Palestinian incitement to terror is another front for Israel

Opinion: In an exclusive opinion piece, Jerusalem mayor says incitement is a strategic threat to Israel's security, transforming young, promising Palestinians into murderers, while incitement online 'no less dangerous than guns'
Moshe Lion|
I attended three funerals in a matter of hours between Saturday evening and Sunday night, and it did not get any easier, on the contrary. From one funeral to the next, the extent of the tragedy would only become clearer. Seeing families falling apart amid their terrible loss, and watching parents grieve over their dead children was just incomprehensible.
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  • The banality of evil is repeated again and again. The mind is unable to grasp how a vile terrorist was able to kill Ilya Sosanssky in cold blood, a young man who was all love.
    4 View gallery
    הקרובים של רפאל בן אליהו ז"ל בהלוויתו
    הקרובים של רפאל בן אליהו ז"ל בהלוויתו
    Relatives of terror victim Rafi Ben Eliyahu at his funeral
    (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)
    How he could have shot Rafi Ben Eliyahu, who only tried to help 14-year-old Asher Natan, who was gasping for air before he died? How he could then turn his murderous gun on Eli and Natali Mizrachi and on Irina Korolyova?
    This terrorist was not born a murderer. He may have begun life as a productive and positive member of society. But once he was caught in the fire of incitement, his 'heroic' death was determined. Incitement is a one-way street and the terrorist was a product of systematic brainwashing that produces such murderers.
    The celebrations in the Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem were an indication of the support for his actions. Among those cheering the massacre was the next terrorist who may still not realize what he is to become.
    The 13-year-old boy who carried out the shooting attack, which severely wounded two Israelis, at the entrance to the City of David in Jerusalem just a day after the synagogue shooting, was also a victim of the same social experiment.
    4 View gallery
    עלקם חיירי
    עלקם חיירי
    Palestinian residents of Jerusalem celebrate after deadly terror attack kills seven Israelis
    He had been exposed to the Palestinian education system from a young age. A system that embodies a well-oiled incitement machine and promotes murderous values with the same ferocity it teaches math and reading. It glorifies bloodshed and the use of arms, leaving him with few options.
    Palestinian society must ask itself how it was able to raise such monsters. It must wonder if, in the name of a national struggle, it had lost its humanity. A society that turns a 13-year-old boy into a murderer cannot claim innocence.
    We tend to treat incitement lightly. Over the years, some Israeli groups have refused to see it as a threat and demand answers from them.
    These groups have told us that incitement is used for internal political purposes and seeks to unite Palestinian society. They called it a different mentality. But in the age of social media, incitement online is akin to the use of dangerous weapons. It is a powerful engine that can motivate a young person, who has his whole life ahead of him, to sacrifice himself while taking the lives of innocents.
    4 View gallery
    מוחמד עליוואת
    מוחמד עליוואת
    13-year-old terrorist who shot and wounded two Israelis
    Our security services tend to evaluate the threat of terror in measurable terms. Organizations, localized planning, and initiatives are considered immediate threats that require intervention. Incitement is seen as an insurmountable obstacle.
    But in this day and age, it has become a strategic question, impacting the safety of Israeli citizens. It is invisible. It transcends walls and screens and requires special tools and resources.
    I am calling for a broad multi-ministerial forum to be established, with the participation of the security agencies, municipal officials, and other professionals, who could decide on a clear strategy to deal with the organized incitement emanating from the Palestinian Authority.
    This must be recognized as the principal threat, one that is no less dangerous than the flow of arms into the hands of criminal gangs in the Arab sector.
    4 View gallery
    פלסטינים חוגגים את הפיגוע בחברון
    פלסטינים חוגגים את הפיגוע בחברון
    Palestinians in Hebron celebrate after the deadly terror attack in Jerusalem on Saturday
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Perhaps only new legislation would free law enforcement to act against incitement online.
    Perhaps the solution would be transferring tens of thousands of Palestinian students into the Israeli education system – something we've already adopted in Jerusalem - which would reduce their exposure to incitement.
    Perhaps a concentrated effort to educate the Palestinian public would make a difference.
    Incitement is the most effective mechanism to produce murderers out of women and children. We must stop and observe it for what it is: the greatest strategic threat to the security of Israel.

    Moshe Lion is the mayor of Jerusalem.
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