The defense establishment, the establishment's pensioners and commentators on terror attacks are beginning to collapse under the weight of wondering whether the recent wave of hostile activities is a new intifada or just a wave. Soon we will likely see a parliamentary demand for a commission of inquiry into the matter.
Many suspect that the security and political echelons are conspiring to hide the third intifada from us and repress it. Although it's unclear how the two echelons stand to benefit from repressing intifadas, the public wants order in its life: If there is an intifada, let it show up immediately.
Well, what can we do, there is no intifada at the moment. Just like one dove does not announce the spring of peace, one terror attack a day – and even two or three – don't necessarily announce an intifada. The series of violent attacks we have been experiencing since the start of John Kerry's peace offensive is simply a Palestinian operational routine. From time to time, the Palestinian fighters go on a temporary ceasefire, in order to rest or equip themselves, but their regular condition is the militant condition.
By the way, as a veteran settler I can testify that more stones are thrown at us during the winter than during the summer. The long nights provide our neighbors with an extended window of opportunities to smash the windows of Jewish vehicles. They are swallowed in the darkness and carry out their evil scheme regardless of the political situation or the construction graphs. They have this kind of sport, harassing Jews. It's more of an Olympics than an intifada.
The height of the flames stems from ability, not from desire. There is always a desire. That is why the IDF has been making sure since Oslo, even during the so-called calm periods, to prevent Jews from entering the Palestinian Authority's territories. Army officials know that the Jewish life expectancy becomes significantly shorter in Ramallah, in Nablus and in any other place where terrorists are less afraid of being hit by our forces. If the Shin Bet declares a general strike tomorrow, brigades of suicide terrorists will once again raid little Israel's cities. They will not be stopped by Abbas. He is not as violent as Arafat, but like him, he is making an effort to avoid declaring the end of the conflict. His media outlets are blowing the atmosphere of hatred in the sails of terror attacks.
When does a wave of terror attacks reach the dimensions of an intifada? When the masses join the circle of violence. At the moment, the masses prefer to go to work. They like it that way. They are enjoying economic prosperity, unprecedented freedom of movement and an independent parliament. The famous Palestinian despair exists only in Jewish imagination. When a lone terrorist stabs a soldier at the Adam Junction or tries to blow up a bus in Bat Yam, it's not because of the occupation, it's because of ancient hatred of Israel which began way before 1967, and will not end if John Kerry receives a Noble Peace Prize, God forbid.
The fact is that there has been no occupation in the Gaza Strip for a long time, and yet last week an Israeli citizen was shot to death by a sniper from there. For the bereaved family it will no longer make a difference if the defense establishment gives in to the public opinion and declares it an intifada.