During the past few
days, I had occasion to visit the homes of some of the Palestinian men and women
involved in the ongoing wave of terrorism against Israelis -- the violence that
some are calling an "intifada," or uprising.
What I saw -- what you
or anyone could see during these visits -- was that none of these Palestinians
had suffered harsh lives. Their living conditions were anything but miserable.
In fact, these murderers had been leading comfortable lives, with unlimited
access to education and work.
Four of the terrorists
came from Jerusalem and, as permanent
residents who had not
applied for citizenship, held Israeli ID cards. They enjoyed all the rights of
an Israeli citizen, except for voting for the Knesset -- but it is not as if the
Arabs of Jerusalem are killing and dying because they want to vote in Israeli
These young people took
advantage of their status as permanent residents of Israel to set out and murder
Jews. They all had Israeli ID cards that allowed them to travel freely inside
Israel, and even own and drive vehicles with Israeli license plates. They were
also entitled to the social welfare benefits and free healthcare granted to all
Israeli citizens, regardless of their faith, color or ethnicity.
None of the young
Palestinians involved in the recent terror attacks lived a mud house, a tent, or
even a rented apartment. They all lived in houses owned by their families, and
had unlimited access to the internet. They all carried smartphones that allowed
them to share their views on Facebook and Twitter and, among other things, to
engage in wanton incitement against Israel and Jews.
At the home
of Muhannad Halabi, for example, the Palestinian who murdered
two Jews in the Old
City of Jerusalem last week, you would discover that his father is a businessman
who deals in air-conditioning systems and has his own business in Ramallah. The
family's house, in the village of Surda on the northern outskirts of Ramallah,
looks as if it came out of a movie filmed in San Diego.
Muhannad Halabi, his
relatives said, was a spoiled boy who had gotten everything he asked for. He had
been studying law at Al-Quds University near Jerusalem, and was able to commute
freely between Ramallah and the campus. But the good life Muhannad had did not
prevent him from joining Islamic Jihad and murdering two Jews. He wanted to
murder Jews because he had been brainwashed by our leaders and media, and was
driven by hatred -- he was not living in misery and deprivation.
The case of Shuruq
Dweyat, an 18-year-old female student from the Tsur Baher village in Jerusalem,
is not really different from that of Muhannad Halabi. She is now receiving
treatment in an Israeli hospital, free of charge, after being shot and seriously
wounded by the Jew she tried to murder inside the Old City of Jerusalem. She was
studying history and geography at Bethlehem University, to which she travelled
four times a week from her home, without facing any obstacles or being stopped
by Israeli soldiers.
Photos Shuruq posted on
social media show a happy woman who never stopped smiling andposing
for "selfies." She
has her own smartphone. Her family, like those of all the other terrorists, own
their own house and lead an extremely comfortable life. The Israeli ID card
Shuruq holds allows her to go to any place inside Israel at any time. She chose
to take advantage of this privilege to try to murder a random Jew in the street.
The reason? She, too, was apparently driven by hatred, anti-Semitism and
bigotry. She, too, was the victim of a massive propaganda machine that
ceaselessly demonizes Israel and Jews.
If you had met
Alloun, you would have seen possibly the most handsome man in
Jerusalem. Fadi, who came from Issawiyeh in Jerusalem, had also been enjoying a
good life under Israel's administration. He too had an Israeli ID card and was
able to travel freely throughout the country. His family told me that he had
loved going to shopping malls in Israel to buy clothes from chain stores such as
Zara, Renuar, Castro. With his snazzy clothes and sunglasses, he looked like
more like an Italian fashion model than your average terrorist. He, too, had
unlimited access to the Internet and his family owned their own house.
Fadi's good life in
Israel, however, did not prevent him from setting out to stab the first Jew he
met on the street. This happened last week, when Fadi stabbed a 15-year-old Jew
just outside the Old City of Jerusalem. Fadi was shot and killed by Israeli
policemen who rushed to the scene of the attack. Fadi did not set out to murder
Jews because he had a harsh life. Nor was he driven by misery or poverty. He had
almost everything to which he aspired, and his family were well-off. The life
Fadi had, in fact, was much better than the lives of many of his fellow
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As an Israeli resident, Fadi was
able to go anywhere he wanted in Israel and had free access to restaurants,
shopping malls and gyms.
The other young men and
women who have carried out the current wave of terror attacks were also leading
good lives; some had jobs inside Israel, in part thanks to their Israeli ID
cards. Those who came from the West Bank were able to bypass checkpoints and the
security barrier, just as thousands of other Palestinian laborers do, who cross
into Israel every day in search of work and better lives.
To be honest, I envied
these terrorists because of the comfortable lives they had. The furniture in
their homes is far better than my furniture. Still, their luxuries did not stop
them from setting out to murder Jews.
What does all this mean?
It shows that the Palestinian terrorists are not driven by poverty and
deprivation, as many have long been arguing. Palestinian terrorists are driven
by hatred for Jews because of what their leaders, media and mosques are telling
them: that the Jews are the enemy and that they have no right to be in this part
of the world.
It also shows that this
conflict is not about Islamic holy sites or Jerusalem, but about murdering Jews
whenever possible. Murdering two Jews inside the Old City of Jerusalem or a
Jewish couple in front of their four children has nothing to do with the Aqsa
Mosque or "occupation." It is simply about the desire to murder as
many Jews as one can. The terrorists did not draw any distinction between a Jew
living in east Jerusalem, the West Bank, Tel Aviv or Afula [northern Israel].
For the terrorists and their sponsors, all Jews are "settlers" and
Israel is one big settlement that needs to be eliminated.
Our conflict with Israel
is not about "occupation" or Jerusalem or holy sites or borders. Nor
is it about poverty and poor living conditions or walls and fences and
checkpoints. This conflict is really about Israel's very existence in this part
of the world. The current wave of terrorism is just another phase in our dream
to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. This is not an intifada. It is just
another killing-spree aimed at terrorizing the Jews and forcing them to leave
this part of the world. It already succeeded in the rest of the Middle East, and
is now being done to the Christians as well.
The terrorists and their
supporters are not struggling against a checkpoint or a wall. They want to see
Israel destroyed, Jews slaughtered, and the streets of Israel running with