Saturday, December 19, 2015

19-Dec-15: Saturday afternoon terror-knifings in Ra'anana

Today's stabber was pursued and caught in a
Ra'anana backyard [Video image grab]
In these stressful times, the departure of the Sabbath - at sundown on Saturday evenings - is more and more accompanied by a degree of trepidation for those of us who disconnect ourselves from news sources during the 25 hours of holy withdrawal. Tonight unfortunately the news is disturbing.

Police in Ra'anana, a Tel Aviv suburb, pursued and arrested a Palestinian Arab late this afternoon after he attacked several Israelis, inflicting serious knife injuries. The city is no stranger to such malevolence, having been the scene of two other Arab-on-Israeli stabbings in a single day on October 13, 2015 (see our post).

Today's terrorist is a 20-year-old male from a village near Jenin, illegally in Israel according to the IDF (quoted by Times of Israel). He was evidently delivered into Ra’anana by an accomplice with a car; he or she fled the scene and is the subject of a manhunt at this hour.

There are three Israeli victims: a seriously injured 40-year-old man and a lightly injured woman both stabbed on Ra'anana's Anielewicz Street. Another woman was injured about a block away on Ramchal Street. Witnesses, quoted by Ynet, say the knife-man attempted to get inside a synagogue, presumably in search of additional victims, some 300 meters from where he was apprehended. The Ynet report identifies him as Mahmoud Faisal Basharat, from a village called Tamun. The English-language edition of the Ma'an News Agency report on the attack says he is from Tammum. We suspect both have it wrong and that his home town is Al-Yamun.

No one has the right to be surprised by today's attempted murders. We noted in a post this past week ["14-Dec-15: What do the Palestinian Arabs think?"] that stabbing attacks on Israelis, a feature of Arab/Jewish co-existence for more than a century, have phenomenal support among today's Palestinian Arab public:
There's no room for doubt that terrorism has the Palestinian Arabs firmly in its grip. The numbers show clear, unambiguous and widespread support for a violent, armed intifada against the Israelis: 60% support it today, up from 57% in the PSR September 2015 poll. The cohort most opposed to a two-state solution and most supportive of "an armed intifada and stabbings" is the one aged between 18 and 22Two-thirds of Palestinian Arabs say they are in favour of stabbing attacks on Israelis. There's no number published for how many of them support those other violent means (shootings, vehicle-rammings, nuclear bombs, poisoning the wells.)
There is close-to-zero likelihood that the Palestinian Arab political leadership or any part of it will criticize, let alone condemn, today's stabbings. That's something to bear in mind the next time the appalling head of the Palestinian Authority ["Palestinian violence is justified popular uprising, says Mahmoud Abbas", December 14, 2015] is quoted in the news saying how opposed he is to acts of terror.

Also a reminder of where the prime minister of Sweden, a noted expert on events in Ra'anana and other parts of the Jewish state, stands on these matters. Here's how he was quoted by Israel National News two weeks ago:
Amid rapidly-deteriorating relations between the two countries, Sweden's prime minister has come under fire for declaring that the recent spate of stabbing attacks in Israel are not terrorist attacks. Speaking to the Swedish TT news agency, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said of the Palestinian attacks, which have claimed the lives of 22 people and left hundreds more wounded in just over two months: "No, it is not classified as [terrorism]... There is an international classification regarding what constitutes or does not constitute [terror]. As far as I know, the [stabbing attacks in Israel] are not defined as terror." Soon after, however, the Swedish PM reached out to TT and attempted to clarify what he described as a "misunderstanding" regarding his remarks, likely realizing the potential for backlash.
Not for the first time, we're obliged to point out that there is a great amount of willful silliness expressed about terror by politicians and analysts. In a literal sense, they threaten the lives and welfare of all of us.

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