Terror struck the heart of Israel today, as at least two (earlier reports had indicated three) fully automatic machine gun-wielding terrorists struck a popular mall in downtown Tel Aviv. Reports indicate that, in order to evade suspicion, the terrorists dressed as Orthodox Jews. As of the time of this writing, three civilians are confirmed dead, five more are in serious condition, and others are wounded. Two terrorists have been neutralized, and authorities are trying to ensure that there was not a third. If you ever wonder why we Second Amendment types here in the U.S. bemoan the tragedy of “gun-free zones,” the scene in Tel Aviv today might help explain why.
SHOCKING FOOTAGE: 1 of the Palestinian terrorists being shot moments after mass shooting attack in central Tel Aviv. pic.twitter.com/ycI9PBWwiQ
— Israel News Feed (@IsraelHatzolah) June 8, 2016
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who just flew back from a meeting in Moscow, immediately convened an emergency meeting at IDF headquarters, which happens to be across the street from the scene of the shooting.
That the attack took place in Tel Aviv—which is both the civilian population hub and economic heart and soul of Israel—is significant. The Palestinians’ most recent “stabbing intifada,” which began in earnest last fall, was almost exclusively centered around Jerusalem. An April bus bombing that injured at least 21, which was one of the most vicious large-scale attacks since the Second Intifada, also took place in Jerusalem. Tel Aviv itself had largely been spared the carnage.
The attack also comes a day after Foreign Policy reported on how the genocidal Sunni jihadis who oversee the Gaza Strip—recall that governing Hamas is a brutal terrorist organization whose founding charter calls not just for the complete annihilation of Israel, but of all global Jewry, and that the Iranian-funded group “Palestinian Islamic Jihad” operating there is actually even more radical—seem to once again be preparing for war with Israel.
‘We as a population don’t want a war,’ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s] Yasser said. ‘We just want them to leave us alone and leave. The Israelis thought we would give up the land easily. We kicked them out of Gaza, and we will kick them out from the rest of Palestine.’
Translation: if the Jews would just get the hell out of the Middle East, we’d all be fine and dandy. Surely, advice that only old Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal’s self-hating, anti-Semitic son, Max Blumenthal, could love.
The tweet of the day comes from my friend Eugene Kontorovich, a professor at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law, who tweeted this back when reports indicated that there was a third terrorist suspect.
Three Palestinian shooters in Tel Aviv terror attack: three new names for streets in Ramallah.
— Eugene Kontorovich (@EVKontorovich) June 8, 2016
Such is the reality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel desperately wants peace, and has made countless sacrifices over the years—from forfeiting the Sinai for the Egyptian peace, to Yitzhak Rabin’s famous signing of the first Oslo Accord, to the Jordanian peace, to the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, to offering the Palestinians numerous full statehood offers that they have turned down—in order to demonstrate the sincerity of its overtures. The Palestinians, who as a people harbor vitriolic anti-Semitic animus and are ruled by Mahmoud Abbas’s corrupt kleptocratic government in Ramallah, have repeatedly eschewed direct negotiations and pursued a combination of both sustained violence and unilateral statehood pushes at feckless international bodies such as the U.N. They are also infamous for naming street names after jihadi martyrs, which is the point of Professor Kontorovich’s tweet.
The conflict really isn’t as complicated as people make it out to be, as Dennis Prager once demonstrated. One side wants peace; the other does not.
For those who believe in the power of prayer, please pray for the victims of today’s senseless violence in Tel Aviv. It has never been more important for the U.S. to stand unequivocally with the only liberal democracy in the region—and our staunch ally in the war against the global jihad.
UPDATE: There are now at least four confirmed dead.