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This is our overview of what is happening, it can't be exhaustive, too much is happening and I can't pretend that this is an in depth analysis either, but perhaps it will give Moriel supporters an idea of what is going on. The news over here and the blogs are full (of course) of reports on this "new intifada,"--though whether it is an intifada or not is a matter of debate; but over here it is called the gal-ha-terror, the "terror wave". It has so far lacked the cohesion and concerted nature of a general uprising, but consists more of "lone wolf" attacks, so called. In one sense these kind of attacks are far more terrifying, because they are not localised, they can occur anywhere (thankfully not in our town so far), and even the Moslem friend or trusted Moslem Arab worker that you have known for years can turn into a killing machine. The attacks are not just being perpetrated by the unemployed or the "poor and disadvantaged" sectors of Palestinian society either; one of the recent attacks in Jerusalem was perpetrated by a Moslem employee of Bezek (our national telecom and phone company and in which jobs are coveted) who drove his company car into a group of pedestrians mowing some down, then leapt out and proceeded to stab them.
It is also obvious that some of these lone wolf attacks are not merely spontaneous but premeditated and planned: the recent attack at the Be'er Sheva Central Bus Station being a case in point. It is clear that the Bus Station was selected precisely because at least rudimentary intelligence gathering had perceived the security was lax, making it easy for the young murderer to enter the bus station with a handgun, shoot to death a soldier, steal his weapon and then machine gun the police and security.
Some people are becoming nervous and afraid and have started to "lose it" as tensions are ratcheted up: recently, in Be'er Sheva, an Eritrean national, mistaken for a terrorist by some witnesses of the recent Bus Station attack, was beaten nearly to death by them and later died in hospital. This was indeed an inexcusable incident. The perpetrators have been arrested and will face trial.
Contrast this with what happened only 2 days ago. A car was attacked by stone throwing youths, forcing the driver to stop. He opened the door and stepped out, only to be run over by a truck, the driver of which fled the scene. The ambulance arrived but the critically injured man died on the roadside, while in the background some local Arab muslims cheered and laughed. Nothing reveals more of the demonic nature of Islam than this kind of incident, the hatred, the glorying in murder, killing and suffering.
Though the individual attacks appear uncoordinated the actual terror wave itself most definitely is not a spontaneous random event. Calev Myers of the Jerusalem Institute for Justice makes the following observation:
"Each intifada always has more to do with inner Palestinian politics than the Israeli-Arab conflict. When Hamas is losing popularity in the streets, it starts firing missiles at Israel. When the PLO loses popularity, it unleashes an intifada in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Unfortunately, killing Jews is an easy way to gain political capital in the Palestinian street . . . Over the past few months, Mahmoud Abbas has been portrayed in the regional media as old, ineffective and illegitimate. The most widespread dialogue has been conjecture as to “who will replace Abbas?” As a very timely, carefully contemplated response, Abbas traveled to the UN a few weeks ago, stood before the world, and declared that the Palestinians “cannot continue to be bound” by their political and security agreements with Israel. Most of the world did not understand what was novel about this declaration. The Palestinian street, however, understood quite well the limitations have been lifted. You are free to release your fomenting rage without fear of retribution from the PLO security forces.
Following the Abbas UN declaration, attacks on Israeli citizens ensued, mutual acts of violence followed, and Abbas has yet to publicly condemn any of it. His silence is deafening. Several of Abbas’s government leaders have actually vocally supported the civil unrest. PLO Executive Committee Member, Mahmoud Ismail, declared that killing Israelis is a “national duty” and PLO Central Committee Member, Jamal Muhasim, stated that killing Israel settlers is “legitimate and legal”.
The fact is, that Abbas, Hamas and other Moslem terror groups have a vast pool of already indoctrinated, hate-filled, Islamicly-inspired "useful idiots" on which to draw. The PA educational system, the television and radio stations have been systematically filling the minds of Arabs from kindergarten upwards, for years now, with hateful Islamic Jihadi propaganda that creates a sense of grievance and demonises Israel as a state, and of course, Jews in general; all Abbas has to do is give the nod for the show to begin. And of course this propaganda is also accessible via the Internet and Satellite TV from within Israel proper. If we combine this with an resurgent Islam, seeing itself on the ascendancy and believing it can take on the world and that the West is weak and lacks the will to stop it, (and they might be right there) they we have a very toxic and dangerous brew fermenting, and not just in the Palestinian Authority. What is particularly worrying about the Be'er Sheva attack is that the murderer came from a good Bedouin family, a family who actually helped inthe establishment of the state, and Bedouin are traditionally loyal citizens and even serve in the military. This is a reflection what is happening to a lot of young people in the West who have been radicalised through the Internet. Conversely, what happens here may soon be occurring in the West too.
And incitement, doesn't just come from the Palestinian media; there are a number of Arab members of the Knesset who are openly calling for a "mass intifada" and thus effectively participating in the fomenting acts of terror. In any normally functioning state, these people (some of whom actually have direct links with terror groups) would long ago have been stripped of their parliamentary immunity and tried for treason, but this is Israel.
Now, as Myers remarks in his article; with every intifada, there has had to be introduced measures to combat it, and these have hurt the economy in the PA (not to mention all the international aid that never reaches the people, but is simply stolen by the Palestinian leadership) and make life more difficult. However, as the Be'er Sheva incident illustrates; Arabs in Israel proper are not immune from self-destructive intifa stupidity. The arrogance and incitement of certain Arab MK's is causing economic hardship for Israeli Arabs too. Many Arab businesses, are very dependent on Jewish trade, even we ourselves do much of ourshopping at an Arab supermarket, rather than in town, and we can testify that the shop is mostly filled with Jews! Demands for business closures in support of the intifada or rioting Arab youth and roadblocks, which discourage Jewish visitors and shoppers can have a devastating effect on trade and tourism; for example, in Arab towns like Nazareth. So much so that the mayor has intervened personally to plead with restless youth to desist from protests. The consequent outpouring of scorn he received from treasonous Arab MK's like Hanin Zoabi, reveals that the intifada incitement is not only creating rifts between Arabs and Jews now, but opening up a fissure in the Arab community as well.
On the other side of the economic equation, in places like West Jerusalem, calls are being heard from government officials for a closure to Palestinian workers from East Jerusalem. However, this would not only hurt the Palestinian economy, but the Jewish economy as well. West Jerusalem relies very heavily indeed on Palestinian labour in the hotels, catering, municipal workers, taxi and bus drivers, (on about 40% of Eggedbuses) construction, healthcare etc.; and things would certainly collapse if an extended closure was enacted. The fact is, that in our complex little country, the economies of both Arabs and Jews are wedded closely together, and there is no possibility of a quickie or pain-free divorce.
Whether or not this "terror wave" will gather more momentum and morph into something bigger is at present unknown, but the government is under pressure to bring in stricter and harsher measures and punishments to make the social costs of terror much higher for the perpetrator and their families, and thus discourage the attacks. At present the terrorists house is usually demolished, but there are calls also that relatives who have jobs that carry responsibilities and contact with the general Israeli public be fired as well, and that the terrorists families have their Israeli citizenship rescinded. While these measures may have some effect, they can backfire upon us; as the previous paragraph indicates.
As believers who have a a prophetic understanding of what will befall Israel in the Last Days, we know that while a "plaster" can be applied, there is no long-term solution to this problem outside of the salvation of Israel and the nations. we know that this erupting violence is a physical symptom of a spiritual conflict that is heading towards a crisis point. It is interesting that much of the violence centres around the cry that "Al-Aqsa is under threat", and the recent disturbances on the Temple Mount are leading to calls for a change in the status quo there; that it be taken out from under the authority of the Jordanian Waqf and place completely under Israeli control. Now we do know that the Antichrist can not be revealed "until the restrainer (which is most likely the Holy Spirit) be taken out of the way". However there is another thing that is preventing this revealing: the Temple in which the Man of Lawlessness will sit and proclaim his own self-deification can not be constructed under the current status quo. Are we seeing the initial signs that the scenery is about to shift regarding the Temple Mount, the beginnings of a process that will force our mostly secular government to act and change the status quo? Now that is a very interesting question.
All this sounds very depressing and it could make us despondent, but there are reasons not to be. Just secently I received notice of the installation of new elders at a nearby congregation. One is and Israeli Jew and the other was saved from a Moslem background. The congregation itself too, is mixed, comprising Jews and Arabs. This serves as a refreshing reminder that the only real peace and hope for the future is in the kingdom of the Prince of Peace, and in spite of the turmoil around us there can be harmony and genuine love there, so let us make the growth and spread of the Gospel of the Kingdom our primary prayer concern.
Blessings from Israel,
Elon and Hadas Moreh
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