In the midst of such an unstable environment, both near and far, the fact that Israel enjoys peace and quiet is especially aggravating to the Palestinian Islamists and motivates them to use the same methods that Islamic fighters use, who currently dictate the agenda of many countries in the world.
Israel must keep its finger on the pulse, and must not sink into the euphoria of a “house in the jungle” [a peaceful, civilized haven in the midst of a barbaric environment] or of being the “only democracy in the Middle East”. Specifically because it is a democratic, peaceful, secure country, scrupulous about human rights and political freedoms, these specific qualities raise the envy and ire of its enemies, and they long very much to undermine its stability, even if the outcome will leave them in a worse situation.
Islam raises the flag of the “tzabar” (native Israeli) quality – “patience and the ability to tolerate difficulties and hardships” – and promises the suffering Muslim “al-Farj b’ad al-shida” – redemption after the difficulties. Therefore, even if the third intifada causes a deterioration of the quality of life, the price is still worth it, because for them, the freeing of all of Palestine – in the future, in sha Allah – justifies the suffering and the hardships.
Israelis tend to assess the likelihood for an intifada to break out according to cost and benefit considerations, characteristic of Western societies. These considerations, as worthy and important as they are, are not always the considerations of Muslims who live among us and near us.
Al-Jazeera again appears to be promoting Islamic violence these days, in Egypt and in Israel. Only for comparison: Egypt occupies only a marginal amount of space in the news of the Arab world today, and Syria is front and center of media interest. On al-Jazeera – in contrast – Egypt still occupies a central position, with many reports and details about the actions of the masses – especially those of the Muslim Brotherhood – against the military rule. Al-Jazeera gives intensive coverage to the school and commercial strikes that are currently occurring in some of the cities of Egypt.
This is the reason that the Egyptian regime has closed the offices of al-Jazeera in that country, and the channel has been forced to base its reports on rebel videos from video sharing sites such as YouTube. Israel must consider whether it should do as the Egyptians have, because al-Jazeera’s media jihad is not limited to Egypt, and Israel is a permanent target of jihad.
If there is any medium that can ignite the spirit of a third intifada, it is al-Jazeera. Israel must remove jihadist media from its territory before the entire country is set afire.
Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav with permission from the author.
About the Author: Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.
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