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Deafening Silence

UPDATED: OCT. 16, 2015 at 9:05 p.m.

The silence is deafening.

Two weeks ago, Palestinian terrorists shot two parents to death as they were driving home with their four children in the backseat of their car. Two days later, in the Old City of Jerusalem, a Palestinian stabbed two Israelis to death. As the wife of one of the victims lay on the ground slashed and crying for help, Arab passersby spat on her and laughed. Her two-year old was beside her, also stabbed by the terrorist. A few hours later, a terrorist in Jerusalem stabbed a 15-year-old boy.

Last week in Israel, hundreds of terrorist attacks occurred around the country. More than a dozen people were injured in stabbing attacks. In one attack, a Palestinian mob pelted an Israeli woman’s car with stones and then attempted to drag her out—presumably to abduct or to murder her. In another attack, a terrorist stabbed a soldier and stole his rifle, and then barged into the home of a young woman and attempted to stab her.

This past Tuesday, two terrorists stormed a bus with a pistol and knives, and began to stab those on board. Many were seriously injured. Two were murdered. That same morning, a Palestinian terrorist rammed his car into a group of people waiting for a bus in Jerusalem. He then exited the car and proceeded to viciously attack them with a meat cleaver. One man was hacked to death. Also on Tuesday, two stabbings occurred within 90 minutes of each other outside of a rehabilitation center in the central city of Ra'anana; five were wounded.

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But the world is silent.

Imagine that terrorists were stabbing to death Americans who were on their daily walks to the supermarket. Imagine that terrorists were driving their cars into crowds of New York commuters waiting for the train. Imagine if driving on a Chicago highway were dangerous because a lynch mob could surround your car at any moment. Imagine having to kiss your family members goodbye each morning, unsure if you would survive the day. The world would not be silent.

Israel is experiencing an onslaught of vicious terrorism. The attacks are terrorizing the entire country. Citizens have begun sleeping with knives on their bed tables and young parents are drafting wills for their preschool children.

But the world is not listening. Newspapers have failed to document the extent and nature of the egregious murders on their front pages. World leaders have yet to issue condemnations of Palestinian aggression. One could watch a variety of daily news shows and be unaware that anything out of the ordinary has been happening in Israel.

Instead of legitimately addressing the terrorism crisis, a recent BBC headline reads: “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two;” the Palestinian had just slashed two men to death. The headline of a Monday Wall Street Journal article stated: “Israeli Police Fatally Shoot Two Palestinian Teen Attackers, Injure Two Others;” these terrorists stabbed Israeli civilians and officers with knives. These deceiving headlines might have you mistakenly believe that Israelis are the perpetrators.

Instead of recognizing the profound unrest and rise of Palestinian terrorism, many have implicated Israel. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently condemned the killings by Israeli forces of four Palestinians—three of whom carried out terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians and were killed during, or subsequent to the attacks. Ki-moon made no mention of the Israelis murdered by these terrorists. He called on Israel to investigate the incidents and “force” they used.

Force? Last time I checked, killing people as they attempt to stab you to death is not an instance of excessive force.

The world must not only condemn the horrific acts of terror; we must also condemn those responsible for inciting the violence. The Palestinian Authority is one group that we must demand be held accountable. In a recent speech on Palestinian TV, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas stated: “We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem. With the help of Allah, every shaheed (martyr) will be in heaven.” He called on Palestinians to prevent Jews from entering the Temple Mount “by any means possible” and declared that Jews "have no right to defile [Al Aqsa Mosque] with their filthy feet." Days later, he declared the Oslo Accords void in a speech at the United Nations. Throughout the recent wave of terror, Fatah, Abbas’s party, has delivered leaflets in Palestinian towns praising the terrorists, and Fatah Twitter accounts have glorified the attacks. This week, a knife-wielding Gaza cleric called upon his congregants to stab Jews and “cut them into body parts.” He urged some to “restrain the victim, while others attack him with axes and butcher knives.”

The picture in Israel is grim: The country is facing mounting attacks and some Palestinian leaders are calling for a Third Intifada. Life in Israel has drastically changed over the past few weeks: Citizens stay indoors, commuters spend hours longer in their cars to take safer routes, and shops and restaurants are eerily deserted. As time goes on, more and more people know those personally affected by the violence. Nowhere is safe.

Israel is under attack and it is outrageous that the world has remained silent throughout these recent atrocities. It is time for the world to speak up.

The silence is deafening.

Rachel Huebner ’18 is a Crimson editorial writer living in Pforzheimer House.


This op-ed has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: October 16, 2015

An earlier version of this op-ed misspelled the name of the Al Aqsa Mosque.

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