|It's in our hands
The united chorus and brainwashing campaign that has imposed the full brunt of the responsibility for what has happened on the shoulders of Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority has worked wonders. Most Israelis have, in fact, been convinced that the tragedy that has transpired was unavoidable. But another explanation of the events, another truth, could yet come to the fore. Unwittingly, the patriotic public relations campaign could help reveal it.
The last wave of terror attacks, the most horrifying sequence of all, came after two relatively quiet months in which no mass strikes were perpetrated. The month before those sixty days was also quiet, marred only by one large-scale shooting attack. Then came Mahmoud Abu Hanoud's assassination, which was preceded by a number of other targeted killings of Palestinians.
The Abu Hanoud assassination came after the period of relative quiet; and its horrific, destructive aftermath was not long in following. Hamas declared that it would take revenge, just as it announced after the 1996 assassination in Gaza of the "engineer," Yihye Ayash. And acts of vengeance did indeed follow soon after the Abu Hanoud killing. Just like the murder of former tourism minister Rehavam Ze'evi came in response to the killing of Abu Ali Mustafa, so too did a wave of suicide strikes follow the Abu Hanoud assassination.
The customary assumption - terror acts belong to them; acts of self-defense belong to us - no longer stands up to the test of reality. The balance of bloodshed and casualties puts Palestinian losses three times higher than those suffered by Israel. Beyond this, the character of several operations carried out by Israel severely strains our assumption of moral probity. Five children killed by a mine laid by our soldiers are not just regrettable victims of an accident; they are victims of terror. Similarly, the trail of destruction that Israel is now leaving through the West Bank and Gaza Strip cannot escape classification as terror.