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In case one failed to notice, the people of Israel are at war. We must brace ourselves, but first and foremost we must recognize that we are at war and understand exactly who the enemy has declared himself to be. This is not a fight against “lone wolves,” but a struggle for survival against a population which refuses to recognize our right to peacefully exist in our own land. No amount of capitulation, short of giving up the state, will alter this. This reality of the struggle must be made clear.

During the last fourteen weeks, terror attacks throughout Israel have left nearly thirty dead. ‎The incessant stabbings and rock-throwing, car-ramming and shooting attacks have left over 270 wounded, including 25 severely so, with a number of victims still hospitalized in “fair” ‎condition.‎ Day after day, the war is manifest in countless acts of violent Arab attacks against Jewish civilians and security forces throughout the country.


In about a week’s span, we were subject to the following incidents:

  • Stabbings: Two Arabs (both formerly ‎convicted on terror charges and then released) stab three Jews outside Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate, ‎killing two and injuring another seriously. An Arab attempts to enter a full synagogue and ‎then a nearby home in Ra’anana, eventually stabbing a man in the stomach and wounding three ‎others.‎ An Arab worker (possessing a legal work permit) stabs two Jews in Ariel’s ‎industrial area, with one suffering numerous wounds to the head and limbs. A soldier is stabbed in Jerusalem. Four more stabbings are thwarted in downtown Jerusalem and Hebron.
  • Rammings: No less than five car-ramming attacks are committed by Arabs in numerous locations throughout Israel and the territories, resulting in a number of injuries.
  • Other attacks: Five Jerusalem Arabs are arrested for multiple firebomb and rock-throwing attacks. An Arab youth is charged with throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks at vehicles on Highway 6 while dozens more are caught throwing rocks and explosive devices at vehicles in and near Akko, Ma’aleh Adumim, Jerusalem, Nevatim, Hebron, and the al-Fawar and Adam Junctions. A rocket attack on northern Israel is ‎claimed by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a renowned lecturer from Cairo is harassed at the University of Haifa by Israeli Arab students who accuse him of being a “Zionist collaborator” and an Arab construction worker goes on a rampage with a chiseling hammer and iron rod, injuring two in Modi’in.
  • Revelations: Two Arab lawyers (brother and sister) from Jerusalem are convicted of aiding terror organizations while a terror cell consisting of Abu Dis university students is revealed to be planning several suicide and car bombings within Israel. ‎One Jerusalem Arab is arrested for planning a terror attack in Tel Aviv while another, who served as an Israeli Ministry of Health employee, is sentenced to two years imprisonment for attempting to join ISIS. Two more Israeli Arabs are indicted for working for ISIS and plotting to attack IDF soldiers at the Golani junction. The IDF discovers semi-automatic assault rifles in the ‎Arab village of Yatta, while pipe bombs and ammunition intended for terror attacks are uncovered at a falafel stand in East Jerusalem. Additionally, large amounts of improvised explosive devices are exposed near the border with Gaza, preventing a potentially devastating terror attack.

It is of the utmost importance that we know that the Arab population, both in the West Bank and Gaza as well as those with Israeli citizenship, ‎overwhelmingly supports this terror war being waged against us. Poll after poll continues to reveal the ‎Arab population’s open endorsements of the attacks which see innocent Jewish men, women and ‎children run over, stabbed and gunned down in the streets of the Jewish state. These attacks are then ‎celebrated throughout Arab communities where terrorists are unashamedly glorified as heroes. Samir ‎Kuntar, the terror chief who cruelly murdered four Israelis including a four-year-old girl, is the latest ‎hero as Palestinian officials continue to praise his “heroic” acts of murder while Arab civilians begin naming ‎their newborns after him. ‎

Let no one be fooled by recent partial and politically pressured condemnations of a specific attack. For over four months of a terror wave, while the Palestinian Authority continued its calls for escalation, praises for attackers and declarations of war – with ‎chairman Mahmoud Abbas urging Arab students to “carry out religious war against Israel” – ‎not one Israeli Arab Knesset representative had yet to condemn any of the attacks, with ‎some even outright encouraging them. Even the most “moderate” of the Arab Knesset Members, Aymen Odeh, was ‎unwilling to condemn the attacks against Jews, claiming that he could not “put red lines” before the struggle ‎against the occupation [Israel]. Interestingly, Odeh and his Hadash party had no difficulty condemning Israel over ‎the recent “savage” assassination of arch-terrorist Kuntar.‎

What country in the world would tolerate this kind of treason? What U.S. congressman would refuse to ‎condemn ISIS attacks on U.S. soil against his own fellow citizens, let alone encourage them? We are at war and ‎yet Israel continues to pamper the Arab population by catering to their demands regarding the Temple ‎Mount, returning terrorists bodies to their families, dedicating billions in budget funds to help improve the ‎Arab sector and reopening roads to Arab traffic in terror hit areas.‎

And yet, despite all the attacks and open Arab support, the focus of the media continues to be an arson attack which took place in the village of Duma nearly half a year ago, along with a recent wedding video portraying a Jewish youth stabbing a picture of the young victim of that attack. The disproportion is astonishing and yet this is where the media, the politicians from Left to Right and the leadership have chosen to focus. A picture being stabbed by a rowdy adolescent at a wedding is hardly worthy of the attention that should have been dedicated to the two Jews who were actually stabbed in cold blood and murdered the same day the wedding video was released. Tragically, the ploy succeeded in diverting people’s minds from the war at hand and the real enemy.

When will we comprehend that the endless emphasizing of the Duma incident is damaging to Israel and a distortion of the reality of the war that we are engaged in?

Where is the fury over the murder of Avraham Hasno, a Kiryat Arba resident who was lured out of his car by an Arab rock ambush and then run over twice by an Arab truck driver in mid-October? Local Arab residents cheered and whistled while paramedics unsuccessfully tried to save his life. The murderer was spared Israeli arrest by immediately turning to the Palestinian Authority, who subsequently released him.

And why is there no similar emphasis on the murder of Adelle Biton, the two-year-old Jewish girl who was critically wounded by a fist-sized rock that struck her head as she travelled in her family’s car outside of Ariel? She succumbed to her wounds earlier this year and, last week, the five Arabs who attacked Adelle’s vehicle were absolved of murder charges, receiving a mere fifteen-year sentence due to a plea bargain. This “minor” headline was seemingly unworthy of the attention of politicians and Jewish leaders who reserve their outrage for Jewish youths at a wedding. The lack of honest, rational and bold leadership is the ultimate tragedy.

And so if citizens feel the need to call for a cessation of labor in order to increase wages for lower-income workers, then certainly the time has come to strike over the most important of issues: life, along with the constant terror attacks which make life unbearable. Yet that can only be when we are able to recognize this struggle for what it is. The call of the hour is to recognize the enemy and the war at hand, for the most pitiful casualty is the one who did not even know he was at war.


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Mark Cohen made aliyah nearly 15 years ago from the United States and currently lives and teaches in the heart of Jerusalem.