Monday, October 5, 2015

Analysis: Palestinian rebellion underway

Israel, the West Bank - the fuse is lit, the explosion is about to be unleashed.  My the Lord keep Israel safe, may the swift sword strike the vermin and be mighty.

The story comes from The Jerusalem Post.

Analysis: Palestinian rebellion underway

Any incident, even the most marginal, can turn into a strategic mega-terror attack that will draw an Israeli response which will send the situation spiraling out of control.

The experts in the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the IDF, as well as media analysts, continue to argue over the definition. What should we call the violence? Intifada? Not an intifada? Grassroots terror? Stone intifada? The sad truth is that the name doesn't matter. What's important is the reality, and no less important - the recognition of that reality.

And the reality is that the West Bank and Jerusalem are burning. They have been burning for several months, even for as long as a year.

The Palestinians are on a path to confrontation. There are already clear signs of an uprising. It started with stone-throwing - an average of more than 100 incidents a month. And stones can kill, as we have seen on a few occasions in the past year, including in the latest incident in Jerusalem on Rosh Hashana eve. It continued with the addition of Molotov cocktail throwing - about 10-15 incidents a month. And most recently, there has been increased use of firearms and knives, as in the case of the murder of the Henkin family and the attack on Saturday in Jerusalem's Old City.

In short, the situation is extremely volatile. Any incident, even the most marginal, can turn into a strategic mega-terror attack that will draw an Israeli response which will send the situation spiraling out of control.

We can only imagine the horror scenario that would have developed if the Henkin's four children were killed along with their parents, or if Iron Dome were to miss a rocket from Gaza that lands on a southern town and causes multiple injuries. These are scenarios that could lead to an Operation Defensive Shield 2 or Operation Protective Edge 2. Not to mention what would happen if Jewish extremists were to carry out another terror attack like the murder of the Dawabshe family in Duma.

The Israeli government continues to stick to the status quo as if nothing has changed. Some government ministers - chief among them Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked - have attacked the government for not doing enough. Meaning, they are blaming themselves for this helplessness without taking responsibility.

At most, they offer solutions which are akin to offering chicken soup to a dead man or Tylenol to a cancer patient. Such as to increase the number of checkpoints or to prevent Palestinian cars from traveling on certain roads (which is a bad idea that will make it easier for terrorists, who will know that every attack is an attack on a Jewish car). These are the tactical solutions of the small-minded. There is no willingness to deal with the bigger picture - the strategic reality.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has extended his hand and offered Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to meet and start negotiations without pre-conditions. But we've already been in this movie. Abbas and the Palestinian leadership do not believe Netanyahu. They remember the Netanyahu that speaks in favor of the two-state solution, and later, prior to elections, takes it back, and has now once again gone back to the starting point. The Palestinians have had enough of these suggestions or minor "good will gestures." They want to know where the negotiations will lead.

Abbas and the Palestinians have also contributed to the situation. They did not take advantage of the settlement freeze some five years ago. Just like Israel, they are not willing to compromise. However, it is still a mistake for the Israeli government to take the position that there is no solution to the situation.

It's clear that the status quo is dying, one way or the other. It may be a massive Palestinian uprising or the resignation of Abbas, or the Palestinian Authority dismantling itself, or announcing the canceling of the Oslo Accords, as Abbas has threatened, or all of these things together, at the same time.

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