Though reports have been scarce on the evening news, violence in Jerusalem is bubbling to a boil. Since October, more than 120 attacks have been waged by young Palestinians against Israelis, most of them carried out with nothing more complicated or destructive than a kitchen knife. And though the attacks have left more Palestinians dead than Israelis – 80 to 20, according to the Washington Post – they enjoy widespread support among the Palestinian population.
A survey by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey research revealed this week that a full two-thirds of Palestinians are in favor of the knife attacks and would like to see them continue.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said the attacks are “driven by despair that a two-state solution is not coming.”
Jibril Rajoub, the president of the Palestinian Football Federation, said the attacks were born out of “humiliation and suffering” under a “facist system.”
Most of the American media is selling this perspective of Palestinian motivation, every year growing more critical of Israel’s machinations in the region. It would be a compelling story…if only it were true.
These attacks, by any possible interpretation, have been driven by radical Islam. These attacking Palestinians make no secret of their motivations, filling social media with proclamations to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque from Jewish contamination. A recent Watan Center poll found that 48% of Palestinians want to “liberate all of Palestine” by pursuing these attacks. That doesn’t mean the Gaza Strip; that means they want to wipe Israel off the map.
Like much of the Middle Eastern Muslim population, young Palestinians are increasingly getting radicalized by the spread of ISIS propaganda and the general push towards fundamentalist Islam. But even if they weren’t, the media’s portrayal of this as a generation that really wants peace is absolutely absurd. In that respect, the tactics themselves are all that has really changed. The reason peace talks have never worked is quite simple: there is very little appetite among the general population for co-existence. Why? Because there is now an entire industry built on preserving hostilities, and these terrorist power-players have a great deal of control over what their citizens believe.
“Do it for us, the rich leaders of Hamas” isn’t really an effective form of motivation, but “Do it for Allah” sells tickets like nobody’s business. If Israel wants to put an end to this at some point in the next 100 years, they’re going to need to interrupt the non-stop brainwashing that is radicalizing generation after generation of Palestinian Muslims. Unfortunately, in this supposed age of information, more people than ever are being sucked in by a sick, baseless philosophy. And the Western world seems more concerned about defending the Islamic religion and demonizing Israel, two catastrophic errors that are only strengthening the seductive power of ISIS.