It’s time to make clear that the Palestinian uprising in its current form serves Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. That does not mean that he wants attacks to happen, obviously, but in the pattern they have taken, these attacks strengthen his position. It is a matter of numbers, magnitude and location.
Ostensibly, this is absurd. Of all times, on the watch of Mr. War-On-Terror, who wrote a guidebook, “Terrorism: How the West Can Win,” terror is winning. The attacks come in an unceasing drizzle. They have become a daily routine. But one gets used to a routine. Routine becomes routine. The drizzle is a bother, but it cannot drown you.
Most of the attacks are happening in the occupied territories. The victims are mostly soldiers and security personnel. The settlers chose to live there. Their job is to keep a stiff upper lip or at most to fume at the low level of personal security. They cannot challenge Netanyahu ideologically or politically. The soldiers and the police are doing their job. Their main task is to protect the settlers, to act as a physical barrier between them and the Palestinians, to kill the attackers. In most cases, they succeed. The knife-wielders and the car-rammers die during the attack or right after. So do women waving scissors. These are not really forces to contend with. But the results allow Israelis to walk around without feeling humiliated. No fatal damage has been done to the national honor.
When the terrorists invade sovereign, normal Israel, the situation quickly destabilizes. Israelis who are not settlers are spoiled. It doesn’t seem logical to them to be stabbed in the streets and at bus stops. And so Netanyahu looked frightened and bleary-eyed at the beginning of the uprising, when there were attacks in Tel Aviv and Be’er Sheva and Kiryat Gat. He no longer looks like that. He sleeps well at night. His appearance before the Knesset Economics Committee last week conveyed confidence, ease, almost euphoria. With his fox-like political senses, he will once again be the first to identify that the danger is past, all is well.
What does he identify? The unique Israeli anomaly. The anomaly in which terror attacks serve the right when it is in power and when it is not. For this purpose, every violent action must be deemed an act of terror, and every gesture of political opposition, incitement. As long as they are directed against Israelis, of course; it does not work the other way around. The most important thing is to incessantly foster the sense of eternal victimhood. It is important for Israelis to know that the bad Arabs want to kill them. All Arabs. All the time. Everywhere. Not because they are settlers in occupied territory, or because they operate a military regime in an occupied area, or even because they are just Israelis. The Arabs want to kill them because they are Jews.
The ones who are helping Netanyahu build this narrative are, of all people, those who are perceived as his rivals. MK Avigdor Lieberman. Channel 2. Yair Lapid. And above all, Yedioth Ahronoth, with its daily headlines: Terrorist in the yard. With terror in his eyes. Eleven-year-old terrorist. A female terrorist with scissors. Twenty-five bullets at a single car. Fighting the boycott. Incitement dolls arrive in Gaza. Fear in the security establishment: An Islamic State attack is just a matter of time.
This is the way brainwashing looks. No background, no context, no circumstances, no reasons. Neither is there a diplomatic impasse, occupation, settlers or refugee camps. The girl from the Shoafat refugee camp joins ISIS in Paris. Please don’t confuse us with the facts, or with minor things like poverty, housing, natural gas or fascism. Mr. War-On-Terror is busy now.
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