On the night of October 1st, Naama and Eitam Henkin, an Israeli husband and wife, were driving home from an event for alumni of a West Bank yeshiva. Seated in the back of the car were their four young children, ranging in age from nine to six months. A vehicle had been following the Henkins for a few minutes, and as it approached their car its two passengers opened fire. Naama and Eitam were killed on the spot. Their children were spared, but only, according to Israeli reports, by chance: one of the assailants—who were later identified as members of Hamas—accidentally shot the other in the arm, and, in a panic, they fled.
The days that followed have had a sickening sense of repetition: on October 3rd, a Palestinian man wielding a knife killed two Israeli men in the Old City of Jerusalem. A day later, an Israeli teen-ager was stabbed, also in the streets of Jerusalem. Last week, Israelis were stabbed in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the West Bank, and outside a mall in the city of Petah Tikvah. On Sunday, an Arab-Israeli man rammed a car into two soldiers outside a kibbutz near Haifa, got out of the car, and stabbed three bystanders. On Monday, four more Israelis were stabbed in Jerusalem. Nearly all of the stabbers were killed or wounded by Israeli security forces, whose presence on Israeli streets, particularly in Jerusalem and the West Bank, is always substantial.
Today’s attack came in the Geula neighborhood of Jerusalem. Watch this lunatic plow into a bus stop and then, not content to have run several people over, spring out the door and attack a survivor — a rabbi — with a meat cleaver. How the cops got there as quickly as they did to neutralize him, I don’t know.
Why this, why now? The going theory is that Palestinians have somehow been convinced that Netanyahu’s about to open the Temple Mount to Jews for prayer, an offense to Islamic chauvinism so grave that naturally they have little choice but to respond by stabbing people. In reality, writes Bret Stephens, Palestinians have entered their “psychotic stage.” Or rather, re-entered:
“Brothers, this is why we recall today what Allah did to the Jews,” one Gaza imam said Friday in a recorded address, translated by the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute, or Memri. “Today, we realize why the Jews build walls. They do not do this to stop missiles but to prevent the slitting of their throats.”
Then, brandishing a six-inch knife, he added: “My brother in the West Bank: Stab!”…
The significant question is why so many Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust—by a communal psychosis in which plunging knives into the necks of Jewish women, children, soldiers and civilians is seen as a religious and patriotic duty, a moral fulfillment. Despair at the state of the peace process, or the economy? Please. It’s time to stop furnishing Palestinians with the excuses they barely bother making for themselves.
Above all, it’s time to give hatred its due.
Why have so many attacks involved knives? The reason, I assume, is mostly opportunistic: They’re easy to obtain, easy to conceal, and easy to justify with innocent explanations if discovered. But there may be something to what Stephens says about “blood lust” too. The most horrifying thing about this clip is how incensed this degenerate is even after smashing into people. A car crash isn’t enough to sate him; he’s got to get out and start chopping, to do some damage with his own hands. Maybe he just wanted to look in a man’s eyes as he murdered him. This is the culture on which “peace in the Middle East” depends.