The fine art of underselling Palestinian terrorism

What do you call it when a Palestinian terrorist drives his car into a throng of civilians at a train station in Jerusalem, killing a three-month-old girl with American citizenship?  If you’re the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, you put out a memo to your employees referring to it as a “traffic incident.”

“Consulate officials said the statement had not intended to downplay the severity of the incident, and that its authors wanted to focus the employees’ attention and give warning of the protests,” reports Ynet News.

This prompted Robert Spencer at JihadWatch to scoff, “Sure. And to signal to the ‘Palestinian’ jihadis and the world that the U.S. government is still in the same deep denial about the jihad threat that led it to label the Fort Hood jihad massacre as ‘workplace violence’ and to downplay or deny the Islamic aspect of every other jihad attack and plot.”

It also runs counter to the stated priority of the consulate to use fuzzy language to tiptoe around a terror attack.  If you want to “focus employees’ attention” on the threat, you tell them to be on the lookout for jihadis using cars – and, in some other recent Jerusalem incidents, heavier vehicles such as bulldozers – as murder weapons.  You don’t tell them to be wary of “traffic incidents.”  The problem is not poor driving skills among those misunderstood Palestinians.

It’s also not helpful to soft-pedal what’s going on here; this is about pushing the Jews out of an increasingly large portion of Jerusalem, and eventually Israel.  That means it’s going to keep happening, and Palestinian terrorists love to hit the softest targets they can find.

On the broader scale, as Spencer notes, this whole business of the West willfully blinding itself to the threat of radical Islam, because tackling it head-on offends multicultural sensibilities – or out of some misguided notion that straight talk about the dangerous Islamists will alienate moderates – must come to an end, and soon.  The growing number of “lone wolf” attacks, following a call by ISIS for the faithful to perpetrate exactly such atrocities, only makes this more urgent.  Look at it this way: even if the Canadian car killer, the Canadian Parliament shooter, and the New York City hatchet guy all turn out to be random nuts with no formal ties to the A-list Islamic terror organizations, it is very much in our interest to compromise the ability of those organizations to attract and influence “lone wolves.”  That’s never going to happen if we are seen squeezing our eyes shut to every assault, including assaults on our allies around the world, from Canada to Israel.  

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, fed up to his eyeballs with Western moral equivalence bestowed on the butchers of Hamas, said in the aftermath of the recent Gaza battle that Hamas and ISIS are “branches of the same poisonous tree.”  He wasn’t just calling out the Western Left for its hypocrisy in tolerating, or even actively supporting, Palestinian war criminals while urging action against the Islamic State.  He was pointing out that there is a real union of purpose and perspective among jihadis, even some groups that might fall to squabbling between themselves once the Great Satan has been destroyed. 

So when it comes to their ultimate goals, Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas,” Netanyahu told the United Nations at the end of September.  “And what they share in common all militant Islamists share in common. Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Shabab in Somalia, Hezbollah in Lebanon, al-Nusra in Syria, the Mahdi army in Iraq, and the al-Qaida branches in Yemen, Libya, the Philippines, India and elsewhere.  Some are radical Sunnis, some are radical Shiites, some want to restore a pre-medieval caliphate from the seventh century, others want to trigger the apocalyptic return of an imam from the ninth century. They operate in different lands, they target different victims and they even kill each other in their battle for supremacy. But they all share a fanatic ideology. They all seek to create ever-expanding enclaves of militant Islam where there is no freedom and no tolerance, where women are treated as chattel, Christians are decimated and minorities are subjugated, sometimes given the stark choice, convert or die. For them, anyone can be considered an infidel, including fellow Muslims.”

Hearing that, I thought: “Isn’t it about time for the good guys to show that same solidarity, that same unity of purpose?”  Let them fear the unified might of the West, the pure light of civilization.  Let them know that a car running down a baby in Jerusalem is seen and despised in New York, Washington, and Los Angeles… and Ottawa, and London.  Let them know it is not healthy to be despised by us.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.