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The Reason for Terror
by Joseph Yudin
According to reliable Palestinian and Israeli polls, most Palestinians justify their purposeful killings of Israeli civilians as a response to Israeli settlement policy and the occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Think about it. Palestinians and their supporters are saying that it is not only fine to kill Israeli babies in retaliation for the settlements and movement restrictions, but hold up these acts of violence as noble and admirable things to do. I am not at all surprised by this fact.
Operation Defensive Shield was launched by the IDF in 2002 two days after a Palestinian blew himself up at a Seder Passover feast in a Netanya hotel, killing 30 civilians. I received my emergency call up orders and in less than three days my paratroop unit was making its way through the West Bank city of Tul Karam and later the villages surrounding Jenin. Our targets were the leaders of militant Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah cells who had killed or ordered the killings of Israeli civilians. As we engaged these men, some of them were killed, many arrested and many more fled at our advance. What we found on every street corner, in every shop window, in every building we entered both public and private, and in every school book, was shocking to us at the time.
Framed pictures of Shaheeds or Martyrs were everywhere. These are the young Palestinian men, women, boys and girls, who strap on explosive belts, infiltrate Israel and blow themselves up in malls, pubs, discos, restaurants, pizza parlors and public buses. Each portrait of the Koran carrying Shaheed was surrounded by a wall of fire. Beneath the soles of the Shaheeds feet were dead Jews. Behind the wall of fire was always the same picture. This picture was actually a map colored in with the Palestinian national colors. The map incorporated all of Palestine when it was a sparsely populated district of the Ottoman Empire before 1917. Today these territories include not only the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but all of Israel and Jordan as well. Above the map inside the clouds were the virgins greeting the Shaheeds to paradise.
These portraits and posters were everywhere. We could not walk one step in any Palestinian village or city without being reminded that there are people actively trying to kill our families, not because of the settlements in the West Bank, not because of our rule in Jerusalem, not because of restrictions on Palestinian travel and not because of our targeted killings of Hamas leaders. These portraits were a clear indication to me that there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of Palestinians who want to kill me and my family because we are Jews living in a western style democracy in the Land where we originated as a people. These militants will stop at nothing until every last one of us is dead or gone.
Colin Powell came to visit us just for one day. His arrival here usually marks an effort to push the latest foreign peace plan followed by another purposeful Palestinian killing of Jewish civilians which is then followed by an Israeli military operation to kill those responsible for the terror. This time was no different. Several of the latest victims of Palestinian freedom fighters include a 7 year old girl Noam Leibowitz, Avner Mordechai a 63 year old grocer and Zvi Goldstein, a 47-year old Israeli-American who married off his son two days before he was murdered.
No matter how much territory is ceeded, and no matter how many settlements are dismantled, the terror will continue until the day comes when the Palestinians themselves decide to stop the hatered, anti-Semetism and incitement. Until this day comes Israel must defend herself better than she is doing now, otherwise it is inevitable that another little girl, senior citizen and idealist will be shot dead for simply living as Jew in the Land of Israel.
from the July 2003 Edition of the Jewish Magazine