The Corner

The Palestinians Descend Deeper Into Depravity

While American eyes are rightly fixed on ISIS, Palestine’s so-called “Stabbing Intifada” continues. For those unfamiliar with the latest twist in Palestinian terror tactics, Israel is beset by a spate of apparently spontaneous stabbing attacks, where (mostly) young Palestinians grab kitchen knives or other sharp objects and do their best to stab or hack to death as many Jews as possible. The Washington Post has the chilling details:

Young Palestinians with kitchen knives are waging a ceaseless campaign of near-suicidal violence that Israeli leaders are calling “a new kind of terrorism.” There were three attacks on Christmas Eve — two stabbings and one car ramming.

There have been about 120 attacks and attempted assaults by Palestinians against Israelis since early October, an average of more than one a day. At least 20 Israelis have been killed; more than 80 Palestinians have been shot dead by security forces and armed civilians during the assaults.

There is a numbing repetition to the news: knife-wielding Palestinian at a military checkpoint or bus stop shot dead at the scene — or “neutralized,” as the Israeli media call it. Many of the assaults or their aftermaths have been captured on cellphone videos.

The Post calls it “a shapeless rebellion of individuals driven by an unknowable combination of hate and despair.” The hate is clear enough. This is what happens when you raise a generation of young people to believe that Jews are subhuman, that all of Israel rightly belongs to the Palestinians, and that the most vicious of child-killing terrorists are in fact glorious martyrs, worthy of remembrance with their names on public buildings. 

The “despair,” however, is less convincing. The Palestinians have been offered their own state on multiple occasions — each time rejecting true independence to continue their perpetual struggle to annihilate Israel. I suppose if one of the animating purposes of Palestinian culture is the total destruction of Israel, then it does indeed cause “despair” to see Israel continue to survive and even thrive.

At least we can count on the “moderate” Palestinian leadership to ease tensions. Or not:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called the daily attacks a “justified popular uprising . . . driven by despair that a two-state solution is not coming.”

The security challenge is daunting:

Israel’s minister of public security, Gilad Erdan, said in an interview that the violence is nearly impossible to forecast and disrupt because, unlike operations directed by groups such as the Islamist militant organization Hamas, there are no cells to penetrate, no phones to tap, no targets for undercover operations. The pool of possible assailants is as large as the number of frustrated Palestinians.

As Israel gropes for solutions, I hope our own law enforcement officials are watching closely. We should never presume that it can’t happen here.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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