For the past few months, almost every day, Arab terrorists have committed attacks on Israelis -- mostly knife assaults, but also cars plowing into Israeli soldiers or civilians, and some shootings. Two dozen Israelis have been killed, and a far greater number have been wounded.
The attacks followed a vicious incitement campaign by the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and other radicalized groups among Israeli and West Bank Arabs blasting out repeated warnings that Israel and the Jews were mounting an assault on the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa mosque, with a design to change the character of the arrangement that has existed there for nearly 50 years.
The warnings are false, of course, but also malicious, since the PA and its allies in the slander campaign fully understand the power of the warnings about the alleged threats to Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem, given the history of the conflict. No propaganda campaign is more likely to incite attacks on Israel and Jews in Israel or elsewhere than one focused on protecting Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa from the infidels threatening it.
Israeli soldiers, police, and in some cases civilians have responded to the attacks quickly and forcefully, ending the lives of some of the attackers, wounding or capturing others. All of the attacks presented life-threatening risks for the Israelis who were attacked, and if ever a forceful response was justified by Israelis or the authorities, these were such cases.
So how has the Palestinian Authority reacted to the attacks, other than calling for more of them? Naturally, the PA has blamed Israel for unprovoked attacks and killings of "alleged" Arab attackers, who of course are in most cases described as mere innocents on the scene. The PA has even gone so far as to claim that knives were planted on some of the Arabs to justify the Israeli "attacks" on Palestinians (almost all of the Arab attackers have come from the West Bank or Jerusalem). The Israelis who were murdered or wounded must have been careless -- walking into knives without looking, or better yet, prone to some previously unheard of disease that causes spontaneous bleeding wounds to suddenly appear on different parts of the body.
We are in a strange environment when the Palestinian Authority, the erstwhile partner for peace with Israel according to all the world's diplomats, applauds the murders of Jews, honors the "martyrs" who carry out attacks while simultaneously denying in many cases that they even occurred, and condemns the defilement of the Temple Mount with the "filthy feet" of the Jews.
This last canard was the language adopted by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, often described as the moderate Palestinian leader representing the best hope for achieving peace with Israel.
It did not take long for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to link the attacks on Israelis as a natural response by Palestinians to the continued frustration with the stalled peace process, and the stepped up pace of settlement activity.
Abbas used almost identical language when forced to acknowledge that there actually had been some attacks on Israelis (Jews in almost all cases, of course). Continuing a streak of seemingly blind misstatements, Kerry was wrong both on the supposed increase in settlement activity and on the causes of the present wave of murderous attacks. In every poll of Palestinians, the attacks were justified because of the risk to Al-Aqsa. Around 72% support the current intifada, terminology used more frequently now to describe the terror campaign. Even more to the point, only a tiny minority of Palestinians (11%) has any interest whatsoever in a two-state solution and an end to the conflict. Palestinians are not shy about telling polling organizations that all of Israel is a settlement, and the goal of this current string of violent attacks is no different than all those that preceded it -- the desire to eliminate Israel and kill the Jews.
According to scholar Bassem Tawil, "A recent poll found that 48% of Palestinians interviewed believe that the real goal of the 'intifada' is to 'liberate all of Palestine.' In other words, approximately half of Palestinians believe that the 'intifada' should lead to the destruction of Israel, which would be replaced with a Palestinian state, one that now would be ruled by Hamas and jihadi organizations such as Islamic State and al-Qaida. It is notable that only 11% of respondents said the goal of the 'intifada' should be to 'liberate' only those territories captured by Israel in 1967."
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his welcoming remarks to the climate summit in Paris, chose a moment of silence for recent victims of terror in Paris, Bamako, Beirut and Tunis. Missing, naturally, was any mention of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. One might think the secretary-general believes terror attacks on Jews or Israelis are something different than attacks in the rest of the world.
The United Nations has much to answer for itself in terms of being an active participant in the current incitement campaign to murder Jews, with teachers in UNRWA schools making their own appeals for more killing of the Jewish "apes and pigs."
Double standards come naturally to the Obama administration as well, which waited a few days to acknowledge the murder of a Jewish American, Ezra Schwartz, in one attack in Israel, after immediately noting attacks that killed Americans in Paris and other places. The public acknowledgment of Schwartz's death on a Monday night football broadcast probably forced the president's hand.
Two weeks ago, the European Union finally followed through on its long-expected announcement that it would begin requiring labeling of products from settlements, and would not allow these items to be labeled "product of Israel." Professor Eugene Kontorovich pointed out that the policy was inconsistent with how the EU treats products from the roughly 200 other conflicts around the globe where one side or another may be occupying territory, is inconsistent with its own rules and policies, and is in violation of various international agreements. It did not take long for the U.S. State Department to effectively endorse the EU action, since it also claimed not to recognize the legality of Israeli settlements.
When Barack Obama became president, clues to his conduct of foreign and domestic policy could be found in one formula that pretty much always worked: If George W. Bush did something one way when he was president, then Obama would do the opposite. Bush led the U.S. into Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama would get us out. Bush took prisoners to Guantanamo, Obama would release them and close the prison. Bush supported tax cuts, Obama would raise rates even higher than they had been before Bush reduced them. If you were describing the behavior of a 5-year-old, you would say, he is "doing the opposite."
Another way to describe the behavior is Bizarro-like. Bizarro was a super-villain who originally appeared in the Superman comic book series. Superman, the Man of Steel, was a force for good. Bizarro was Superman's opposite, a very negative force whose powers were often the exact reverse of Superman's.
Bizarro World is the EU treating Israeli products differently than those from everywhere else. It is Obama forgetting only the Jewish terror victim in his public comments. Bizarro World is the secretary of state distinguishing the latest terror attacks in Paris as having had less legitimacy and rationale than the earlier ones in January (which included the deliberate murders of Jews and cartoonists who drew pictures of the Prophet Muhammad). I guess we should understand and accept that Arabs and Muslims want to kill Jews and those who think they have a right to caricature Muhammad, but attacks on others are more problematic. Bizarro World is the U.N. secretary-general not treating terror attacks on Jews as equivalent to terror attacks on anyone else. Bizarro World is treating Abbas as a potential peacemaker while he fans the flames of mass murders of Israeli Jews.
Take your pick: opposites or Bizarro World. In either case, we are forced to confront some basic "truths": Terror is wrong, unless its victims are Jews. Boycotts are wrong, unless they are aimed at the one Jewish state. Terror victims should be named and remembered, unless they are Jews. For years, the United Nations has been exhibit No. 1 in the Bizarro World presentation, as the Human Rights Council, filled with the world's most thuggish regimes, only condemns behavior by Israel. Now we are seeing evidence of similar selective treatment of Israel by the United States. When the Palestinians reject Israeli peace offers (as we now know occurred in 2008), Israel is blamed for the failure to finalize a deal because of its settlement activity. When Palestinians refuse even to meet with Israelis without prior concessions, Israel is blamed for its lack of interest in peace. In Bizarro World, Israel cannot win, for everyone else sees the opposite of reality.