Mohammad Wari, wounded in the Jaffa attack.

Terror in my backyard

Op-ed: The terror attack in Jaffa is likely an attempt to destroy the peaceful coexistence that exists in the city; we must not let him succeed.

More than anything else, the promenade from Jaffa to Tel Aviv is "the promenade of coexistence". On both ends, Arabs and Jews travel, have fun, and barbecue on a regular basis.



This does not mean that there is great love between the communities, but there is definitely coexistence. The number of incidents is almost zero. I'm there about twice a week. There's a fixed path there for running, walking, riding bicycles, as well as meeting friends and visiting the shops in Jaffa. It's almost my backyard. Tuesday's terrorist was killed 200 meters from my house, just a few meters away from the soccer field where my son plays every day.


Mohammad Wari, one of the victims of the attack in Jaffa.
Mohammad Wari, one of the victims of the attack in Jaffa.


It's not pleasant when it happens in other places. It is certainly not pleasant when it happens close to home. It's frustrating. Another minute or two and he would have arrived at the kids' playground, adjacent to the HaTachana compound, which is crowded in the afternoon. It's frightening. It's chilling. It's an intolerable reality.


There is no quick fix. There is no such thing. But there is also no option to proceed without a plan that gives us a chance for change. It is not clear that the Palestinians are acting out of desperation. They're acting primarily because of incitement and hatred. But if things go on like this, despair will be the provenance of the Jews. So please wake up over there.


Taylor Force, an American tourist who was murdered in the Jaffa attack (Photo: Facebook)
Taylor Force, an American tourist who was murdered in the Jaffa attack (Photo: Facebook)


Jaffa's Arabs have nothing to do with what happened yesterday, and any attempt to link them is cheap demagoguery. Aside from a few days of protests, about decade and a half ago, they have shown maturity throughout the crises. It's not as though they have become Zionists. But they keep day-to-day relations normal, in a way that the enemies of Israel so despise. They do not support the state of Hezbollah, as do some of their political leaders. They support the state of Tel Aviv.


Tuesday's attacker presumably wanted to harm this normalization – just like terrorists who came before him, on that same promenade.


Jaffa attacker fleeing
Jaffa attacker fleeing


In 2001, the Dolphinarium attack ocurred, in which 21 teen girls and boys were killed on a Friday night. Two years later, a terrorist from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade stabbed Amir Simhon to death. The attacker of 2003 followed a route almost identical to Tuesday’s attack.


The promenade between Jaffa and Tel Aviv has thus become the center of murderous activity. And maybe — who knows? — this is happening precisely because it is a location that despite everything, after all, is a point of sanity between Arabs and Jews. Hebrew and Arabic are often heard emanating from children's mouths on the promenade’s playgrounds. I often encountered tourists who were somewhat surprised by the bilingual spectacle.


This reality is what the attackers want to destroy. We must not let them succeed.





פרסום ראשון: 03.10.16, 18:37
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