A blood-stained prayer book lies on the floor at Jerusalem's Kehillas Yaakov yeshiva and synagogue complex
"You've got to be taught to hate..." (Oscar Hammerstein, "South Pacific")
The murder on Tuesday of five people and the serious wounding of several others while they were praying at a synagogue in Jerusalem is only the latest in a continuing pattern of violence and hatred directed against Israel and the Jewish people. It also replays a familiar scenario: terrorist act is followed by condemnation (though not as strong as when Israel is perceived to be responsible for Palestinian deaths), followed by threats of retaliation.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas associated himself with those condemning the synagogue murders, but given his past and recent statements his sincerity is about as credible as those in the Obama administration who claim never to have heard of Jonathan Gruber.
Abbas' hands are stained with Israeli blood and cannot be washed away by statements of condemnation. He and his advisers and fellow ideologues are on record as advocating not the peace they claim to want when speaking to the West, but the complete eradication of Israel and elimination of every Jew from their prospective Palestinian state. This is an undeniable fact as even a cursory web search reveals.
In a recent speech, Yossi Kuperwasser, the director-general of Israel's Strategic Affairs Ministry, charged that hateful beliefs against Israelis and Jews are ingrained in the Palestinian psyche from birth and include indoctrination by textbook, social media and cultural activities. He might have added religious mandate.
These anti-Semitic attacks were summarized by Kuperwasser: Jews are "descended (from) apes and pigs (and) Have no historical connection" to Jerusalem, are "defiling" the capital "with their presence," and if Palestinians kill them the killers will "become a hero." These, he said, are the core beliefs of the Palestinian "psychological infrastructure."
Additional evidence -- as if more were needed -- of the attitude and intentions of some Palestinians and other radical Islamic groups and individuals toward Israel was underscored when a Palestinian university recently gave an award to the family of a Hamas terrorist who drove a car into a crowd of tourists in Jerusalem, injuring a couple and killing their three-month-old baby. The parents are American citizens, which in the eyes of Hamas probably amounted to a twofer: Jewish and American.
Following the synagogue murders, people in Gaza, an area controlled by Hamas but with ideological and religious ties to the Palestinian Authority, celebrated by parading in the streets and passed out candy.
Given the history, none of this should surprise. What should surprise, even outrage, is the continued U.S. foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority of $400 million annually. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has called for the complete defunding of aid to the PA over its alliance with Hamas.
Aid that amounts to perhaps greater value to the PA and Hamas is the continuing denial, dismissal and spin put on these horrific acts by the U.S. State Department. Following the earlier attack in Jerusalem that killed the baby, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the Obama administration believes "every desire and intent" of the PA is to abide by its "commitment" to recognize Israel and renounce violence. She added the administration has no intention of cutting off aid to the PA.
Would someone please provide evidence that the PA is doing anything to end the incitement to violence other than issuing meaningless statements of condemnation? In fact, the PA appears to promote violence and American aid is helping to subsidize it.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promises a "heavy hand" response to the synagogue murders. And so the cycle continues and won't stop until the West, particularly the United States, recognizes what our and Israel's enemies have declared: that this is a religious war which no "infidel" diplomat is going to end. Only victory will end it, or at least contain it. The Islamists are fighting to win. We aren't.
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Cal Thomas, America's most-syndicated columnist, is the author of 10 books.