(May 16, 2018 / JNS) The people who link the relocation of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem to the mass riots at the Gaza border fence have had the wool pulled over their eyes. The Palestinians’ reasons for their “rage” and memorial days—“Nakba,” “Al-Aqsa,” whatever—are excuses for them to dig attack tunnels and deploy suicide bombers and rockets against Israel. All of their reasons for their “days of rage” boil down to one thing: their desire to annihilate Jews—and certainly, not the embassy being moved. Anything else is simply kalam fadi, “empty words.”
The Palestinians often start terrorist riots around the issue of Al-Aqsa, for example, as a way of channeling the growing anger of the Palestinian street towards its leaders. This is what happened during the Second Intifada initiated by then-Palestinian Authority chief Yasser Arafat, which broke out moments before the Palestinian masses were about to storm the Muqataa in Ramallah, and hang him and his corrupt people. So the motivation for Hamas—an organization on life support—is a “spontaneous” sacrifice of the rabble (some of whom are armed) on the altar of clashes at the Israeli border.
The failure of the Gaza leadership’s well-funded terrorist attacks, rockets and tunnels (alongside their political and economic failures), their isolation internationally and among Arabs (even the Egyptians), and the internal fissure in the form of the sanctions that P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas placed on Hamas in Gaza have gotten the Palestinians down. They are bitter and stirring up an already incited public, whose dreams focus on the destruction of Israel and their own “return.” Now, the Palestinians are taking poor comfort in their firebomb kite “achievements.” Wow, way to go.
One analyst, Yossi Werther, for whom the happiness of his people is a burden, wrote on Tuesday in a paper that shall remain nameless: “Nothing can spoil [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s celebration.”
True, Hamas or any other despicable entity must not be allowed to succeed in their mission. A self-appointed Hamas spokeswoman (Amira Hass) wrote: “This isn’t a Hamas march, but rather tens of thousands of people who are willing to die!” Very true, Ms. Hass. This is exactly the reason the shahids are being killed on the border before they murder Jews on the other side. Someone else claimed: “The more people killed in Gaza, the more ridiculous the [embassy] ceremony in Jerusalem becomes.” Not exactly. Because the embassy move was not the reason for the riots or the “march of millions”; the people doing the ridiculing focused on the Hamas casualties, and on identifying with the aggressor and blaming the victim. We, on the other hand, celebrated.
The people behind the “march of millions” aspired to have millions of Palestinians marching inside Israel. Given their goals and funding, the turnout was pretty weak. Israel Defense Forces’ soldiers blocked thousands of would-be murderers, allowing the farmers in the Gaza periphery and millions of other Israelis to go on about their business and their celebrations, whether in Jerusalem over the opening of the embassy or in Tel Aviv over singer Netta Barzilai’s Eurovision win.
It could be that Jews’ tendency to blame ourselves for the ills of the world stems from the religious approach that God is wrathful and punishes us for our sins. Some think that it comes from generations of persecution and the sense of guilt instilled by Christian preaching about the crucifixion of Jesus. The self-flagellation and the sense of guilt is always accompanied by Jewish logic about cause and effect, which leads us to find “reasons” for everything bad so we can instill “order.” This is why Jews feel responsible for what happens, even if it would have happened anyway, regardless of our own actions.
And if we’re talking about psychology, the Pavlovian response to Hamas and its ilk indicates that there is a chance they will realize that the blows they suffer for their war of attrition at the border fence are linked to restraining their goals of “return” and committing genocide. The upcoming heat wave and the month-long Ramadan fast will help.
On the other hand, concurrent therapy for the Jews should adopt the Arab saying that “let a thousand mothers weep, but not my own,” which bolsters the words of our own sages: “All who are compassionate to the cruel will come to be cruel to the compassionate.”
Dr. Reuven Berko was the adviser on Arab affairs to the Jerusalem district police and a writer for Israel Hayom.