Israel’s Resilient Decency Despite Extreme Terrorism: Maintaining a democracy’s core values in the face of terror

Israel’s Resilient Decency Despite Extreme Terrorism: Maintaining a democracy’s core values in the face of terror, by Noah Beck.

U.S. citizens got a small taste of the Islamist terror threat that hounds Israelis on Sept. 17, with four bombings or bombing attempts in the New York metropolitan area and a Minnesota stabbing attack.

Israel, a country about the size of New Jersey, endured eight terrorist attacks in a four-day period overlapping the American incidents ….

Whereas the U.S. experienced about a dozen attacks during the 21 months from the start of 2015 through last month, an Israeli government list of terror attacks covering 12 months from 2015-16 totaled 407 attacks, including 165 stabbings, 87 attempted stabbings, 107 shootings, 47 vehicular (ramming) attacks, and one bus bombing. Those attacks killed 40 people and injured 558 others.

The Israeli government statistics don’t include stone throwing, petrol bombs, riots, IEDs, arson, stun grenade attacks, rocket attacks, and other types of attacks. When those are included, Israelis endured 3,754 terrorist attacks (including 3,635 by Palestinians and 119 by Israeli Arabs) from Jan. 1, 2015 to Jan. 5, 2016 …

Thus, in 2015, Israelis suffered about 10 terrorist attacks every day.

Adjusted for population size, the violence would equate to a staggering 150,160 attacks in a year in the United States (roughly 411 per day).

Terrrorist bus attack, 7 people were killed, and about 40 were injured

Terrorist bus attack, 7 people killed and about 40 injured, in 2011, on holiday makers going to the seaside at Eilat.

Israeli democracy is immensely tolerant of diverse opinions – to the point that the Arab party in the Knesset publicly supports terrorist organizations bent on destroying Israel. Last March, two Arab-Israeli political parties condemned Gulf Arab states for designating the Lebanese-based Iranian proxy Hizballah a terror organization. Hizballah openly seeks Israel’s destruction, and has more than 100,000 rockets and missiles aimed at the Jewish state. Could a parliamentary party in the EU or U.S. ever openly support an enemy terrorist group? …

Last December, at the height of the “Stabbing Intifida” –- a series of seemingly spontaneous knife attacks by Palestinians on Israelis -– the Israeli Medical Association issued a ruling requiring that the wounded be aided in order of injury severity, even if that means helping assailants before victims. …

Last summer provided an even more positive testament to how Israeli Muslims are treated, when Israel’s smartest high-school student was an Arab named “Mohammed” and the captain of Israel’s goalball team at the Rio Paralympics was a 26-year-old, Muslim woman. (Goalball is a sport created for blind athletes.) …

But stories of Israeli decency and the relative prosperity of Israel’s Muslims rarely appear in the mainstream media or get acknowledged by the EU, the UN, or human rights organizations. World leaders routinely call for Israeli restraint, as if Israelis weren’t already exercising extraordinary restraint, a fact demonstrated by this graph showing how each of Israel’s last three wars with Hamas (in 2008, 2012, and 2014) was preceded by hundreds, and more often thousands, of Hamas rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. What country would tolerate thousands of deadly projectiles being fired on its civilians before responding with enough force to stop the attacks?

hat-tip Stephen Neil