A car-ramming. A shooting. Some firebomb-throwers. Pretty much what you can expect from Palestinian Arab terrorists in any given 48-hour period. Except this time, the international news media have discovered a new factor to blame: U.S. President Donald Trump.
The attacks took place over the span of Feb. 5-6. In Qalqilya, a drive-by shooter wounded a soldier. In Jerusalem’s Old City, another shooter injured a police officer. Elsewhere in Jerusalem, a terrorist rammed his car into a group of soldiers on their way to their graduation ceremony at the Western Wall, wounding 12. And terrorists in Gaza fired three rockets into southern Israel.
What was the cause of the violence? “3 Palestinians Killed in Surge of Violence After Release of Trump’s Peace Plan,” The New York Times headline announced. The Associated Press put it this way: “Mideast Violence Flares as Anger Mounts Over Trump Plan.” The BBC’s report opened with this sentence: “There has been a flare-up in violence in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, days after US President Donald Trump unveiled his peace plan.”
That’s a curious way to put it. Notice that there was no number in front of it. How many days, exactly? The question is important because the major news media are claiming cause and effect. They’re saying that the Trump plan is what triggered the violence. I beg to differ.
If a shooting or bomb-throwing took place a day of two after the release of a particular plan, one could theoretically claim the two were connected, although you would still need some hard evidence to back up the connection. Since Palestinian Arab terrorists shoot and bomb Israeli Jews all the time, you would still need some actual proof that this or that particular attack was a response to this particular plan.
But at least the timing would be close enough that you couldn’t automatically rule it out.
What was the timing in this case? Trump announced his plan on Jan. 28. The shootings and fire bombings took place eight days later. Eight days. That’s not a “trigger.” That’s not some spontaneous outpouring of Palestinian “rage” because Trump’s plan is so unfair to them.
What’s behind it is the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas now in the 15th year of a four-year elected term, carefully planning a series of attacks. Not random outbursts. Not reactions to an event. Choreographed assaults by trained terrorists—coordinated and staged from above in order to achieve a political purpose.
What’s the political purpose? To serve as a backdrop to Abbas’s visit to New York The veteran terrorist and Holocaust-denier delivered one of his standard anti-Israel tirades at the United Nations this week, coupled with a press conference or two.
To help him make his case, the major news media have been presenting the latest terrorism as proof that Trump is bad, and that chaos will result unless Palestinian demands are met.
And to get a head-start on the Abbas carnival, the news media reports beefed up the grievance list by throwing into their list of “triggered violence” an episode in Jenin that—timing aside—couldn’t possibly be connected to the Trump plan.
Remember that Jenin is a city governed by the Palestinian Authority. Israeli troops arrived to dismantle the home of a terrorist, a very ordinary kind of operation. Since the P.A. refuses—in blatant violation of the Oslo accords—to take such anti-terrorist actions, Israeli forces must do so.
During the Israeli action, a mob of local Arabs began throwing firebombs and shooting at the Israelis—something that’s also, very typical. The “peaceful,” “moderate” residents of P.A. cities never want the Israelis to arrest terrorists. They always try to violently interfere. The Israeli troops shot back, and two Palestinians were killed.
The AP’s article about last week’s violence began “Israeli forces killed two Palestinians … ,” and The New York Times began its version with the words “At least three Palestinians were killed … .” Now you see why it was so important to the media to include the entirely unconnected Jenin story: They needed to jack up the Palestinian casualty toll so that they could make the Palestinians look like victims.
When the AP filed its story, the only dead Palestinians that day were the two reported in Jenin. Without them, the story would be about Palestinians attacking Israelis. (Jenin saved the day.) By the time the Times’ reporter filed her story, a third Palestinian was killed—the shooter in the Old City—so she could add the two dead in Jenin to make it a bigger and more anti-Israel story: “Three Palestinians killed … .”
Don’t be fooled, folks. There’s no such thing as an eight-day “trigger.” The latest Palestinian Arab terrorism was orchestrated by its own leadership for political purposes with a helpful boost from the international news media. In other words, it’s the same old story.
Stephen M. Flatow is a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America, an attorney in New Jersey and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. His book, “A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror,” is now available on Kindle.