In Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood, two young brothers and a newlywed are dead. Four other innocent Jewish civilians, including two children, are critically injured. They were the victims of a Palestinian Arab terrorist who rammed his car into a crowded bus stop last Friday afternoon.
Civil rights activists in the United States have coined the term “driving while black” to describe unjust arrests of black motorists. It seems the victims of the Ramot attack didn’t realize that, to Palestinian Arab terrorists, it’s a crime to stand at a bus stop while Jewish.
It’s easy to predict how Israel’s critics will respond to the Ramot murders, because we saw how they reacted to the recent massacre of seven worshippers at a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Neve Yaakov neighborhood.
The international news media will describe Ramot as a “settlement,” even though it’s an enormous urban neighborhood, because a portion of it happens to lie just beyond the pre-1967 armistice line.
They will report that Ramot is in “East Jerusalem” or “Arab East Jerusalem,” even though it’s really in northwest Jerusalem. That’s because the media have invented their own politicized geography, according to which any part of the city beyond the old armistice line is automatically branded part of an entity called “Arab East Jerusalem.” The idea is to portray these Jewish neighborhoods as illegitimate and sitting on someone else’s territory.
But that territory is not Arab territory. It’s Jewish territory. Ramot’s Jewish roots go all the way back to biblical times, including an important Jewish holy site, Kever Shmuel, the Tomb of the Prophet Samuel.
In the modern era, Jewish immigrants from Yemen first began living in the Ramot area in the 1890s. In 1929, as part of the nationwide wave of pogroms against Jews in the Land of Israel, Arab mobs violently assaulted the Jewish residents and drove them out of the area.
The Jewish people’s long history in Ramot hasn’t made much of an impression on the U.S. State Department. Its annual report on religious freedom around the world is blatantly slanted when it comes to the status of Jewish holy sites such as Kever Shmuel. Last year’s report acknowledged that the tomb is “a site held sacred by Jews,” but the name the report used for the site is “the holy site of the Prophet Samuel’s Mosque,” even though that mosque was built more than 1,600 years after Samuel was buried there.
What else can we expect the world to say in response to the Ramot slaughter?
Biden administration officials will say that they are “concerned” about the “cycle of violence” and “deaths among both Israelis and Palestinians.” In other words, they will assert a moral equivalency between terrorists and their victims.
J Street and Americans for Peace Now will issue statements bemoaning the terrorist attack but refuse to identify Palestinian Arabs as the culprits. They will pay lip service to the victims, while carefully trying to avoid reminding the public who the perpetrators are.
In official Palestinian Authority news media, the murderer will be called a “hero” and a “martyr.” His family will immediately receive a large monetary reward from the P.A. and continue to receive “pay-for-slay” payments in the years to come. Despite this, the Biden administration will keep giving the Palestinian Authority huge amounts of money, including $550 million this year. The funds will be channeled through non-governmental agencies that will pay the P.A.’s bills so the P.A. will have enough money to pay terrorists and their families.
The biggest problem for Israel’s critics in the aftermath of the Ramot attack will be how to explain what “provoked” the murders of newly married Alter Shlomo Liderman, eight-year-old Asher Menahem Paley and six-year-old Yaakov Yisrael Paley.
Recall how after the Neve Yaakov massacre, critics tried to make it seem as if the attack was somehow “caused” by the fact that eight Palestinian Arab terrorists had been killed the day before in Jenin.
Well, what exactly “provoked” the Ramot murders? Where are the newly-deceased Arab terrorists who can be trotted out as “evidence” that Ramot was just “retaliation” and part of a “cycle of violence”?
There aren’t any.
Thus, instead of spreading the “provocation” myth, watch how the international media and other critics of Israel rush to get this story out of the news.
Supporters of the Palestinian cause know that the murder of children makes it harder for them to advance their goals. So, watch how they try to shift the conversation as fast as possible to any other subject. They do so to ensure no one has a chance to ponder what it would be like to have an entire state brimming with child-killers set up along Israel’s old nine-miles-wide borders.
Stephen M. Flatow is an attorney and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is the author of A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror.