"I have lost my confidence to walk on the street, to use public transportation, to sit in cafés," says Y., a Tel Aviv resident, who has imposed a curfew on her children after school hours in the wake of the events of the past few days.
Y.'s response may sound radical, but it is not detached from the feeling of anxiety filling the air we breathe. If after the run-over attacks in Jerusalem every speeding car was seen as a threat, after the stabbings in Tel Aviv and Gush Etzion every person walking on the street is a potential suspect and an existential threat.
After Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's murder, Shimon Peres lost the elections to Benjamin Netanyahu because of a series of murderous terror attacks across the country. The public's sense of security reached a low point and Netanyahu promised an all-out-war on terror.
Eighteen years have passed since then, and the terror hasn't disappeared. Like a virus, terror develops a different mutation every few years, and the vaccination we thought was working loses its effect.
Only then do we return to the source of the disease – or in our case, what we refer to in a politically correct wording as "the Palestinian problem." And every time, we are surprised to discover that the Palestinians have yet to accept their fate, or the fate we have written for them.
It should be said that the large majority of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians in the territories is unhappy with its situation, but this majority is not violent. The potential creators of a renewed bloodbath are a handful of provocateurs on one side and a handful of incited murderers on the other side, who are dragging the leadership on both sides by the power of destructive inertia.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sent a letter of condolence to the family of the shooter of right-wing activist Yehudah Glick, and Prime Minister Netanyahu suggested that Israel's Arabs move to the Palestinian Authority.
This is a dialogue of the deaf, or should I say no dialogue, between two people who live a house away from each other, fence by fence. And like in a routine of darkness, as we count our dead, the moderates are dumbfounded, talks about coexistence are postponed until further notice, the Israeli withdraws into his fears, and the extremists on both sides take advantage of the fear to create radicalization, like a duel between blind people on the edge of abyss.
And when the atmosphere is filled with racism, which is legitimized by lawmakers whose only intention is to belittle the non-Jew, we should not be surprised when police officers drag an injured Arab to a police car (even if he is a terrorist) like trimmed branches to a dumpster. If he were a Jewish criminal, let's say one of the "soldiers" of the Israeli crime families, he would likely be put on a stretcher rather than be dragged like a branch.
The question whether Israel should demolish the homes of the parents of the Jewish teens who murdered East Jerusalem youth Mohammed Abu Khdeir is not being discussed, and not incidentally. The government's moderate ministers are not wondering about it either, as it seems we have accepted the version that there is one kind of justice for Jews and another kind of justice for Arabs.
The State of Israel, consciously and unconsciously, has done everything for years to make its Arab citizen remember day in and day out that they are living at the mercy of the land's Jewish rulers. The current government has invested its own efforts in thwarting any solution for coexistence, like US Secretary of State John Kerry's peace initiative, which was suffocated with the generous help of the Palestinian Authority.
Like the second tango dancer, Abbas made his own contribution to the failure of the Kerry initiative, like the Palestinian leaders before him, who managed with a lot of talent to shut any window of hope for their people.
And so, as the Palestinian people are pressed between ongoing deprivation inside the State of Israel and loss of hope in the territories (as we have yet to find the magic formula to dissolve the feeling of solidarity between Israel's Arab citizens and the Palestinian people), the Gordian knot between the two is actually growing tighter.
Only Netanyahu, like in the story about Alexander the Great, believes he possesses the magical power to loosen the ancient link or tear it open. If not today, then tomorrow, and if not tomorrow – then the day after tomorrow.