On March 15th, a 28 year old Australian man opened fire inside a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, not stopping before 50 people were dead. An attack of such horrific proportions is hard to fathom, and decidedly qualifies as an act of terrorism. As I read through the news, I saw a unifying theme—leaders from all political spectrums and faiths unequivocally condemned the attack, which was directed at Muslims inside a mosque. Christian leaders, Jewish leaders, and Muslim leaders alike condemned such brutality—religious and political differences didn’t matter. Terrorism is terrorism, and murder is murder.
Two days later, on March 17th, a young Arab man hid inside some illegal Arab stores just outside the city of Ariel, in Samaria. He sneaked up to an IDF soldier, stabbed him, stole his weapon and shot him. He then stole a car and drove a few miles west, where he shot two more people—another IDF soldier and a 47 year old rabbi from the community of Eli. The first soldier, Gal Keidan, died of his wounds. Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger succumbed to his wounds 24 hours later, leaving behind 12 children, ages 1 to 22. The third victim is recovering from his wounds, but is still in critical condition.
There are two points I’d like to bring out from these terrorist attacks. First, the entire world unequivocally condemned the attack in New Zealand. Two days later, the world fell silent when two Jews from the so-called “West Bank” were murdered. Is this because there were only two killed in Samaria, and there were 50 killed in New Zealand? While doing research about these attacks, I came across some interesting statistics:
Since the beginning of 2019, there have been 411 terror attacks in Judea and Samaria alone. These include stabbings, shootings, molotov cocktails and stone throwings. And lest you think stone throwings are simply child’s play mostly committed by rowdy youngsters, there have been several Jews killed simply from a stone thrown at a car driving down the highway.
Here are some statistics from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (click here for the full report).
Since October 2015:
79 innocent people have been killed in Palestinian terrorist attacks and 1,210 wounded (including tourists, a foreign worker and several uninvolved Palestinians).
There have been 204 stabbing attacks and 150 attempted stabbings, 228 shooting attacks, 74 vehicular (ramming) attacks, and 361 roadside/pipe bombs.
In addition, riots and other types of attacks occur almost daily—rock throwing (8831), petrol bombs/grenades/arson kites & balloons (2494).
Since October 2015, 1,237 rockets and mortar bombs have been launched from Gaza towards Israeli territory.
Is it only because these attacks have been spread out over three and a half years that the world will not condemn them? Since 79 people have been killed over a period of three and a half years, is it not as bad as one terror attack that kills 50 people? When will the world condemn terror and murder, no matter where it is and who it kills?
The second point that I’d like to bring out is that this Arab terrorist who killed two Jews in Samaria actually brought further harm to his own people. The Ariel Junction, where the attack occurred, is located directly between two industries that are providing equal opportunity for work and education to both Jews and Arabs.
The Barkan Industrial Park, located just east of the Ariel Junction, has 120 factories that employ about 6,000 people. Roughly half of these employees are Palestinian Arabs, and the other half are Israeli Jews. These people all work together, and receive the same wages, benefits, and vacations. They eat lunch together in the same break rooms, and have the same opportunities to become supervisors, managers, and make a good living for their families. Sadly, for the first time in its history, an Arab terrorist murdered two of his co-workers in October 2018, one of whom was Jewish, and the other Arab.
Ariel is one of the largest “settlements” in Judea and Samaria, home to 35,000 people, 15,000 of whom attend the Ariel University. This beautiful and innovative college offers a wide range of studies, including a medical program, the first of its kind in Judea and Samaria. Unique to this school, Arabs and Jewish students attend classes side by side.
While an Arab terrorist murdered two Jews at the Ariel Junction, a short distance away, Jews and Arabs were attending classes together, and Jews and Arabs were working at their jobs together. Have you heard any of this in the mainstream media? Do you think Israel is being treated by a double standard? Will you see Muslim, Jewish, and Christian leaders around the world standing up for coexistence and peace in Judea and Samaria?
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