The political fireworks over judicial reform that recently raised a global ruckus against Israel’s governing coalition have now given away to actual, deadly pyrotechnics. This is largely because of the Palestinian terror network’s ability to play the global woke police like a fiddle—including and especially a Biden Administration intent on torching his predecessor’s hard-won gains for peace and stability in the region.
That reality first came into sharp focus for this correspondent during the second week of a recent Holy Land trip when in Hebron, a revered site for Jews and Muslims, our entourage heard Palestinian gripes about harsh victimization.
Granted: it’s grating (pun intended) to view wire coverings protecting Palestinian merchants from refuse periodically hurled from Israeli settler dwellings above, and intrusive security watchtowers atop resident dwellings. And jarring for correctness-conscious Americans to hear checkpoint queries about whether any Muslims were in one’s group.
But for this admittedly pro-Israeli observer, pleas of injustice paralleled the old saw about the man who murdered his parents and threw himself on the court’s mercy as an orphan. Certainly, a search of “Palestinian attacks on Israeli settlers” would reveal the reality of disproportionate violence in the other direction.
So imagine the shock when any variation of that exact search term instead unleashed an orgy of headlines on “surging” settler violence, “rampages,” and even outrageous and offensive comparisons to pogroms and Kristallnacht. The perennially anti-Zionist United Nations reported 660 documented settler attacks against Palestinian properties and 108 against individuals in 2022.
This woke-tech, Twitter-buries-Hunter-story-style response naturally prompted Bidenite Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to pile on in a recent Israel trip by stressing, “We’re especially disturbed by violence by settlers against Palestinians.” (Emphasis added.)
It took some digging to find the real scoop. But it was there, in multiple layers in the reliable reporting of the Jerusalem Post. The publication points, first, to a study by two high-ranking reserve Israel military officers uncovering not a few hundred, but more than 4,000 Palestinian rock- and bomb-throwing incidents against Israeli Jews in the West Bank in 2021 alone.
And while in 2020, only 21 percent and 33 percent of thousands of Palestinian stone- and explosive-hurlers, respectively, were indicted and prosecuted, the current and previous Israeli governments have repeatedly condemned settler assaults in no uncertain terms and acted swiftly to bring perpetrators to justice. This led even the previous leftist foreign minister, Yair Lapid, to caution last year that settler violence reports should not be “manipulated by those who seek to delegitimize the State of Israel.”
As if. Undoubtedly encouraged by woke elites’ and media’s light treatment and upside-down coverage of violence, Palestinian leaders have, per further J-Post reports, used an anti-Netanyahu government diplomatic campaign—the success of which is underscored by Austin’s off-base kibitzing and Biden’s equally illegitimate scorn for judicial reform—as cover for a further escalation of terrorist pressure.
This terrorist campaign was confirmed not only by the terror deaths of 15 Israelis this year but also recent comments by the chief editor of a publication closely aligned with the Palestinian brain (and brawn) trusts.
The month-long Ramadan celebration in 2023, they said, would occasion “a new, more effective level of coordination between the resistance forces in the entire region . . . the aim of which is to raise resistance activity inside Palestine to a level that opens the door to a comprehensive uprising” and which “represents the starting point for the complete liberation project.”
And at the halfway point of Ramadan, what happened on cue? Palestinians compelled a confrontation with Israeli forces at ground zero of their conflict, the Al Aqsa mosque atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s heart.
This led the Israelis, after exhausting every peaceful means of resolving the stalemate, to raid the sacred site, resulting in photos and videos of bloodied worshippers. All of this prompted condemnation to rain in from around the world—along with missiles, undoubtedly waiting at the ready for the fuse to be lit at the mosque, from Palestinian-controlled Gaza and Hezbollah-run Southern Lebanon.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Evoking the heady optimism following the 1993 Oslo Accords, Newsweek wrote four years later that they “gave Israelis and Palestinians a framework for peace and an opportunity to prosper together.” But as another Israeli commentator points out, Palestinians “said no” to four generous offers of land-for-peace.
Meanwhile, conservative governments are delivering that prosperity to Israel. Asked about the biggest difference since her initial arrival five decades back, an American-Israeli journalist replied, “It was very primitive then. Until (Menachem) Begin. Then everything changed.”
Today, global tech capital Tel Aviv glistens. Construction cranes dot Jerusalem, and a tour leader says he has never seen as many visitors crowd holy sites.
Not so in Palestine. Towns like Hebron remain primitive. Despite tourist markets offering modern technology alongside a cornucopia of traditional foods, residents still appear to be in a daily struggle to scratch out a living. Youngsters accost tourists, hawking coin purses worth less than a dollar for 10 times that—only to beg for “donations” when turned down. Even built-up cities retain a decidedly run-down aura, with trash lining streets.
And “trash” is what the “victimhood” narrative is doing to Donald Trump’s successes in maneuvering around the roadblocking Palestinians and isolating Iran by brokering Israel’s surprising, wide-ranging “Abraham Accords” with its Arab neighbors.
With Palestine back atop U.S. priorities, the Saudis—famously chummy with The Donald but made pariahs by Clueless Joe until he needed their oil—turned to the Chinese to broker a shocking resumption of diplomatic relations with Iran. Then Netanyahu all but told Biden to “get lost” after his clumsy, after-the-fact interference on the judicial package.
As rockets rain on civilians, Biden and company need to stop playing the chump in a global campaign aimed at destabilizing Uncle Sam’s faithful Middle East ally and instead underscore Palestine’s true choice: pair victimhood with violence, or peace with prosperity as Israel’s partner. That’s the path back to preserving the Trump Middle East legacy—and restoring America’s credibility and influence there.