, the answer is the same: no.
Why? Because Abbas and Hamas are perfectly happy with the current system. The incentives for Europe, America, the Palestinians and even some Israelis are the status quo. The Palestinians have a begging state where it is very easy to steal aid and direct it to Swiss bank accounts. There is no oversight, there is no accountability and there is no democracy. Nobody in the world cares because as long as there is an “occupation”, Israel will be to blame. For Israeli politicians there is no need to abandon the West Bank that the hardliners want and there is no need to make the West Bank part of the state that the realists know will end Israel as a Jewish democracy. For Americans, the status quo works to test American weapons and for Europeans and Arab states, the status quo is a way to constantly deflect their problems by making people argue about Israel instead of dealing with problems. internal.
So how do you maintain the status quo? Horror. Sheer horror. You incite hatred and you reward murder. As long as there is horror, Israel continues the counterterrorism response, the counterterrorism response creates altercations that are used to incite horrific killings.
I don’t know of any other conflict like this. So personal, so full of hate. Even racism in America doesn’t have the kind of unnecessary killing and hatred that Arab killers have when they attack Jews. It’s not a simple murder, it’s not a fight for the death, it’s a bloodlust.
Terrorism can be stopped, you just have to give the terrorist his political demand. You can’t stop this horror because there is no demand, there is just a desire for blood because blood is what makes everyone who enjoys it happy.
Sam Livin was born in the Soviet Union and raised in San Diego. In 2012, he traveled the world photographing Jewish communities publishing a book called “Your Story Our Sipur”. Today, he continues to write about Israel and Judaism while living and studying trade and ecology in Tel Aviv.