Thursday, October 30, 2014

30-Oct-14: Violence on Jerusalem's streets rises while poll shows support among Pal Arabs for more of it is growing

Arab 'protestors" on Jerusalem's streets in September [Image Source]
A motor-cycling gunman rode up to the political activist, Rabbi Yehuda Glick, on the streets of Jerusalem last night (Wednesday) and shot him in the chest at point-blank range.
Glick, 50, was shot in his upper body by a motorcyclist during an annual event organized by the Temple Mount and Eretz Yisrael Faithful Movement. Magen David Adom paramedics evacuated him to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in critical condition with injuries to his chest and abdomen. He was operated on and was in stable condition. Doctors said he will have to undergo an additional operation in the morning. [Ynet]
Sometime in the morning hours today, the shooter appears to have been killed in a police chase:
Given the steady drumbeat of calls to violent acts in Jerusalem from Palestinian Arab quarters, and from key people in the PA itself, over the past six weeks in particular, how surprised should we be by an assassination attempt mere meters from the gates of the Old City?

Not very, as a public opinion survey released on Tuesday by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center, a Palestinian Arab organization from East Jerusalem, shows. Some key findings:
  • A majority of Palestinian Arabs (52.4%) still assert that they believe in the value of peace negotiations with Israel, the proportion of them who favor armed conflict with Israel rose from 31.5% to 42.7 percent in October. War moves public opinion, only not the way we usually think.
  • In a further sign that open terrorism offers a winning political hand in this demographic, a clear majority (57%) say they believe Hamas won the war they fought against Israel in June/August. The heavy Arab losses, including massive infrastructure, housing destruction and photos of wailing Arab women and pristine children's toys carefully placed in the center of news photographs of destroyed apartment buildings and mosques, does not seem to affect their judgement on this.
  • Moreover, support for Hamas overall rose from 17% before the disastrous fighting to 26% after it. That's a significant jump.
  • Backing for Fatah, which is fronted by the Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas (serving "the 10th year of a four-year term") and routinely called "moderate" in parts of the news-reporting industry, went from 41.7% before the great summer "victory" to 35.1% after it. So whether it's truly in favour of peace, moderation and just getting along, the Palestinian Arab street wants it less now that they have had their smashing win on the battlefield.
  • Support for firing still more rockets at Israelis remains sky-high: 80% of all Palestinian Arabs, and 72% of Gazans. This raises an interesting dimension: Avi Issacharoff ["Large rise in Palestinian support for armed struggle against Israel", The Times of Israel, October 28, 2014] points out that "In general, on all questions and matters of current affairs, the residents of the West Bank showed a more extreme point of view compared to those in Gaza." Keep in mind it's those Palestinian Arabs living in the so-called West Bank who live closest to us, who work among us in many cases, and who are seen as the keystone for the two-state-solution so beloved of observers far away from here, who hold the hardest-line pro-violence opinions. The fact that support for Israel-pointing rockets runs slightly less (though still sky-high) among the Gazans whose homes, bodies and children act as human-shields for the rocket men and their vast arsenals should not surprise. What should - if the Arab world were a more rational place - is why ordinary Gazan Arabs seem so comfortable with and accepting of the idea that when those rockets are fired from their residential neighbourhoods, their own leaders are safely tucked away in tunnels, hospital basements and luxurious residential suites in Qatar and Dubai, safe from Israeli fire.
Polls like this week's - which when you analyze them are very, very upsetting for those of us yearning for peaceful relations - reflect reality. Op eds from Paris, London, New York and Tel Aviv that demand we Israelis should love peace and harmony even more - and therefore embrace the terror-addicted people on the other side - do not.

Our prayers are with Rabbi Yehuda Glick for a full and rapid recovery from his critical injuries (and note that the attack on him led to Arabs dancing in the streets and handing out celebratory candies). Our hopes are also with our readers and their friends that they should understand even better what it means to have an enemy who loves terror more than it wishes for life itself.

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