By Stephen M. Flatow/JNS.org
Talk about bad timing for the Palestinian PR machine. Just as the Palestinian Authority seemed to have Israel's prime minister on the defensive over his "ethnic cleansing" remark, wouldn't you know it--two young Jewish women accidentally drove into the Palestinian Arab city of Tulkarm this week, and a Palestinian ethnic cleansing mob immediately tried to murder them.
Granted, the two women were wearing Israeli Army uniforms. But so what? The U.S. State Department and J Street are always telling us that the average Palestinian is moderate and wants to live in peace with Israelis. Why should the mere sight of an Israeli Army uniform on a young woman fill them with murderous rage?
The two women weren't establishing a Jewish settlement in Tulkarm. They weren't massacring Palestinians. They weren't oppressing anyone or implementing an apartheid regime. In fact, there hasn't been an Israeli military government ruling Tulkarm since 1995. The Palestinian Authority has been the "occupier" there for the last 21 years.
The two young women weren't on patrol or brandishing their weapons. They weren't a brigade of combat soldiers in full gear. They were obviously just two young women driving by. Any rational person would have understood that they innocently took a wrong turn. The Palestinians' response, however, was anything but rational: a mob immediately surrounded the car and tried to stone the women to death.
Think about the circumstances. The entire episode played out over a matter of minutes, at most. There wasn't time to organize a demonstration. There wasn't time to gather politically-minded folk from various parts of Tulkarm. The only way they could have a large, murderous mob ready for action in a matter of seconds is if there are so many ordinary people on every street corner who are potential murderers that at any given moment, there are enough of them on hand to form a spontaneous mob and try to commit multiple murders.
That sure isn't what they promised us in the 1993 Oslo accords. The PA promised to educate their young people to support peace and coexistence. They pledged to recognize Israel's right to exist. They swore they would give up violence.
It goes without saying that Palestinian Arab drivers, and Israeli Arab drivers, routinely drive through mostly Jewish or all Jewish neighborhoods. Every one of us who visits Jerusalem sees that with our own eyes. Mobs of Israeli Jews do not spontaneously gather and begin stoning them. But if you dare to note this difference in values and behavior, you're called a "racist" and an "Arab hater." Go figure.
Advocates of Palestinian statehood don't like to talk about incidents such as the Tulkarm near-lynching. They like to pretend such things are aberrations that involve only some tiny minority of Palestinians. Yet somehow, these wrong-turn lynch mobs seem to be all over the place.
In March, two soldiers accidentally drove into what the New York Times called "an area bordering the Kalandia refugee camp, between Jerusalem and Ramallah." So they weren't even in Kalandia, just near it. But immediately an ethnic cleansing mob "hurled rocks and firebombs and set the vehicle ablaze." The soldiers barely escaped alive. Times correspondent Diaa Hadid obnoxiously commented, "It was unclear why the soldiers were using Waze to navigate in the West Bank," implying that it was all the fault of the Israelis. Hadid would never write that it was "unclear" why the Palestinians were trying to stone and burn them to death. Because we all know why they tried to stone and burn them, they were Jews.
That was just the most recent incident. I haven't even mentioned the brutal lynching of Reserve Sgt. Amnon Pomerantz in 1990 (Google him if you're curious), or the notorious 2000 lynching of two Jews in Ramallah by Palestinians who dipped their hands in the victims' blood and then waved their hands triumphantly for the entire world to see.
Well, we saw those bloody hands. We won't forget them. And no matter how many names the State Department or Peace Now call the prime minister, we understand what the Palestinians are trying to do when they try to murder someone for the "crime" of being Jewish.
Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.