On Thursday, Jan. 26, the Palestinian Authority announced that it was suspending “security coordination” with Israel after Israeli security forces broke up a Jenin terror cell that had been planning a major attack.
On Friday, Jan. 27, an Islamic terrorist opened fire outside a Jerusalem synagogue, killing seven people, including Asher Natan, a 14-year-old boy, Eli and Natali Mizrahi, a married couple who rushed out to help the victims, and Shaul Chai, a 68-year-old synagogue sexton. On Saturday, Jan. 28, a second shooting in Jerusalem injured two other Israelis. Another armed terrorist was taken out by a local security team in Kedumim. That may not be the last of it.
There is nothing coincidental about the timing of this surge of violence, the deadliest in years.
CIA director Bill Burns arrived in Israel on Thursday, the same day the PLO announced the end of its security coordination. Secretary of State Blinken is expected to visit Israel this week. Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan came to Israel the week before. The PLO’s suspension of security coordination and the attacks that followed were put on for their benefit. Seven Israelis thus far were killed to help the Biden administration pressure Israel.
Had Israel not taken out the terror cell in Jenin, the numbers might be far higher.
The last time attacks on this scale took place was when 11 Israelis were killed in three attacks in late March 2022. Those attacks also came after the P.A. had suspended “security coordination” a month earlier, and overlapped with the Negev Summit featuring Arab leaders and Secretary Blinken.
What’s happening is not random terror, it’s carefully calculated terror, executed, as usual, through plausibly deniable attackers who will be rewarded, or whose families will be rewarded, by the PLO’s “pay-to-slay” fund.
The P.A. made a show of suspending its mostly worthless “security coordination” before launching terror attacks to show that it can turn the violence on and off.
But not all of the pressure is coming from the outside.
The attacks were launched less than a month after the new Israeli government was sworn in. The Netanyahu government has pledged to reform the country’s leftist judiciary, which enables terrorism.
A generation of Israelis has grown up in a state of siege because the terrorists waging war on the country enjoy extensive foreign support from Iran, the European Union and the U.S. State Department, as well as domestic support from the Israeli left, which uses its official and activist arms to undermine the fight against terrorism in every possible way.
The left was able to legitimize the PLO and give it control of sizable parts of Israel by crippling previous efforts by conservative governments to defeat the terrorists and expel them from Israel. Long after their terrorist deal fell apart into treachery and rocket attacks on Israeli cities, they still rely on using the terrorists as their “stick” to defeat conservatives and retain institutional power.
The Jerusalem shootings took place far from the stomping grounds of the Tel Aviv ruling elite, such as Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara, who came out against the death penalty for terrorists, enabled the previous government’s dirty Hezbollah deal, claimed that judicial reforms threaten “democracy” and tried to stall action against the home of the latest terrorist.
The dead in Jerusalem were mainly Mizrahi, descendants of Middle Eastern Jewish refugees, often poorer and more likely to live near Muslim areas and become targets of violence.
They are representative of the “two Israels”: the one that seeks a deal with the terrorists and the one that seeks to defeat them. The new Netanyahu coalition was elected by those voters, Mizrahi, Orthodox Jews, people living in development towns and in Judea and Samaria, in Jerusalem and in the not so nice parts of Tel Aviv and Haifa, who want to beat the terrorists.
And they want to roll back the power of the leftists who have enabled a generation of massacres, who imported terrorists into the country, armed them and promised that it would lead to peace and improve Israel’s position in the world, when just the opposite has happened.
These are the real Israelis, the ones who confronted the reporters exploiting their deaths in Jerusalem and who went to the polls to be heard above the lies of the elites. Their deaths are of far less interest to the elites than the media outrage over judicial reform, cuts in subsidies for Kan’s leftist public broadcasting and an end to an environmental tax on disposable utensils.
That is what is at stake here.
What is going on in Israel is not just warfare, but a culture war between the democratic majority and an entrenched leftist elite that will use any means to protect its power and privilege.
The terrorist massacre in Jerusalem did little to impede the terrorist supporters in Tel Aviv, who protested judicial reform by waving PLO flags. That same media which gushes that the leftists in Marxist shirts waving terror flags are the “youth” campaigning for “democracy,” will paint every angry word by young Mizrahis protesting the terrorists as a grave threat to “democracy.”
If an Arab Muslim house is vandalized in a “price-tag” attack, the media will clamor that it is a badge of eternal shame for the entire country and requires a war against the “extremists.”
Anyone who follows Israeli politics has seen this cynical farce play out any number of times.
The new Israeli government was elected by desperate people in the hopes of finally breaking the cycle of appeasement and terror, of fake political scandals and third parties, of an unelected judiciary that claims supreme power in the name of “democracy” and of police and prosecutors who connive to remove any elected officials who defy their power. That is to say, of the left.
These people, courageous and beleaguered, hanging on in bad neighborhoods and outposts in Judea and Samaria, are the real resistance. The terrorists in Jerusalem and around the country came for them. They killed innocent people on behalf of the Islamic terrorists inside the nation, and of the Biden administration and the Left, as part of their shared mission to destroy Israel.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
This is an edited version of an article first published by FrontPage Magazine.