Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Two contrasting headlines publicized within hours of each other last week tell the story of Jerusalem today.

The Israeli news site Nana reported on Saturday night in the name of a senior Hamas terrorist: “An Intifada is Underway in Jerusalem.” Just a few hours later, the NRG-Maariv site posted another headline: “Top Police Department Head: There is No Intifada in Jerusalem.”


That’s the story in a nutshell: The terrorists act, and the victim ignores and pretends.

For the past four months, nearly 1,000 Jerusalem Arabs have been arrested in connection with the well over 10,000 violent attacks that have occurred in Jerusalem. The “climax” of the events was the car attack in which a baby and a young woman were murdered, followed shortly after by the assassination attempt against Rabbi Yehuda Glick. And yet, Israeli security officials refuse to call it by name: Intifada, meaning “uprising.”

Yes, increased security measures have been taken. But as George Orwell made clear in his work 1984, things that are not properly named are not properly understood. Simply put, an intifada that goes by any other name will not be treated as an intifada – and will therefore become increasingly explosive.

Some causes for the ongoing attacks – rocks, Molotov cocktails, fireworks, and shootings – have been publicly identified. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, for instance, remarked on the “wave of incitement by radical Islamic elements and by Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas]” that is facing us. Netanyahu clearly named Abbas as having said that Jews must be prevented from going up to the Temple Mount “by any means possible.” He chose, however, to point his verbal arrows at the international community for, hypocritically, not having “condemned these inflammatory remarks.”

Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, blamed Abbas even more directly. On October 26, he stated that Abbas is “an enemy of Israel, who educates children to hate Jews and wants to establish a Judenrein” state.

Others note the direct Fatah and Hamas involvement in the intifada. Longtime Jerusalem affairs expert Nadav Shragai has pointed out, in a series of articles in Israel Hayom, that the extended wave of attacks against Jews in Jerusalem’s periphery is organized and funded by elements identified with both Fatah and Hamas. He added that many of those arrested by Israel enjoy legal defense funded by the Palestinian Authority.

Shragai blames a “lack of deterrence,” noting that “decision makers are finally – belatedly – starting to see this is not some passing wave of disturbances.” His concluding recommendation is this: “Jewish sovereignty throughout the entire city must be seen in the streets, everywhere, over time, by the renewal of Jewish settlements in all parts of Jerusalem – even if it makes Obama angry.”

Settlement leader and former Knesset Member Yaakov Katz takes a more immediate look at the problem, and says that the lack of deterrence caused by Netanyahu’s “cowardliness” is the source: “The Arab attackers see Netanyahu’s weakness, and continue to brazenly attack and humiliate us…. It is told that when the Turks ruled here, one Turkish soldier could maintain order in an entire city – for the populace knew how it would suffer if the soldier was harmed. Today, as well, if we had a strong and courageous prime minister who believed in his ability to rule and deter…the Arabs would know that the Jewish Exile was over and no Arab would ever again throw a rock at a Jew.”

On the other extreme, a more macro view is taken by Pinhas Inbari of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, who maintains that the outbreak of violence in Jerusalem is part of the worldwide Muslim campaign to establish a Caliphate with Jerusalem at its center.


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Chaim Silberstein is president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech and the Jerusalem Capital Development Fund. He was formerly a senior adviser to Israel's minister of tourism. Hillel Fendel is the former senior editor of Arutz-7. For bus tours of the capital, to take part in Jerusalem advocacy efforts or to keep abreast of KeepJerusalem's activities, e-mail [email protected].