|View of Alfei Menashe a decade ago [Image Source]|
The knifing attack happened at the entrance to the red-tiled-roof suburban community of Alfei Menashe on the eastern edge of the central Israel urban area radiating outwards from Tel Aviv. About seven thousand Israelis call the pleasant town home.
Based on past experience, it's unlikely there will be agreement between the Israeli media reports, which tend to the factual and the dry, and the Palestinian Arab media reports, which tends to highlight what they view as heroism, courage, selflessness. Either way, we can be certain even at this early stage that -
- She will not be the last knife attacker who launches a hopeless assault on Israelis. Perhaps not even the last one today.
- If she lives, she may spend years inside an Israeli prison cell. Whatever education she managed to acquire until this point in her life, along with friendships and skills, will be mostly wasted.
- If she dies, she will appear on posters for a few days and be acclaimed as a Palestinian Arab hero and martyr.
- Either way, her parents - if she has a husband, then perhaps he too - will be paid by the Mahmoud Abbas regime (which denies that it does this but it certainly does this) a monthly payment that will soon far exceed what senior employees in the essentially-bankrupt Palestinian Authority government are paid. We call this the Palestinian Arab Rewards for Terror scheme and we, along with more serious writers, have described its operation in detail and the way it gets funded. Short version: It's funded by the foreign aid grants made by the European Union, the United States, Sweden and numerous other Western governments to the PA while the politicians of those governments keep one eye completely closed and the other half-open so they can keep saying, as they have preposterously for years, "We know nothing about that."
- Eventually, whether she lives or dies, a sports-field or a beauty pageant may get named in her honor by the PA, reinforcing the message that she - meaning the knife she wielded and the hatred she expressed for Israelis in flinging herself into something close to suicide - represents exactly what Palestinian Arab society wants its loyal citizens to do. And especially its children.
Nor are we trying to make the case that things are especially awful here. This is a wonderful country and this is a delightful time of year.
And for readers in the United States, a reminder that while it's certainly distressing to see one terror attack after another and the massive disruptions they bring, we realize things are worrying for you too over there. Your headlines this morning are filled with reports of a man arrested for placing a New York City bomb that went off and another that did not four blocks away along with pipe bombs in Seaside Heights, NJ; plus another that exploded at a train station in Elizabeth NJ. And there's the Somali-American who stabbed nine people in St. Cloud, Minnesota on Saturday until stopped by an off-duty police officer who shot him dead.
These issues are not local. They are thoroughly global, and that's before we start noting here what's happening in Europe and Australia and across the Middle East.
Fifteen-plus years after 9/11 this is our emerging reality, an ongoing war, and we need to figure out how all of us - especially the political figures and the people who report on the news, those of us who worry about children and grandchildren, those of us who value human life and hate hatred, those of us sickened by families who allow and even encourage children to fall victim to the death-cult madness of the preachers and the presidents - are going to deal with it.
UPDATE Wednesday September 21, 2016 at 9:00 am: Not a bad guess. The "young woman" turns out, according to the Jerusalem Post, to be a fourteen year old Palestinian Arab girl, a child:
An initial investigation shows a 14-year-old Palestinian girl arrive to the Eliyahu checkpoint by foot carrying a bag. Checkpoint security ordered her to stop and fired warning shots in the air. The girl continued and was shot in the leg by security guards in order to stop her when she put her hand into her shirt. The girl was lightly wounded and treated at the scene and no Israeli injuries were initially reported. The checkpoint has been reopened to traffic. [Jerusalem Post, today]And at 10:00 this morning from Times of Israel:
"Security guards at a checkpoint in the northern West Bank shot a 13-year-old Palestinian girl who did not heed their calls to halt on Wednesday morning, in what appears to have been a suicide attempt, the Defense Ministry said. The incident was initially misreported as an attempted stabbing attack. However, upon searching her possessions, a sapper “did not find anything,” the ministry said in a statement. “The girl approached the vehicle crossing by foot, holding a bag,” arousing the suspicion of the security guards, the statement said. They “ordered her to stop and even fired warning shots into the air,” the ministry said, but when the teenager continued approaching despite the calls to halt, the guards “shot her in the legs in order to stop her.” During an initial investigation of the incident, the teenager said, “I came to die,” according to the ministry. The girl was lightly injured and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.She's alive though it appears that's not the outcome this child wished for.
UPDATE Wednesday September 21, 2015 at 4:00 pm: Here's the Wall Street Journal's version - under the stark headline "Palestinian Shot, Wounded at Israeli Checkpoint" - of the extraordinary narrative about this morning's shooting of a child at an IDF security checkpoint:
Israeli security forces shot and wounded a Palestinian teenager on Wednesday after she refused to stop at a checkpoint between the West Bank and Israel, Israel’s Defense Ministry said. The ministry said the 13-year-old Palestinian wasn’t carrying a weapon and didn’t appear intent on attacking Israeli security forces as she neared the Eliyahu checkpoint. After she failed to heed orders to stop and several warning shots were fired, she was hit in the leg by a single bullet, it said. “I came here to die,” the ministry quoted the young woman as saying after she was shot and hospitalized.What kind of processes, internal and external, could bring a child of that age to do that?
UPDATE Wednesday September 21, 2015 at 4:20 pm: Ma'an News Agency has two versions of what happened. In English [here], it's close to what we wrote above. In Arabic [here] the part about the child admitting she came to the security point "to die" is absent. The Arabic version gives the child's name as Aoasa Ramadan Musa, age 12, from Qalqilya.