Netanyahu: Stop justifying the terror and murder of Jews
As the Palestinian terrorism continued to grow worse in Israel on the afternoon of Oct. 15, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a Hebrew/English press conference for domestic and foreign journalists at the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. The event was broadcast live online by ynet news, and it coincided with continued terror carried out by Palestinians, including stone attacks on Israeli civilians driving on a highway.
Netanyahu and his team took the opportunity to address what he called the two “big lies” being perpetrated as incitement by the Palestinian leadership including so-called President Mahmoud Abbas. From statements from various Palestinian terrorists within the past days, it is clear that the two big lies are explicitly fueling the violence. Netanyahu said that the only way to fight the lies and the murder that they are causing is to “tell the truth.”
The first big lie is that the Israelis are changing the status quo on the Temple Mount—more directly, that they are allegedly “profaning the al-Aqsa Mosque.” Such an allegation has no basis in fact whatsoever. The only actions taken by the Israeli security forces with regard to the Temple Mount have been proportionate to imminent threats of violence from Palestinians present thereon.
Netanyahu reiterated what it is that the “status quo” of the Temple Mount represents. It includes the fact that only Muslim prayer is permitted on the premises, and non-Muslim visitors are only permitted to visit during certain times. As he further noted, 3.5 million Muslims visited the site last year, while only 200,000 Christians and 12,000 Jews did the same. The status quo is decidedly Muslim favorable and remains as such.
The second big lie is that the Israelis are “executing innocent Palestinians.” Such a claim is a lie. Mahmoud Abbas made the wild claim the day prior to the press conference that Israel had “executed innocent Ahmad Manasra,” a Palestinian teenager. Manasra, who carried out a stabbing attack in Jerusalem seriously wounding a young Jewish teenager riding his bicycle, is not dead. The police released footage of the attack, establishing that Manasra, injured by police in order to neutralize the violence, was neither in fact innocent, but as he himself said, he went there to “stab Jews.”
Netanyahu answered a few questions from journalists in attendance at the conclusion of the press conference, giving no room for the propagation of lies embedded in loaded questions. To the BBC reporter who asked if Netanyahu was willing to resume negotiations with the Palestinians with the aim of ending the violence, Netanyahu asked whether he and the reporter were “on the same planet.” Netanyahu has reiterated over and over again that he is willing and ready to resume negotiations with the Palestinian leadership, as he stated at the United Nations on Oct. 1. As the Palestinian leadership stated at the United Nations the day before Netanyahu spoke there, the Palestinians are the ones refusing to honorably participate in the negotiation process. Additionally, the BBC reporter’s question assumes that concerns as can be legitimately addressed by negotiations have anything to do with the terror. The terror is therefore supposedly justifiable, and to that assumption, Netanyahu made the following statement: “Stop justifying terror.”
There is no reason for the current violence against Israeli Jews that is not purely under the control of the perpetrator. Although Abbas would attempt to absolve himself and the terrorists of any responsibility, he is unable to do so beyond his words. The Palestinian terrorists and rioters are killing and destroying—that is the fact. They are human beings, who are careful and calculated with their actions, be that to their detriment. The world leaders continuously portray them as helpless and “desperate.” Netanyahu responded to that problem by demanding at the press conference that the international community stop “trying to explain away the murder of Jews.”
The terror attacks continued in the days following the press conference, although the intensity of the Israeli security presence increased and was able to thwart several incidents, including one in Kfar Chabad, which is near Ben-Gurion International Airport. The United States originally took a stance critical of Israel regarding the terror wave and said by Florida Senator Marco Rubio, among others, to be “blaming the victims.” After criticism, however, the United States backed down from their allegations of excessive force and the like on the part of the Israelis. Still, the violence shows little sign of stopping and threatens to continue to escalate, and the course of the following weeks in Israel is very uncertain.
Caleb R. Newton is a global affairs analyst and pre-law student living in Central Florida. Find him at the Times of Israel, Dissecting Society, and Global News Breakdown. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.