Scene of New Jersey attack. Jihad is the common denominator
Over the past weekend, 70 to 90 Syrian soldiers were killed in a US-led airstrike, 36 people were murdered in a terror attack in a mosque in Pakistan, 17 Indian soldiers were killed in Kashmir, 29 people were wounded in an explosion in New York, a pipe bomb-style device exploded in New Jersey, a house in central Paris was raided following a warning of a terror attack, and a stabber attacked people in Minnesota while screaming "Allahu Akbar." That's just a partial list.
All these incidents, or "only" most of them, have something in common: Jihad. This past August, 1,637 people were murdered in jihadist terror attacks. Just terror, not including war. Almost all of them were Muslims. Some of the incidents – which took place in Somalia, Libya and Nigeria – only get reported partially, if at all. So the death toll is possibly much higher.
Why would a Muslim blow himself up in a mosque of all places? My young son asks me, over and over, why? And Over and over again I have no answer. What crime was committed by the small children who went to pray at the mosque? Why did the suicide bomber come to murder them of all people? They were not even Shiites. It was a devout Sunni who murdered devout Sunnis.
At the same time, in Israel, the knife intifada has resumed. More terrorists were killed. They did not go to their death, which they knew of in advance, because of a "protest against the occupation." They are part of a global phenomenon. The main motive, both in Hebron and in Minnesota, is religious invigoration. The global sequence makes it clear that the terrorism of the past few years needs no justifications such as "desperation" and "occupation."
The stabber from Minnesota, who shouted "Allahu Akbar," did not act because of an occupation. He was a refugee from Somalia in the United States. Instead of being grateful, he operated as the product of incitement and religionization. There are hundreds of millions of desperate people with no rights in the world who don't turn to murder and terror. And in general, that excuse is a bit dubious, especially as most of the victims of jihadi terror are Muslims, and in light of the fact that as soon as the Palestinians gain independence they will have much fewer rights than they have today. It happened in Gaza. It may happen in the West Bank as well.
Those who offer explanations and justifications are encouraging terror and pushing more and more young people into the circle of terror. They are not the Muslims' friends. On the contrary, they are their enemies. Those who blame capitalism, Zionism, colonialism and the rest of the "isms," those who blow what the US did to the Muslims or what Israel is doing to the Palestinians to monstrous dimensions, those who fund BDS bodies – the PR wing or terror – are leading to the murder of many more Muslims by other Muslims.
In order to stop the occupation, there is no need for terror. That is a foolish claim which many Israelis even, not just anti-Israel professionals, repeat. It has become a superstition. In order to stop the occupation, there is a need for a Palestinian leadership which will drop the rejectionism of two states for two people. There is a need to stop the incitement. The rejectionism and resentment are not the result of the occupation. On the contrary, the ongoing occupation is the result of the rejectionism. So there is no need to provide "the occupation" as an excuse for hate-drive terrorists.
That does not mean that Israel has no responsibility. There is a lot to do to serve the Israeli interest. For that purpose, we must work to reduce the friction and reach separation. There is no need to wait for the Palestinians. It's not clear that ending the occupation will lead to the end of terror. After all, those who turn to terror are not looking for liberation. So we must look at reality as it is. There is no need for self-deception.