Here is a different angle on the same issue: in the absence of media reports to the contrary, Barack Obama could sell the PA to the Israeli public as a an entity with which it is possible to make peace.
Restraint Is Power?
Due to the lack of media coverage, warped orders are issued every day for dealing with the dozens of cases in which Israelis are ambushed with rocks and Molotov cocktails. In the current reality, shifts of reservists and enlisted soldiers on security duty in Judea and Samaria are competing to see who can manage to do the job without casualties … on the Palestinian side. The senior commanders brag about the prowess with which apply the doctrines of low-intensity warfare. The platoons are praised in debriefings for operating wisely. The line “restraint is also a kind of power” (first uttered by Arik Sharon, while visiting wounded terror victims) has become a military mantra.
Despite all the bad experience with restraint as defense policy, we are going in that direction yet again. The combination of the media’s indifference to the wounding of Jews and senior IDF officers’ instructions to exercise restraint in the face of Palestinian terrorism is interpreted by those organizing the attacks as a blank check to keep them coming. Once it was small groups of terrorists with their faces covered who threw rocks at IDF forces. Now it is in the open, often with masses of attackers, who know that nothing will happen to them as long as no Israeli is dead yet by the end of the event. This is a fact. How many of the people who participate in these rock-throwing demonstrations have been arrested, after being photographed and filmed while there? The IDF could go into their towns at night and collect them by the hundred. But in practice very, very few are apprehended.
The Palestinians take advantage of this. Intelligently, craftily they put youths and minors to work on the rock-throwing front, knowing that they are protected by Israeli and foreign NGO’s—as well as the Israeli media, which rush to the scene the moment an investigator strays from his orders while trying to extract vital information or a confession. Welcome to the paradise of Palestinian terrorism.
All together, this is the route to the legitimization of terrorism. It starts with Amira Hass, and it ends with the killing of the Palmer father and son by a well-aimed rock thrown from a moving vehicle. For Hass, this is a legitimate deed. For me it is a legitimate reason to put her in jail under the Prevention of Terror Ordinance for encouraging and collaborating with acts of terrorism.