This Day in Palestinians Resorting To Violence History: December 1 (Pedestrian Mall)

On December 1, 2001, two frustrated Palestinian Arabs from Abu Dis, just east of Jerusalem, could not stand seeing so many Jews walking around on a Saturday night in a popular Jerusalem pedestrian mall. Osama Bahar, age 25, and Nabil Abu Habaliya, age 24, took explosives which were supplied by the terrorist group Hamas and blew themselves up amongst the young Israelis strolling on Ben Yehuda Street. A short time later, another terrorist blew up a car nearby.

The eleven dead included: Assaf Avitan, 15, of Jerusalem; Michael Moshe Dahan, 21, of Jerusalem; Israel Ya’akov Danino, 17, of Jerusalem; Yosef El-Ezra, 18, of Jerusalem; Sgt. Nir Haftzadi, 19, of Jerusalem; Yuri (Yoni) Korganov, 20, of Ma’alei Adumim; Golan Turgeman, 15, of Jerusalem; Guy Vaknin, 19, of Jerusalem; Adam Weinstein, 14, of Givon Hahadasha; Moshe Yedid-Levy, 19, of Jerusalem; and Ido Cohen, 17, of Jerusalem. Roughly 180 others were injured, 17 seriously.

Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism at a popular pedestrian mall on Saturday night December 1, 2001

The Martyr Izz ad-Deen al-Qassam Brigades – Information office described how angry the Arabs were with the Jews, stating:

As part of our retaliation to [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon’s madness and with the success granted by Allah and His protection, the two fighting martyr brothers, Osama Bahar and Nabil Abu Habaliya, have carried out on Saturday evening, 12/1/2001, the night of Ramadan 17, their bold and painful attack in one of the enemy’s dens in occupied west
as a revenge for the blood of our martyrs and a punishment to all the reckless leaders in the enemy’s army and ministry.

We do not only do this in self-protection or in retaliation of a future killing, but we also do this as part of our absolute right to react towards the continual aggression and usurpation of our country for more than 50 years. We also wish to emphasize our right of resistance and our right to die as martyrs [istishhad], which is the pinnacle of resistance – that is to say, to sacrifice one’s self, spirit and blood is an absolute right, despite the aggressive attack by the enemy and some liars, meant to rob us of this right.

Saudi Arabia funded the families of these terrorists in cooperation with the Arab Bank as part of the Saudi Committee for the Support of the Intifada al Quds. As the support for terrorism was too blatant (or to keep the funds flowing after the end of the intifada), the committee changed its name in 2004 to the Saudi Committee for the Relief of the Palestinian People. The Saudis also cannot stand Jews enjoying a Saturday night in Jerusalem.

Saudi Arab Bank convicted of funneling money to Hamas and to terrorists in US courts

Two frustrated Palestinian Arabs had to contend with Jews walking the streets of Jerusalem for their whole lives. The Saudis well understood their frustration and supported their “right of resistance to die as martyrs.” All had internalized that the Muslim world can have no dignity as long as Jews walk the streets of Jerusalem with impunity.

Related articles:

This Day in Palestinians Resorting to Violence History: December 27 (Tourists)

This Day in Palestinians Resorting to Violence History: December 27 (Kitchen Staff)

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

Trump Secures Lowest Tally of Israeli Deaths From Palestinian Terrorism

Israel has a long history battling armies and terrorists since the Jewish State declared its independence in 1948. Since September 2000, a total of 1,383 people have been killed by terrorists and many times that number have been wounded.

Yasser Arafat launched the Second Intifada in September 2000 after he was disappointed with only getting 98% of his stated desires from the peace process with Israel. Terrorist attacks became daily occurrences and the death toll and carnage was horrific. In just the last few months of 2000, some 43 people were killed in Palestinian attacks. The toll increased in the following years with 208, 464, 210 and 143 murdered during the years 2001 through 2004, respectively. The reduced number of deaths in the latter years was a direct result of Israel constructing a security barrier to stem the flow of Palestinian killers from areas which Israel had handed to Palestinian Authority rule between 1995 and 2000. The barrier proved critical in saving Israeli lives in the following years.

Palestinian terrorists kill 15 civilians including 7 children and a pregnant woman at a Sbarro pizza store in Jerusalem on August 9, 2001

From 2005 through 2008, a total of 134 people were killed in terrorist attacks, a four year total which was less than 2004 alone. The numbers would continue to improve during the two Obama terms, with 55 fatalities in the 2009 to 2013 period, but escalating to 79 deaths in the second term, with a spike from the stabbing and car ramming intifadas after the peace process under U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry completely failed.

The last four years have been the safest ever.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s strong support for Israel translated into the lowest Israeli death toll from Palestinian terrorism (47 murdered), despite the various dire warnings of the region going up in flames because of the U.S.’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the move of its embassy to the city and various other pro-Israel initiatives. Year-to-date, two people have been killed by Palestinian terrorists, the lowest one year total ever. The two-year and three-year totals (14 and 28, 2019-2020 and 2018-2020, respectively) are also records for the fewest Israeli deaths from terrorism.

Four-Year PeriodFatalities from Terrorism
2001-20041,025 (Second Intifada)
2005-2008134 (Security Wall built)
2009-201255 (Palestinians hopeful in Obama’s squeeze of Israel)
2013-201679 (Failure of Obama peace initiative; Stabbing Intifada)
2017-202047 (Trump Administration’s pro-Israel agenda)
Trump administration yields most peaceful period for Israel in decades

President Trump helped make Israel strong which helped make Israel safe. It is a formula worthy of repeating.

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The Peace Proposal Monologues

President Herod

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The NY Times Will Not Write About the Preferred Violence of Palestinians

The New York Times sets the gold standard for a pro-Palestinian Arab narrative in the United States mainstream media. It never stops trying to make the point that Palestinians are non-violent resistance fighters against the horrible Israeli-occupation machine. Here’s a link from FirstOneThrough to appreciate the breadth and depth of the Times bias.

In the latest example, on July 9, 2019, the Times wrote an article on page A4 with two pictures and a map called “As Weary Protesters Turn to Pocketbook Issues, West Bank Quiets.” The online version had three more pictures of Palestinian Arabs “protesting before Israeli soldiers.”

The 1,200-word article used the word “protest” 8 times, not including the title. It used the word “resistance” 6 times. “Violence” appeared only twice.

Pretty remarkable for the people who launched a stabbing and car ramming intifada throughout 2015 on the heels of an all-out war from their cousins in Gaza in 2014, who continue to stone people and cars, and who have a leadership which continues to use its scant resources to pay terrorists who maim and murder Israelis.

A particularly choice paragraph captures the NYT’s #AlternativeFacts portrayal of the Palestinians as despondent about their peaceful strategy and anger at the United States:

“An opinion poll by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in June found that only 23 percent of Palestinians saw nonviolent resistance as the most effective way of achieving statehood, while three-quarters said the Palestinian leadership should reject the American peace plan.”

Fewer than one in four Palestinian Arabs believe there is any effectiveness of “nonviolent resistance.” The majority of Palestinians believe prefer other actions. According to the actual opinion poll:

“The public is divided over the role of negotiations and armed struggle in the establishment of a Palestinian state next to the state of Israel: 38% think armed struggle is the most effective means; 35% think that negotiation is the most effective means; and 23% believe that non-violent resistance is the most effective.”

But the Times wrote a huge article about the Palestinians’ LEAST PREFERRED method of establishing a new Palestinian state, well behind violence and negotiations.

Which begs the question, why not write a 1,200-word article about Palestinians preference for violence? Their attitude has been consistent in EVERY Palestinian poll, taken over the last several years. (Well, in actuality, they are Palestinian polls, so the words “violence” and “terrorism” are only used in connection with Israelis, whereas Palestinians engage in an “armed intifada” or “armed struggle“).

Further, the Palestinians oppose a two-state solution, with 47% in favor and 50% against as of June 2019. It is also a point that the NY Times never mentions.

The Times presents a fake narrative to its readership that the Palestinians are in favor of a two-state solution and are valiantly engaged in nonviolent protest to achieve their aims, despite every Palestinian poll which shows the opposite. But facts do not matter for the Times; the editors have chosen the good people and the bad people in every story. And in case you’ve been buried under a Palestinian rock and missed it, the Chosen People are the very bad people.

Related First.One.Through articles:

The New York Times Excuses Palestinian “Localized Expressions of Impatience.” I Mean Rockets.

The Palestinians aren’t “Resorting to Violence”; They are Murdering and Waging War

For The NY Times, Antisemitism Exists Because the Alt-Right is Racist and Israel is Racist

The New York Times Whitewashes Motivation of Palestinian Assassin of Robert Kennedy

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The New York Times Knows It’s Israeli Right from It’s Palestinian Moderates

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The Shrapnel of Intent

“The diameter of the bomb was thirty centimeters
and the diameter of its effective range about seven meters,
with four dead and eleven wounded.
And around these, in a larger circle
of pain and time, two hospitals are scattered
and one graveyard. But the young woman
who was buried in the city she came from,
at a distance of more than a hundred kilometers,
enlarges the circle considerably,
and the solitary man mourning her death
at the distant shores of a country far across the sea
includes the entire world in the circle.
And I won’t even mention the howl of orphans
that reaches up to the throne of God and
beyond, making
a circle with no end and no God.”

“The Diameter of a Bomb”
Yehuda Amichai (1924 – 2000)


Yehuda Amichai moved to Palestine from Germany in 1936, as the Nazi war against the Jews was emerging in Europe, and the Arab war against the Zionists was gathering steam in Palestine. He would fight together with the British army in World War II and with the Jewish Defense Forces in Israel’s War of Independence in 1948-9. He would later become one of Israel’s most treasured poets, winning the Israel Prize for poetry in 1982 for his collection of works he penned in Hebrew. He died at the age of 76, at the start of the Second Intifada in September 2000.

Like all living things, Amichai’s life had a beginning and end. However, his works touched upon deeper truths which surpassed both time and geography. In a life framed by antisemitism and rejection, his words brought the Jewish people a mixture of bitterness, longing, anger and comfort about the hatred and violence they all endured.

The poem above is such an example regarding how the diameter of a bomb doesn’t begin to explain the sphere of its impact. While the scars are physical, the trauma is mental; the explosion may be ephemeral, but the shock is eternal.

Amichai’s words resonated deeply for the small global Jewish community which suffered from constant attacks both in Israel and in the diaspora. In Europe and Russia during the 20th century, millions of Jews were slaughtered while the Jews in Arab countries were expelled. The physical pain experienced by one Jew touched their cousins around the world. The grief was shared.

But the pain experienced by the Jews in Israel from multiple Arab wars and countless terrorist attacks carried an extra burden for world Jewry. While the emotional trauma of fellow Jews slaughtered and maimed reinforced the constant haunting echo of antisemitism, the attacks on the Jews in Zion also compromised the Promised Land. A place of holiness became a house of mourning. The collective Jewish inheritance bestowed by God was being ravaged in an unholy assault.

Since the beginning of the rebirth of the Jewish State in the early 1900’s, Jews and pro-Israel people around the world have been emotionally connected to the terrorism and wars inflicted upon Israeli Jews. Amichai’s poem noted that local Israeli tragedies encircled the world in grief. The bombs severed limbs and cut lives short, yet they connected everyone.

But something changed drastically over the past dozen years. The tragedies befalling Israeli Jews are now perceived through different lenses for both Israeli Jews and the Zionist community around the world.

The Changed Israeli Perspective: The Bombers

The beginning of the altered Israeli perspective began as the Second Intifada was born at the failure of the Oslo Accords.

The September 1995 Oslo II Accords were scheduled to reach a conclusive peace agreement in five years, in September 2000. However, when the Palestinian Arab leadership under Yasser Arafat was not able to secure 100% of his desired goals, he launched waves of attacks against Jewish civilians, killing hundreds of people over several years.

The ramification of the Second Intifada was not only the hundreds of murdered Israelis, but the penetrating shock waves that rippled through Israeli society which left permanent scars. Israelis internalized that the conflict was not about land as they had hoped, or about Palestinian “refugees” as they had been told. Israelis concluded that people who would intentionally slaughter children because they did not get a 100% of their demands, would never allow the Jewish State to exist on even 1% of the land. The Second Intifada scorched the psyche of Israelis that the Palestinians rejected the basic presence of Jews and the existence of the Jewish State. No enduring peace could ever be achieved with such Arab sentiment.

The shrapnel of intent of the bombers of the Second Intifada entered the minds of Israelis altering their views of the Palestinian Arabs, while the heat of the blasts incinerated the Israeli doves. The dream of peace with such murderers was reckoned a fantasy too dangerous to pursue and impossible to achieve.

In light of their new perspectives, the Israelis altered direction in dealing with the Palestinian Arabs. They erected a security barrier between the Arabs in the West Bank and Israel, and have elected a series of right-of-center governments. All to the chagrin of the liberals in the diaspora.

The Changed Diaspora Perspective: Untouched

Yossi Klein Halevi, an American-Israeli author who works at the left-of-center Shalom Hartman Institute recently wrote a book called  “Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor,” which captures some of the divide between the American left-wing and Israelis. In describing the book, he talked about the anguish of his dream of peace with Palestinian Arabs being destroyed by the Second Intifada.

“The Second Intifada brought the right back to power and nearly destroyed the Israeli left, something the international community still hasn’t internalized.”

For Israelis, the Second Intifada was different than the wars and terrorism before 2000. The Israelis felt that they had stretched far to achieve peace and were rewarded with the massacre of innocents. Even after the Second Intifada, when the Palestinians got to hold open elections for their parliament for the first time in 2006, they elected the terrorist group Hamas to a 58% majority. When Israel left Gaza in 2005, it was rewarded with wars in 2008, 2012 and 2014. And regarding people living and working side-by-side, the coexistence was paid for with stabbings and car rammings – literally funded by the Palestinian Authority.

Unlike Yehuda Amichai’s poem, liberals outside of Israel were not deeply touched by the Second Intifada. The Jewish diaspora didn’t see the pizza store and bus bombings of the 2000’s as markedly different than Palestinians shooting up schools or hijacking planes in the 1970’s: the Palestinian Arabs were still seeking 100% of their demands and the Israelis were not compromising nearly enough. The Israelis concluded that the counter-party was forever false, while the international community was occupied counting refugees and square kilometers of land.

While Israelis became convinced that the Palestinians rejected any enduring peace with the Jewish State, the left-wing diaspora was certain that the Israelis were never going to give the Arabs everything they demanded without external pressure. The viewpoints were different; the near term objectives were different; and one party was going to force the other to adhere to its terms.

Amichai’s poem concluded with a bond of empathy that surpassed boundaries: deeper truths surpass raw figures. While Israelis gained clarity of their relationship with the Palestinians in witnessing their pathological reaction to minuscule gaps in an agreement, the international community and liberal diaspora Jews were tracing the invisible 1949 Armistice Lines.

The difference in reactions opened a wide divide in the relationship.

Since the Second Intifada, the diameter of Palestinian bombs no longer encircles and binds Israeli Jews and liberal diaspora Jews. Until the shrapnel of intent penetrates the minds of the international community, the chasm in the relationship is only likely to widen.

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Pray for a Lack of “Proportionately” in Numbers. There will never be an Equivalence of Intent.

The Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

The Non-Orthodox Jewish Denominations Fight Israel

Israel’s Peers and Neighbors

The Proud Fathers of Palestinian Terrorists

For Liberals, It’s Israelis, Palestinians, and Indifference

The Impossible Liberal Standard

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