Some Twitter reactions from oh-so-peaceful people:
Ayman Mohyeldin and Martin Fletcher took turns blaming Israel’s “right-wing” government for Palestinian “frustration.”
Mohyeldin ranted: “…in terms of the context of what has been happening in the occupied Palestinian territories, the occupation, the shift of Israeli politics, including now the current government, more to the right, to what has been described by Israelis as even more of an extreme right-wing government, some of the measures that have taken place in the West Bank, the siege that continues in Gaza, all of those continue to fester.”
The “context” that these people plead for is “occupation” and “Israel’s right wing government.”
Context is a funny thing, though. It can be a bit more expansive than these people claim.
The Quran says twice about Jews “Allah has cursed them on account of their unbelief” (2:88, 4:46). Also “you shall always discover treachery in them excepting a few of them” (5:13). It refers to Jews and Christians by saying “may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!” (9:30).
Is that too wide a context? Okay, let’s narrow it a bit,to how Muslims treated Jews in the 19th century:
In the year 1823, at the same Damascus, all the Jews suspected of having property were thrown into prison, and compelled to pay forty thousand purses or lose their heads. At Safet, in 1834, their houses were stripped, and great personal cruelties inflicted upon them, for the like purpose of extorting money; and generally in Syria they were compelled to work for the Turks without payment, being bastinadoed if they remonstrated. The lowest fallaah would stop them when travelling, and demand money as a right due to the Musselman; which robbery was liable to be repeated several times a day upon the same Jew.
The occupation of Syria by the Egyptians did not mitigate the hard condition of the Jews of Palestine’ They were still defrauded and insulted; the commonest soldier would seize the most respectable Israelite, and compel him by blows to sweep the streets, and to perform the most degrading offices. The contempt indeed in which they are held by Mahometans, however difficult to be accounted for, exceeds that which they have experienced in Christian lands. In the East they are truly become a proverb, the term Jew being applied despitefully, as the most reproachful and degrading known.
In Persia the condition of the Jews is worse even than in Syria. Often whilst they are assembled in their synagogues, a soldier enters with an order from the Shah for money; they are compelled to work without payment; and their women are unceremoniously taken from them, without their daring to murmur.
In Morocco they are equally ground down by a barbarous despotism. The Moors consider that the object of a Jew’s birth is to serve Musselmen, and he is consequently subject to the most wanton insults. The boys for their pastime beat and torment the Jewish children: the men kick and buffet the adults. They walk into their houses at all hours, and take the grossest freedoms with their wives and daughters, the Jews invariably coming off with a sound beating if they venture to resist. In 1804 those of Algiers were subjected to horrible tortures, being suspended from the walls by long ropes with hooked nails at the ends, merely because they had unsuspectingly lent money to persons who were secretly conspiring against the Dey; nor were they released without the payment of a large sum. In 1827 the Dey threw a rich Jew into prison for no other purpose than to extort from him 500,000 Spanish dollars. At Tripoli the bashaw extorted a large sum from them on account of the drought, which he declared them to be the cause of. Mr. Ewald, after describing the beauty, fertility, and prosperity of the island of Gerba in Morocco, “where, if any where, (he says) every one lives quietly beneath his own vine and fig-tree,” next speaks of the Jews as the only exception, among whom he nowhere witnessed greater poverty and oppression…
Perhaps this context is still too wide for the lovers of context. Let’s look only at how the Arabs in Palestine treated Jews before Theodor Herzl coined the word “Zionism.”
From James Finn, British consul to Jerusalem from 1853-6:
In times gone by these native Jews had their full share of suffering from the general tyrannical conduct of the Moslems, and, having no resources for maintenance in the Holy Land, they were sustained, though barely, by contributions from synagogues all over the world. This mode of supply being understood by the Moslems, they were subjected to exactions and plunder on its account from generation to generation … This oppression proved one of the causes which have entailed on the community a frightful incubus of debt, the payment of interest on which is a heavy charge upon the income derived from abroad… the Jews are humiliated by the payment, through the Chief Rabbi, of pensions to Moslem local exactors, for instance the sum of 300£. a year to the Effendi whose house adjoins the ‘ wailing place,’ or fragment of the western wall of the Temple enclosure, for permission to pray there; 100£. a year to the villagers of Siloam for not disturbing the graves on the slope of the Mount of Olives ; 50£ a year to the Ta’amra Arabs for not injuring the Sepulchre of Rachel near Bethlehem, and about 10£ a year to Sheikh Abu Gosh for not molesting their people on the high road to Jaffa, although he was highly paid by the Turkish Government as Warden of that road.
Palestinian Christians were no better to Jews:
In 1847 it seemed probable that the Christian pilgrims, instigated by the Greek ecclesiastics, were about to reproduce the horrors enacted at Rhodes and Damascus in 1840.
A Greek pilgrim boy, in a retured street, had thrown a stone at a poor little Jew boy, and, strange to say, the latter bad the courage to retaliate by throwing one in return, which unfortunately hit its mark, and a bleeding aukle was the consequence. It being the season of the year when Jerusalem is always thronged with pilgrims ( March), a tumult soon arose, and the direst vengeance was denounced against all Jews indiscriminately, for having stabbed (as they said) an innocent Christian child, with a knife, in order to get his blood, for mixing in their Passover biscuits. The police came up and both parties were taken down to the Seraglio for judgment ; there the case was at once discharged as too trivial for notice.
The Convent Clergy, however, three days afterwards, stirred up the matter afresh, exaggerated the state of the wound inflicted, and engaged to prove to the Pashk from their ancient books that Jews are addicted to the above cannibal practice, either for purposes of necromancy, or out of hatred of Christians, on which His Excellency unwisely Buffered the charge of assault to be diverted into this different channel, which was one that did not concern him ; and he commanded the Jews to answer for themselves on the second day afterwards. In the interval, both Greeks and Armenians went about the streets insulting and menacing the Jews, both men and women, sometimes drawing their hands across the throat, sometimes showing the knives which they generally earn» about with them, and, among other instances brought to my notice, was that of a party of six catching hold of the son of the late Chief Rabbi of London (Herschell) and shaking him, elderly man as he was, by the collar, crying out, ‘ Ah! Jew, have you got the knives ready for our blood ! ‘
Before any Likud prime minister, before 1967, before 1948, before the Balfour Declaration, before Herzl, Arabs and Muslims treated Jews like dirt both within and without Palestine.
The reason for modern terror attacks isn’t because of “occupation” or Israel’s refusal to participate in the French peace initiative that is meant to pressure only Israel to make more concessions. It isn’t because of Israel’s “extreme right wing government.” It isn’t even because of Zionism.
The reason that Arabs attack Jews is because the very idea of Jews acting as equals, with the right to self-determination and the right to have a land of their own, is an insult to Arab honor. Jews are meant to be wretched, second-class citizens bowing and scraping and paying extortion money to their Muslim masters, and there has never been a greater humiliation to the Arab people than seeing these despised Jews beating them militarily.
Arab psyche is driven by insistence on honor and fear of shame, and everything done since 1948 has been meant to erase the ultimate humiliation of Jews controlling land that Arabs consider their own. Do I really need to catalog the many terror attacks before 1967, before 1948, before1917?
Yes, let’s put the Tel Aviv attacks in context. The context is that Arabs (both Muslim and Christian) believe that Jews are a cursed people and that the existence of proud Jews not acting as proper dhimmis in the Middle East is an affront to Arab honor.
Everything else is apologetics.