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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 25, 2011 / 19 Adar II, 5771

Understanding the third terror war

By Caroline B. Glick



The aftermath of the Jerusalem bombing






http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | What are we to make of the fact that no one has taken credit for Wednesday's bombing in Jerusalem?

Wednesday bombing was not a stand-alone event. It was part and parcel of the new Palestinian terror war that is just coming into view. As Israel considers how to contend with the emerging onslaught, it is important to notice how it differs from its predecessors. On a military level, the tactics the Palestinians have so far adopted are an interesting blend of state-of-the-art missile attacks with old fashioned knife and bomb-in-the- briefcase attacks. The diverse tactics demonstrate that this war is a combination of Iranian-proxy war and local terror pick-up cells. The attacks are also notable for their geographic dispersion and for the absence thus far of suicide attacks.

For the public, the new tactics are not interesting and the message they send is nothing new. With our without suicide bombers, Israelis understand that we are entering a new period of unremitting fear, where we understand that we are in danger no matter where we are. Whether we're in bed asleep, or our way to work or school, or sitting down on a park bench or at a restaurant, whether we're in Rishon Lezion, Sderot, Jerusalem, Itamar or Beersheba, we are in the Palestinians' crosshairs. All of us are "settlers." All of us are in danger.

The military innovations are important for IDF commanders who need to figure out how to answer the public's demand for security. They will have to draw operational conclusions about the challenges this mix of tactics and strategic architecture poses. While the military rationales of the various Palestinian terrorists are important, like its two predecessors, the new Palestinian terror war is first and foremost a political war. Like its two predecessors which began in 1987 and 2000, the new terror war's primary purpose is not to murder Jews. Killing is just an added perk. The new war's primary purpose is to weaken Israel politically in order to bring about its eventual collapse.

And it is in this political context that the various terror armies' refusal to take responsibility for Wednesday's attack in Jerusalem, and their moves to shroud in ambiguity much of responsibility for their recent terror activity is noteworthy. In the past, Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad were quick to take credit for massacres.

Initially it seemed as though that standard practice was being continued in the newest round of murder. Fatah's Aksa Martyrs Brigades for instance were quick to take credit for the massacre of the Fogel family in Itamar on March 12. Hamas seemed to be competing for credit when its forces held a public celebration of the atrocity in Gaza City on March 13.

But then Fatah withdrew its claim of responsibility and Hamas never claimed credit. As for the rocket and missile barrages from Gaza, Hamas took credit for the 58 projectiles shot off on southern Israel last Saturday. But then it let Islamic Jihad take credit for the longer range Katyusha attacks on Rishon Lezion, Beersheba, Gedera and Ashdod this week.

And again, no one took credit for the bombing in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

What does this sudden bout of modesty tell us about how the Palestinian terror masters view the current onslaught against Israel? What does it teach us about their assessment of their political challenges and goals?

In the two previous terror wars, the terror groups had two motivations for taking credit for their attacks. The first reason was to expand their popularity. In Palestinian society, the more Jews you kill the more popular you are.

The main reason Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian elections was because the Palestinians believed that Hamas terror was responsible for Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in August 2005. Even though Fatah actually killed more Jews than Hamas did between 2000 and 2005, Hamas reaped greater rewards for its attacks because its record was unblemished by political engagement with Israel.


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The second reason the various groups have always been quick to take credit for attacks was because they wanted to show their state sponsors that they were putting their arms, training and financial support to good use. Saddam Hussein and the Saudi royals paid handsome rewards to the families of killed and captured terrorists. Over the past several decades, Iran, Syria and Hizbullah have spent hundreds of millions of dollars arming, training and financing Palestinian terror cells from Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad alike.

The fact that today neither Hamas nor Fatah is interested in taking credit for Wednesday's bombing in Jerusalem or for massacre of the Fogel family is a signal that something fundamental is changing in the political dynamic between the two factions.

Before considering what the change may be, a word of explanation about Islamic Jihad is in order.

Islamic Jihad was by Iran in 1988. Unlike Hamas and Fatah, Islamic Jihad has no political aspirations. It has no political operatives and it is content to limit its operations to terrorism.

After the much larger and more powerful Hamas subordinated its command and control to Iran in 2005, Islamic Jihad has served as nothing more than a Hamas sub-contractor. It carries out and takes credit for attacks when Hamas doesn't wish to do so.

There are two plausible internal Palestinian explanations for Fatah's and Hamas's newfound reticence and they are not mutually exclusive. The first explanation of their silence is that the recent talk about Fatah and Hamas forming a unity government is serious. Fatah's announcement Thursday that it has arrested two Islamic Jihad terrorists in connection with the Jerusalem bombing is notable in this vein. It signals that after four years of fighting Hamas forces in Judea and Samaria, Fatah is looking for a more politically convenient group of usual suspects.

The second reason that Hamas and Fatah may be keeping mum about who is responsible is because they both know who did it and they are using the terror to gain leverage against one another at the negotiating table. If Hamas is carrying out the attacks, it leaders may simply be using them to strengthen their bargaining position in the unity talks. Fatah knows that if Hamas takes credit for the attacks its mass popularity in Judea and Samaria will grow. And if Fatah is carrying them out, its leaders may be using them to show Hamas that they are serious about burying the hatchet with the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

While the internal political dynamics of the various Palestinian terror groups is interesting, it is not the main game in town. For both Fatah and Hamas, the most important target audience is Europe. But before we discuss how the Palestinians' assessment of Europe is connected to their move to obfuscate organizational responsibility for terrorism, it is necessary to consider the concrete political goal of their new terror war.

Fatah is in the midst of a global campaign to build international support for a unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence in September. From Israel's perspective, the campaign is threatening for two reasons. First, a unilaterally declared Palestinian state will be in a de facto state of war with Israel. Second, if the Palestinians secure international recognition for their "state" in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza, the move will place 500,000 Jews who live in these areas in the international crosshairs.

Much of the discussion about this goal has centered on whether or not US President Barack Obama will veto a UN Security Council resolution endorsing such a declaration.

And based on Obama's behavior to date, the Palestinians have good reason to believe that he may support their move. But in truth, the discussion about how the US will respond to the planned Palestinian declaration is largely beside the point. The point of the threatened declaration is not to get a UN Security Council resolution supporting it. The point is to get the EU to enact further sanctions against Israel.

And this brings us back to the new policy of not taking credit for attacks on Israel, and to the decision to launch a new terror war in general. On the face of it, at such a sensitive time for the Palestinians diplomatically, it would seem that they would want to keep their traditional good cop-Fatah, bad cop-Hamas routine going and have Hamas take the credit for the recent attacks. Indeed, it would seem that the Palestinians would want to hold off on attacks altogether until after they declare independence.

The fact that Fatah and Hamas have neither waited until after September to attack nor sought to differentiate themselves from one another as the attacks coalesce into a new terror campaign indicates strongly that the Palestinians no longer feel they need to pretend to oppose terror to maintain European support for their war against Israel.

The Palestinians assess that Europe is swiftly moving towards the point where it no longer needs to pretend to be fair to Israel. The British, French and German votes in favor of the Palestinians' anti-Israel Security Council resolution last month were the latest sign that the key European governments have adopted openly hostile policies towards Israel.

More importantly, these policies are not the consequence of Palestinian lobbying efforts and so Israel cannot hope to change them through counter-lobbying efforts. Europe's abandonment of even the guise of fairness towards Israel is the product of domestic political realities in Europe itself. Between the rapidly expanding political power of Europe's Muslim communities and the virulently anti-Israel positions nearly universally adopted by the European media, European governments are compelled to adopt ever more hostile positions towards Israel to appease their Israel-hating publics and Muslim communities.

Take British Prime Minister David Cameron for example. When Cameron called Gaza "an open air prison" last year, it wasn't because he had just spoken to Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas. And he certainly wasn't acting out of conviction. Cameron surely knew that his statement was an utter lie. And he also surely knew that Hamas is a jihadist terror group that shares the ideology of its fellow Muslim Brotherhood spin-off al Qaida.

But for Cameron, far more important than Gaza's relative prosperity and Hamas's genocidal goals was the fact that in the last British elections, the UK's Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC-UK) successfully ousted six members of parliament who expressed support for Israel.

The Palestinians recognize that they don't need to pretend to be good to get Europe to support them. After the people of Europe have been brainwashed by their media and intimidated by the Muslim communities, they have developed a Pavlovian response regarding Israel whereby every mention of Israel makes them hate it more. It doesn't matter the story is about the massacre of Israeli children or the bombing of synagogues and nursery schools. They know that Israel is the guilty party and expect the governments to punish it.

What the Palestinian silence on who committed what atrocity tells us is that in this new terror war, the Palestinians believe they cannot lose. With Europe in tow, Fatah and Hamas feel free to join their forces and advance both militarily and politically.


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JWR contributor Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where her column appears.


© 2009, Caroline B. Glick