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November 29, 2015 / 17 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Arab’

The Epidemic of Arab Terror and its Cure

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

When everyone began trying to understand the waves of Arab violence and terror hitting Israel, all sorts of explanations were proposed.

Personally, I’m sticking with simple bloodlust, as I’ve pointed out before.

Yes, there is the Islamic and Arab cultural baggage that fuels their fervor, but it’s always been bloodlust that sends them over the edge, moving from slogans to concrete actions.

But the other question is, what ignites this Sudden Jihad Syndrome, where repeatedly, a middle-class Arab from Jerusalem or other Israeli cities, wakes up and decides to stab a Jew or run him or her over?

I’m pointing out that the terrorists are middle-class Arabs for a reason.

The Arab scholar Bassam Tawil began looking into the family lives of these terrorists. He visited their homes and discovered that they didn’t live in poverty, they weren’t uneducated people, they weren’t jobless.

In Tawil’s words, they were “leading comfortable lives, with unlimited access to education and work.” They were from normative, middle class Arab homes.

Most were educated, popular, good-looking, had jobs, and their families are stable and financially secure members of their communities.

So what drives a normal, middle-class Arab young man or woman to suddenly wake up, take a knife out of his mother’s kitchen and get in his car to go kill Jews?

Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” has been on my mind for a while now (I don’t have a copy in front of me, someone borrowed it and didn’t return it). Gladwell talks about “epidemics” and what makes them happen – what is the impetus that “jolts” a stable situation out of equilibrium – in our case, a low level of violence, to almost daily stabbings and vehicular attacks by a particular kind of person, who might otherwise sit next to you on the bus or light rail on the way to work, or serve you in the store or restaurant you frequent.

What triggered my memory is a story Gladwell tells in his book of a suicide epidemic that hit Micronesia, also known as the Werther effect. It is a spike and cluster of suicides in a community that follow a well-publicized suicide.

Wikipedia describe it as:

The Werther effect not only predicts an increase in suicide, but the majority of the suicides will take place in the same or a similar way as the one publicized. The more similar the person in the publicized suicide is to the people exposed to the information about it, the more likely the age group or demographic is to die by suicide. The increase generally happens only in areas where the suicide story was highly publicized. Upon learning of someone else’s suicide, many people decide that action is appropriate for them as well, especially if the publicized suicide was of someone in a similar situation as them.

There’s another similar epidemic, now called the Columbine effect, where the killers idealize the original massacre, try to duplicate it, and more so, try to improve upon it to reach it’s idealized form as they imagine it.

I can’t imagine a more fitting description for what we are facing in Israel.

An Arab runs some Jews over, gets out of the car and then tries to stab the Jews, the Arab terrorist is then shot and killed, or alternatively, an Arab takes his mother’s knife, walks around, stabs a Jew, the terrorist is then shot and killed. The story gets elaborated on, that the Jews planted the knife, or the breaks failed. The video/photo/story is then posted to Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

Attack. Kill. Post. Watch. Repeat.

One of the proposed solutions in communities where these suicide epidemics hit, is for the local media to stop reporting the incidents, and that helps end the epidemic. Of course, in the age of social media, that’s damn near impossible, so the situation just feeds on itself, until some other factor changes, and it peters out.

Gladwell discusses three possible areas of change: the Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor, and the Power of Context.

The Law of the Few: These are the trend-setters that first start an idea and the social connectors who get the idea out to their wider group of friends and followers.

The Stickiness Factor: This is the slogan. A contagious message connected to the act that keeps the act in mind. It could be some minor tweak to a well-worn message that suddenly gives it impact and for some reason turns it into an earworm that won’t get out of your head.

The Power of Context: This is what you see around you. People act and react based on the physical and social environmental cues around them. Our current situation fits this formula (and the previous waves fit similar formulas).

The Arabs see cool, middle-class Arabs suddenly getting up and killing a Jew using one of two easy methods, the youth gets killed, it gets posted on the internet by key social media connectors, and then widely distributed and watched – the Law of the Few.

The Arabs link the attacks to a slogan – in this wave’s case, the Jews are changing the status quo (which every time Netanyahu says that he isn’t, but uses those words, he triggers them even more). A second message has also developed which is “the Jews planted the knife” – The Stickiness Factor.

And finally, the Arab community hears repeatedly from their imams and in their mosques, on social media and at home, how the Jews are executing innocent Arabs and planting knives near their bodies, and they must defend Al Aqsa which the Jews are destroying. The returned bodies get a hero’s funerals. Other terrorists get streets and schools named after them by the PA government, and their jailed terrorists get healthy salaries. Those are the constant environmental cues around them, telling them that Arabs must take action against the Jews, and it’s OK and even heroic to do so – the Power of Context.

These three rules defining what pushes an act over the tipping point, turning it into an epidemic, can perhaps also provide clues on how to end the epidemic.

The Law of the Few: We have four “guilty parties” in this case, the people videoing the events, the people posting the videos to the “right” groups and pages, the social media platforms and the newspapers. You can’t have newspapers not report the latest terrorist attack, but perhaps they could be less gruesome about their reporting. Similarly, the popular social media platforms and video sharing platforms could be told to block and remove the videos. But alternative social-sharing platforms will just pop-up or become popular, if the current ones start restricting usage.

One could go after the people making and posting the videos, but again, it’s a widespread phenomena.

So we may be stuck with limited ability to affect this rule, but it’s worth looking into, nonetheless.

The Stickiness Factor: The message is the message. Proving it false clearly doesn’t work, and in fact even antagonizes them more, perhaps due to the cognitive dissonance it evinces.

We may be stuck with no ability to change their message, and the best move is to not even discuss it, or try to react to it – Netanyahu should not have even talked about the status quo or the Temple Mount.

The Power of Context: The environment is something we actually can change and affect.

If no terrorist bodies are returned, they can’t hold public celebrations.

If imams are inciting hatred and publicly repeating the message then isolate and arrest them.

If the messages are being transferred through social media and video sharing platforms, then identify those audiences most likely to be affected and temporarily shut down access, ranging from WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube, to internet and cellular access in specific neighborhoods and phones until things calm down.

When Israel put up the temporary wall in Jeruslaem and threatened to revoke residency rights from the terrorists and their families, that changed the environment, and caused those who understood what that meant for their lives to influence and control those family members more susceptible to the terror meme.

Israel disrupted the environment.

Israel non-violently forced the families to change the conversation. They still hate Jews, and they aren’t any less scared of dying, but the conversation now also says there’s too high a price to pay for heroically acting on the terror, and the rest of the family would suffer unacceptably.

A comparable price tag can be found for the Arabs in Judea and Samaria, which would similarly disrupt the conversational environment that provides positive context for the attacks.

We’re facing an epidemic of terror.

But now that we understand it, we have the tools to control it and keep it in check, if we’re prepared to use them.

Rishon Lezion Stabber is Hebron Arab Terrorist

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

Police have identified the Arab terrorist who stabbed three people in the central Israeli city of Rishon Lezion on Monday afternoon.

Imad al-Tarde, 19, an Arab resident of Hebron, was detained after “a stabbing spree on the streets of Rishon Lezion,” according to IDF Spokesperson Lt.-Col. Peter Lerner.

At least two of the three victims – an elderly woman and a middle-aged man — were seriously injured in the attack.

Police prevented Israeli citizens from beating and kicking the attacker, whisking him away from the scene after he was detained. Al-Tarde was transferred to security personnel for interrogation.

Rishon Lezion is located south of Tel Aviv.

Nazareth Mayor: Barely 1,000 Jewish Shoppers Saturday

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

(JNi.media) Nazareth Mayor Ali Salem, who last week ruined the Channel 2 News interview with Ayman Odeh chairman of the Knesset Joint Arab List, is still furious. “Every Saturday we get our 20 thousand guests—Jews, tourists and Israelis from across the country,” he told Ma’ariv Saturday night. “This Saturday we barely reached 1,000 people from out of town.”

Salem did not want to call what goes on in this city these days a “catastrophe” (which, in Arabic, is Nakba, a word that dates back to the war of 1948-9)—he prefers to maintain his optimism. “For three days we had complete quiet,” he continues. “No politicians arrived and they didn’t riot or strike or demonstrate. Therefore I believe, as early as next Saturday, if the quiet will be maintained, everyone will return. Businessmen I spoke to today were pleased, not because no one visited them for a month, but because they manage to rebuild the ruins they (the politicians) left us in the city,” he said.

“There were even smiles, even though the shops were empty. Everyone knows that if the quiet continues, everything will fall into place. We are built to absorb every Saturday 20 thousand and sometimes 30 and even 50 thousand, just come, Jews, Arabs and Christians. Send your Saturday here, shopping and touring. There’s a lot to see.”

Salem stresses the importance of the economy in his city. “If you are strong in trade, in the economy, you are strong in everything. Why am I fighting against any carpetbaggers who come to us to get their cut? Everyone shouts coexistence, and I shout existence and coexistence. Let us support the city. Let the traders make a living, let Nazareth have a livelihood. We’ve had two rarely prosperous years in this city, until the riots. Now we need to rebuild everything. Quietly, with colors, with sights, with smells.”

Salem optimistic but also concerned. “I walk around town and see what’s going on here, so no one can come to teach me how to make a city beautiful, strong and clean. Everyone has heard and seen me, they all know what I think, therefore I am not going to talk any more to the media…

Kuseifa Arab Questioned for Incitement on Facebook

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

An Arab resident of the Bedouin town of Kuseifa was arrested Wednesday afternoon on charges of incitement to violence.

Kuseifa is a 10-minute drive west of the Negev city of Arad along Highway 31, just past the ancient Biblical city of Arad, where tourists can view the archaeological excavation of Tel Arad.

The 20-year-old, an employee at a factory at the Dead Sea in southern Israel, was taken into custody by police in the area, according to the Walla! website.

“The intifada has started, and I am sure that afterwards there will not be one Jewish pig here,” the worker reportedly wrote on his Facebook page.

He was taken for questioning by police to the precinct in Arad.

Kuseifa is comprised of Bedouin and Palestinian Arabs who have intermarried together, most of whom originate from the Hebron area.

Report: Stabbing in Clal Building in Jerusalem

Monday, October 12th, 2015

There has been an unconfirmed report that an Arab terrorist stabbed a Jewish man Monday afternoon in the Clal building in downtown Jerusalem.

Citizens in the area reported seeing the Arab running around the Binyan Clal (Clal Building) with the knife in his hand.

Police who were allegedly chasing the terrorist arrived at the building but apparently were unable to find him.

Citizens reported seeing the victim who had been stabbed by the terrorist.

Arab Demonstrates How Forest Fires are Started by Arson Terrorists

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

Most media outlets feature videos on how to prepare gourmet meals or build your own dream house.

Here in the Middle East, if you know where to look, apparently one can also find footage on how to set your own forest fire.

Arson researchers have found quite a bit of evidence recently in forests and open areas throughout Israel that prove most of the recent fires that were so terribly destructive were the result of arson.

Although in many cases it was clear that the fires did not start as a result of travelers in the area, fire investigators found that difficult to prove, due to a lack of evidence.

But on Saturday night, the Hebrew-language 0404 news website published a helpful video shot by Palestinian Authority Arab photographer Jihad Qade, showing an Arab demonstrating how to set a forest fire on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Arson investigators are not always able to track down the evidence behind most of the fires that are set by such terrorists.

This video footage, however, together with some documentation by Arab media, shows the methods used to set some of these fires involves using a flame, an aerosol spray can and a spark plug.

The flame is then directed toward a tree or a bush of thorns, and soon it catches and begins to spread on its own.

In the above footage obtained by 0404, a fire is shown being lit by an Arab whose identity is concealed by a keffiyeh which covers his face as he stands in the open space next to a base in the Jerusalem area.

The goal of such activity is ominously clear: to burn and murder Jews.

Late Night in the IDF Reserves…in the Rolling Hills of the Shomron.

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

After a late night meeting for IDF Reserves duty planning, I drove a senior IDF commander back to our home base last night.

Driving through the winding roads in a valley… we saw a car stopped ahead of us, just around the bend, in the pitch black darkness of the night.

“Slow Down and turn on your strobe lights,” said my passenger and commander, as we both readied our weapons. The officer had his gun out the window pointed at the vehicle.

I pulled up alongside the vehicle with PA plates, as my strobe lights illuminated the suspicious car. 

My passenger asked the driver why he was stopped on the road in the middle of the night.

The Arab driver replied sheepishly that the car was out of gas…and help was on its way.

We asked him why he didn’t check the gas gauge on his car….and he replied that it was his brother’s car and he didn’t notice it when he left the house.

“You didn’t notice because you were fasting for Ramadan?” The officer asked.

The driver nodded…turning slightly red from embarrassment.

“Listen….do yourself a favor. Get out of your car….put up a reflective warning triangle…wear a reflective vest…just make sure you are visible so no one slams into you…,” the officer told him.

The driver complied immediately.

As we drove off, I yelled out and wished him a “Ramadan Kareem” as he stared incredulously at the two of us.

We drove back to the base….the rest of the ride was uneventful.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/late-night-in-the-idf-reserves-in-the-rolling-hills-of-the-shomron/2015/07/09/

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