The Corner

Will Western Leaders Learn from the Synagogue Attack?

Jerusalem — The latest Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem has profound implications, both for Israel’s security and for the broader Middle East.

Two Palestinians, armed with axes, knives, and pistols, stormed an ultra-Orthodox synagogue during morning prayers on Tuesday. They murdered four rabbis and an Israeli Druze police officer. Three of the rabbis were American Israelis and the fourth was British Israeli. The bloodbath recalls the barbarism of the Islamic State beheadings of Americans, Britons, Syrians, Iraqis, and Lebanese.

To stop Palestinian terrorism, there needs to be a paradigm shift among Western leaders. Secretary of State John Kerry famously (or infamously) termed the Israel–Palestinian dispute the “mother of all conflicts.” The ubiquitous violence in the heart of the Islamic world — in Syria, Iraq, and Iran — has proved Kerry wrong.

Kerry had to strong-arm Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas into publicly disavowing Tuesday’s terrorist attack in West Jerusalem. Abbas condemned “the killing of worshipers in a synagogue and all acts of violence regardless of their source.”

After weeks of his whipping up lethal anti-Semitism, however, Abbas’s rhetoric rings hollow. Sadly, the U.S. and the EU failed to exert pressure on him to deescalate his incitement prior to the attack.

There are still loud voices in the U.S. and the EU that believe resolution of the Israel–Palestinian dispute is the sine qua non for stability and peace in the Middle East. Take the recent examples of Sweden’s Socialist-Green government recognizing an independent Palestinian state outside of the negotiation process between Israel and the PA, as well as the Socialist-dominated Spanish legislature and the British parliament (voting on a motion brought by a Labor MP) calling for their governments to recognize such a state.

These types of left-wing unilateral actions create the illusion that the West may force Israel to bend to the Palestinians’ will, thereby encouraging the Palestinians not to negotiate in good faith and leading to increased violence and instability.

Israel and the PA, which is based in the West Bank, will reach agreement when the time is ripe. The gulf between them is too great at the moment, largely because the PA formed a unity government last spring with the terrorist entity Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip. Hamas seeks to obliterate Israel. Hamas and its supporters in Gaza and the West Bank celebrated Tuesday over the killings of Jews.

The EU and U.S.’s obsession with Israel building apartments in East Jerusalem — and in West Bank territory whose future will be decided in a PA–Israel final agreement — is yesterday’s idea.

— Benjamin Weinthal is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow Benajmin on Twitter @BenWeinthal

Most Popular

Education

Husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein Admits to Helping Well-Connected Applicants Gain Admission to University of California: ‘No One Ever Told Me It Was Wrong’

The husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) admitted on Thursday to sending an inappropriate letter identified in a state audit that appeared to help an applicant to the University of California, Berkeley, get accepted to the school. The California State Auditor issued a scathing report on Tuesday ... Read More
Education

Husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein Admits to Helping Well-Connected Applicants Gain Admission to University of California: ‘No One Ever Told Me It Was Wrong’

The husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) admitted on Thursday to sending an inappropriate letter identified in a state audit that appeared to help an applicant to the University of California, Berkeley, get accepted to the school. The California State Auditor issued a scathing report on Tuesday ... Read More
Law & the Courts

No, the Democrats Won’t Pack the Court

For many progressive opinion-makers, the only way to save the Supreme Court is to destroy it.   They believe the best response to the Republican-held Senate confirming a Trump nominee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court is to pack the Court if Democrats win in November. Holding out the ... Read More
Law & the Courts

No, the Democrats Won’t Pack the Court

For many progressive opinion-makers, the only way to save the Supreme Court is to destroy it.   They believe the best response to the Republican-held Senate confirming a Trump nominee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court is to pack the Court if Democrats win in November. Holding out the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Limited Judgement

On the menu today: a long look at whether the country would be better off if Supreme Court justices were limited to 18 years on the highest court, a new survey shows the public turning away from the protesters, and a tweet from the New York Times reveals some remarkable skepticism. Does the Supreme Court Need ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Limited Judgement

On the menu today: a long look at whether the country would be better off if Supreme Court justices were limited to 18 years on the highest court, a new survey shows the public turning away from the protesters, and a tweet from the New York Times reveals some remarkable skepticism. Does the Supreme Court Need ... Read More
Education

Bring Civics Back to the Classroom

Margaret Thatcher once said, “European nations were made by history. The United States was made by philosophy. Unique among all nations, the United States knows precisely when and exactly why it was founded.” Today, that may be changing. Survey after survey shows that Americans have a dismally poor ... Read More
Education

Bring Civics Back to the Classroom

Margaret Thatcher once said, “European nations were made by history. The United States was made by philosophy. Unique among all nations, the United States knows precisely when and exactly why it was founded.” Today, that may be changing. Survey after survey shows that Americans have a dismally poor ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Do You Want 51 or 52 States Next Year?

“The prospects of statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have never been greater, but many significant obstacles loom,” The Hill declares. The Constitution declares, “new States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Do You Want 51 or 52 States Next Year?

“The prospects of statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have never been greater, but many significant obstacles loom,” The Hill declares. The Constitution declares, “new States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction ... Read More