Saturday, October 3, 2015

"The failure of Palestinian leaders to seriously grapple with the Oslo framework leads to more senseless deaths"

Can the following lead to peace or escalate violence?

"Eitam Henkin, a doctoral student at Tel-Aviv University, where he won the prestigious Nathan Rotenstreich scholarship, and his wife Na’ama, an accomplished graphic designer who ran her own studio, were driving back from a class reunion to their home in Neria, a small community of 250 families in Samaria. In the back of their white Subaru station wagon, four of their six children—the oldest one nine, the youngest four months—were dozing off.

 As they drove past the Palestinian village of Beit Furik, gunmen affiliated with the PLO approached the Henkins’ car and shot both adults to death at close range. The children watched in silence from the back seat as their parents’ torsos were torn apart by a hail of bullets. The children’s silence saved their lives: likely unnoticed by the murderers, they seemed to have been spared a similar fate.

The world’s silence in response to the murders of Eitam and Na’ama, and the spate of similar murders recently perpetrated by Palestinian terror organizations acting with the encouragement and oftentimes at the direction of Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian national movement, has no such silver lining. When asked by an Israeli news reporter how the Henkins’ orphaned children were responding to their parents’ death, a neighbor responded, “They are crying.” Those whose eyes are dry have something to answer for....

Western leaders and even a portion of diaspora Jewry justifies its refusal to notice or name the current wave of murderous Palestinian terror attacks on the grounds that the deceased are mostly “settlers”—a special category of civilians whose murder is always, if not justified, then easy enough for those who attended the right universities and who read the right newspapers to understand.

After all, what were Eitam and Na’ama Henkin doing in the West Bank in the first place, living on land that Palestinians claim as the territory of their future state—which has already been recognized by the U.N.? The fact that the land where the Henkins live is also holy to Jews, who have in fact lived there for millennia, is irrelevant next to the larger internationally-sanctioned truth that Israel is guilty of war crimes. What is the murder of two gentle people, or 12, or 23, or the current wave of stonings, shootings, and stabbings, or some ad hoc ethnic cleansing, or thousands of rockets launched against kindergartens and residential neighborhoods, next to decades of Israeli occupation and repression? The only sane response to such tragedies is a renewed push for greater tolerance and co-existence. And so forth, and so on.

This madness must stop. The man who commands Na’ama and Eitam’s executioners, PLO Chairman and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, was unambiguous in his speech this week at the United Nations that he intended to no longer hold himself accountable to the Oslo peace accords. His actions speak even louder than his words. The Henkins’s murder is proof, if any additional proof was needed, that the PLO remains nothing more than a terrorist organization that after 30 years of pushing and prodding and Nobel prizes and billions of dollars in international aide is unwilling to negotiate any kind of reasonable peace agreement, and has stopped paying lip-service to the goal of two states living side by side in peace."

The Palestinian Authority's responses is highlighted in the following:

"In a written communique published on the official news agency Wafa, PA government spokesman Ihab Bseiso called on the international community to intervene following “the killing of two young men in occupied Jerusalem and the series of incursions into cities and villages in the West Bank.” 

The statement made no mention of the fact that the two dead Palestinians had been killed while carrying out stabbing attacks against Israeli civilians.

On Saturday night Palestinian Mohammad Halabi carried out a stabbing spree in Jerusalem’s Old City, killing Nehemia Lavi, 41, and Aharon Banito, 21, and wounding Banito’s wife and 2-year-old baby, police said.

Hours later, Palestinian Fadi Aloon stabbed an Israeli teen near the Old City’ Damascus gate.

Both Halabi and Aloon were shot and killed at the scene.

“The only solution is the end of the Israeli occupation of our occupied Palestinian land and the establishment of our independent state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital,” Bseiso wrote.

The statement did not condemn or mention the killings of Naama and Eitam Henkin, who were shot to death in a Palestinian terror attack on Thursday in the West Bank."

Here is an account of the stabbing from one of the victims, after she emerged from surgery. Her husband was killed in the attack.

"On Sunday, the widow of 21 year-old Israeli Aharon Banita-Bennett—-who along with 41 year-old Rabbi Nehemia Lavi was murdered in a terrorist attack in Old City on Saturday night—-awoke from a medically induced coma and recounted how Arab witnesses “clapped and laughed” as she pleaded for help after being stabbed in the incident.

Israeli Media are reporting that Adelle Banita-Bennett relayed details of the attack to Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi David Lau who had made his way to the hospital after speaking at her husband’s funeral.

“I ran for dozens of meters with a knife in my shoulder, bleeding,” Adelle Banita-Bennett told Lau. “Arabs in the area who saw this horrible scene clapped and laughed, and told that they hoped for my quick death.”

“I felt I was about to faint,” Adelle said. “I tried to hold on to someone who passed by, and they just shook me off and kicked me, and said ‘die.’”

An Arab Israeli Member of Parliament explains the Palestinian responses:

Knesset member Ayman Odeh, the head of the Joint List party, told Army Radio that while he opposes armed conflict, he would not dictate to the Palestinians how they should fight Israel.
“I will not set red lines for the Arab nation; they will decide how to fight the occupation. I support the struggle of the Palestinian people to establish a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel. I will always hold the Israeli occupation to blame; I cannot tell the Palestinians how to fight their fight,” said Odeh."

Here is another report: 

Here is a review of the situation from another source:

And here is a Palestinian critique of Palestinian leaders: