by Dr. Haim Shine
It's very important that the Arab population in Israel and their leaders decide -- whether they are adopting the Palestinian narrative that sees Israel as an enemy state -- or they are citizens of the state in every sense of the word
Friday's terrorist attack on the Temple Mount was an act of fanatical hatred and one of the most dangerous attacks in recent years. The murderers doubtlessly intended to light things up at one of the most volatile, sensitive spots in the Middle East, if not the world.
Only the courage of the Border Police officers, who paid heavily for taking on the terrorists, prevented the situation from becoming who knows how much worse. What was especially terrible was the fact that the attack was carries out by residents of Umm al-Fahm -- Israeli citizens.
The terrorists are the latest in a long list of Israeli Arabs who have either been directly responsible for or helped others take part in subversive, illegal, or terrorist activity: the terrorist attacks at the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv; the Nahariya train station; the Netanya shopping center; Cafe Moment and the Hebrew University cafeteria in Jerusalem; the Simta bar in Tel Aviv -- not to mention Israeli Arab MKs smuggling cellular phones to imprisoned terrorists or taking part in a flotilla in which IDF soldiers were attacked.
Of course, Israeli Arabs must not be blamed as a group for the acts of individual terrorists from the sector. But anyone can understand that for an individual to commit a terrorist act, he or she needs social infrastructure, ideas, and politics that support it. The people who commit terrorist attacks don't act in a vacuum; they will press the trigger on a suicide vest only when they have the support and recognition of the people among whom they live.
It's very important that the Arab population in Israel and their leaders decide and make it clear whether they are adopting the Palestinian narrative that sees Israel as an enemy state that must be fought, frightened, and whose existence should be nullified, or whether they are citizens of the state in every sense of the word, including being loyal to the state and its laws. One cannot be a member of the Knesset, swear allegiance, and at the same time provide strategic advice to archmurderer Yasser Arafat and his successor Mahmoud Abbas, who is responsible for incitement to terrorism and funding it. It is likewise unacceptable to condemn the "killing of innocents" while referring to people who commit murder. One cannot claim that the killers of the three unarmed teenagers Gil-ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrach aren't terrorists and cast them as freedom fighters, while at the same time demanding societal equality.
The religious, municipal, educational, and political leadership of the Israeli Arab sector should rethink its path. Every additional attack in which Israeli Arabs play a part will lead to a dangerous clash that could tear apart the fragile bonds that have been woven between Jews and Arabs over the years. Anyone who plays with fire shouldn't be surprised when he finds himself burned.
Dr. Haim Shine
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