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Identity, Education, and Palestinian Violence

Hussein Aboubakr Mansour
Emet, Feb. 2, 2023

“This form of humanistic bigotry against the Palestinians came to justify their worst inclination and disregard the lives of Israeli Jews, ending up being one of the most dehumanizing positions towards Israelis and Palestinians.”
The recent wave of Palestinian terror attacks, already described in the generic “cycle of violence,” has released a flood of writings and reports warning of a third Intifada. Most of the voices of wisdom claim that a current atmosphere of Palestinian hopelessness in which the peace process seems to have reached a dead-end will ultimately lead to an explosion of violence and clashes between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Yet all such opinions, either willfully or unwittingly, completely ignore the nature of Palestinian acts of terror and their relationship to an identity structure and an educational tradition that came to be solidly built on antisemitism and valorization of endless violence.
According to statistics, 2022 indeed seemed to have been the most violent year in Israel since the end of the Second Intifada in 2005, with nearly 200 dead Palestinians and 30 dead Israelis. However, statistics and value-free numerical equations are usually deceptive. Most dead Palestinians were either members of terrorist organizations killed in military action or loan-wolf terrorists killed during attempted terrorist attacks. On the other hand, most dead Israelis are innocent Israeli civilians murdered in Palestinian terrorist attacks. To establish any sort of moral equivalency between the acts, no matter how unpopular or uncontroversial, of the official security agencies of a democratic state known for its rule of law and the actions of rogue terrorist organizations or indoctrinated young men is to mistake the arsonists for the firefighters.

This happened immediately following the last Friday terrorist attack in Jerusalem in which a young Palestinian man indiscriminately opened fire at Jews leaving a synagogue after prayer, leaving seven dead before he was killed by Israeli security. Many rushed to blame the terrorist attack on an IDF military raid in Jenin which took place a day earlier and left ten dead Palestinians, 8 of whom were members of Palestinian terror groups. The events were then lumped together in a “cycle of violence” that needs to be deescalated and restrained, leaving no room for any distinction between terrorism and state action. … [To read the full article, click here

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