The ‘calm’ that never was
Twenty-four Palestinian terrorist attacks. Seven attempted attacks. Twenty-one Israeli Jews injured, some of them maimed for life. Does that sound like your idea of “calm?”
It does to The New York Times, apparently.
Reporting on the Jan. 1 attack in Tel Aviv, in which a Palestinian terrorist stabbed 12 Israelis, The Times chose to emphasize what it called the period of “calm” preceding the attack.
“Stabbing on Tel Aviv Bus Breaks a Fragile Calm,” according to the headline. Notice how that headline managed to avoid any reference to Palestinian terrorists or Israeli victims?
“The episode broke a period of relative calm that followed a spate of attacks against Israelis in October and November,” correspondents Isabel Kershner and Irit Garshowitz reported.
Have Kershner and Garshowitz been on vacation since Dec. 1? Here are some examples of “episodes” that occurred during what they think was the “calm” period from the last month of 2014 through mid-January: On Dec. 1, a terrorist stabbed and wounded an Israeli at the Gush Etzion junction. On Dec. 3, two Israelis were injured in a stabbing at a Mishor Adumim supermarket. Terrorists shot a soldier near the Gaza border on Dec. 24; firebombed motorists near Ma’ale Shomron on Dec. 25, severely wounding 11-year-old Ayala Shaira and her father; and stabbed two policemen in Jerusalem’s Old City on Dec. 26. They used acid to wound six Israelis in Gush Etzion (Dec. 12), and rocks to injure Israelis near Habitot junction (Dec. 15), Gush Etzion (Dec. 21; the victim was a four year-old boy), and mourners leaving a funeral on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives (Dec. 23).
There were also many attacks in which Israelis fortunately escaped injury. But the terrorists’ bad aim does not make those attacks any less serious. These included bombs thrown at Israeli policemen in Jerusalem’s Abu Dis neighborhood (Dec. 3) and at soldiers near Beit Ummar (Dec. 30), attempted stabbings at the Kalandiya Checkpoint (Dec. 4) and the Nitzanei Oz crossing (Dec. 22), attacks on an Israeli school bus in Hebron (Dec. 9), on Israeli vehicles traveling near El-Funduk (Dec. 18) and Tapuach junction (Dec. 29), and on Israeli soldiers in Hebron (Dec. 9) and Jalazoun (Dec. 10). Rockets were fired at Eshkol (Dec. 19) and Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak (Dec. 22). A “car terrorist” rammed a hitchhiking station in Samaria on Dec. 12; the soldiers standing there managed to jump out of the way in time.
Not to mention all the instances in which an armed terrorist, on his or her way to carry out an attack, was captured. They were caught at the Tapuach checkpoint (Dec. 1), near Tekoah (Dec. 9), at the Gush Etzion junction (Dec. 16) and at the Salem checkpoint, near Jenin (Dec. 24).
Then there were the intended terrorist attacks that were pre-empted. In December alone, the Israeli security services announced three such interceptions. They captured three terrorists who planned to attack a Jerusalem wedding celebration disguised as Orthodox Jews, and had already obtained weapons and done reconnaissance on their target. Authorities arrested five terrorists who were planning a major suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, to be carried out by a female terrorist disguised as a pregnant Israeli woman. And two Hamas terrorists were indicted for planning a major attack in Jerusalem.
The New Year began with — you guessed it — more attacks.
On Jan. 1, a Palestinian armed with a 15-centimeter knife was arrested on his way to a Jewish religious site in Hebron. Four days later, an Arab pulled a knife on Israeli soldiers at the Qalkilya checkpoint. The stabber who struck in the Old City of Jerusalem used a screwdriver rather than a knife; he plunged it all the way up to its hilt into the back of a yeshiva student returning from prayers at the Western Wall.
On Jan. 10, a Palestinian terrorist was caught attempting to infiltrate the community of Beit Haggai. On Jan. 12, two Israeli women were injured after being struck in the head by rocks thrown by Palestinian attackers near the Shilo junction. Two days later, terrorists attacked Israeli vehicles east of Shilo, injuring a woman soldier.
I don’t have any secret source of information about Palestinian terrorism. I learned of these attacks simply by reading Israeli news media reports. Times reporters in Israel had access to the exact same information. They simply chose not to report it. And now they turn around and claim, in effect, that the attacks never happened, that it was really a period of “calm.”
Sorry, I can’t agree. There is nothing calm about 24 Palestinian terrorist attacks, seven attempted attacks, and 21 injured Israelis.
Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is a candidate on the Religious Zionist slate in the World Zionist Congress elections.