Four deadly Palestinian terror attacks in Israel marked the beginning of Ramadan. Palestinian Arabs have yet again demonstrated that their culture of death and their commitment to murdering innocent Israelis outweighs the peaceful messages and generosity of spirit that are supposed to mark Ramadan, Islam’s holy month.
These recent murders make the urgent exhortations by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israel Ambassador Thomas Nides for a “two-state solution” seem like a perverse joke.
As Ramadan approached and commenced last week, Palestinian Arabs ramped up their ongoing terror campaign in Israel, with deadly attacks in Beersheva, Hadera, Bnei Brak and Tel Aviv taking 14 lives and wounding many more. These major attacks overshadowed numerous other stonings, stabbings, firebombings and vehicular assaults, that fortunately weren’t as lethal and therefore got scant coverage in the press.
For Palestinians, Ramadan and murderous violence are a matched pair. For decades, Ramadan has been a high-alert period for Israelis, most recently justified by last year’s lethal Ramadan attacks, which culminated in the thousands of missiles and mortar shells launched at Israeli cities by Hamas.
For most Muslims in the twenty-first century, Ramadan is a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, charity and community. Muslims are called upon to master their negative urges and perform extra acts of caring and help for their neighbors.
For Palestinians—and kindred jihadi groups like Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and others—the “jihad (struggle) of the spirit” called for by the Koran is instead an inspiration for a Ramadan terrorist jihad.
In a recent American University study, researchers found that in countries with substantial Muslim populations, like Israel and the disputed territories, terror attacks increased by about 27% during Ramadan. In the heyday of ISIS, the Ramadan terror spike was 39%. Palestinian terror in Israel has shown a similar holiday jump in recent years.
These numbers suggest that, far from being a national liberation movement, the Palestinian cause is just another Islamist effort that seeks to destroy “Jewish infidels” in the State of Israel.
Indeed, the father of a terrorist responsible for two of the recent murders promised to friends, “Your eyes will see the victory soon … God, liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque from the desecration of the occupiers.” Just a week ago, the regional secretary of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party in Jenin, Ata Abu Rmeileh, stated, “Our war is with the Jews.”
To be sure, there was violence in the earlier Islamic centuries of Ramadan, which marked the beginning of Muhammad’s receiving the Koran in 620 C.E. During Ramadan a few years later, he achieved his conquest of Mecca. Other key Muslim conquests during the next few centuries were also initiated with righteous Ramadan zeal.
In fairness, mainstream Muslim thought has for centuries worked to focus Ramadan on individual opportunities for righteousness through personal and communal self-discipline, charity and spiritual growth.
However, this is not the general practice in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and other Islamist centers around the world, including in America. (Recall the murder of 49 nightclubbers at Pulse, a gay disco in Orlando, in 2016.)
Palestinian defilement of Ramadan is amplified by their year-round societal culture and celebration of death.
Roam through the streets of any Palestinian city and you will see streets, squares and parks named after terrorist heroes and heroines.
Most of these Palestinian honorees are celebrated for the cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians—not for battlefield valor, political leadership, or outstanding cultural contributions. Most of these Palestinian “heroes” contributed nothing but bloody death—including their own alleged “martyrdoms.”
Of course, not all Palestinian “heroes” were fortunate enough to achieve martyrdom.
Some of these killers survived to serve time in Israeli prisons. They—and their families, as well as the families of “martyrs”—are generously supported by the Palestinian Authority’s “Pay-for-Slay” program, delivering hundreds of millions annually to reward and incentivize more murders. These P.A. (and Hamas) lifelong pensions increase in proportion to each criminal’s body count of Jewish victims.
If you sit in on a Palestinian classroom lesson or flip through a Palestinian textbook, you will not wonder at the root of this terror culture.
In Palestinian social sciences, hatred of Jews is routinely instilled through story content. In the hard sciences, exercises focus on the killing of Jews and teach such useful skills as calculating the trajectory for throwing stones or properly unleashing a sling.
Visit a Palestinian summer camp, where small kids—the next generation in the culture of death—have fun making suicide-bomb vests and get exercise through paramilitary training.
“When you see a 15-year-old Palestinian child carrying a rock or another tool or a knife, know that this cause continues in the blood of our people and that it is inherited,” proclaims Fatah Revolutionary Council member Abd-Ilah Atteereh on P.A. television.
The youth education system is so drenched in genocidal hatred that even the highly indulgent European Union has paused its generous grants that underwrite the heinous textbooks and manuals.
Attention has been drawn to the coincidence this year of the Muslim Ramadan, Jewish Passover and Christian Easter. There is great fear that the violence of the “Ramadan Effect” in Palestinian population centers will be amplified by the overlap of these religious seasons.
The Bnei Brak massacre’s perpetrators were celebrated joyfully in the streets, with candy treats given to Palestinian children in Jenin and elsewhere, and their Palestinian version of heroism was lionized in front-page photos and lengthy articles throughout the Palestinian state-controlled media.
Despite the promising glow of the recent Negev Summit between Israel and several Arab countries of goodwill, the Ramadan butchery created by the Palestinian culture of death casts a dark shadow.
The culture of death that pervades Palestinian society is an ingrained evil that must be eradicated. International funding for Palestinian municipal works must require the removal of shrines to Jew-killers, and Palestinian youth programs must be similarly “de-terrorized” if there is to be any chance for peace.
The civilized world must demand that Palestinian children be raised to coexist with their Israeli brethren—or at least to view the indiscriminate murder of Jews as abhorrent to the loftiest ideals of Islam and Ramadan. Likewise, Israel, a force for life in so many technological areas and at global disaster sites, must be supported in its ongoing battle against the Palestinian culture of death.
Ken Cohen is co-editor of the Hotline published by Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME), which offers educational messages to correct lies and misperceptions about Israel and its relationship to the United States.