Tel Aviv attacks: Israelis want peace but need a peace partner

Earlier this week, my Paris-based colleague, Dr. Shimon Samuels and I met with senior officials in Berlin that focused on the implications of 1 million Middle Eastern migrants/refugees coming to Germany. Social integration and the challenge of changing the problematic attitudes brought from their cultures about women, gays, and Jews was the focus of many of our conversations.

But despite the serious challenges we confronted in our meetings we were buoyed by the newfound resolve we heard in Brussels, Paris, Rome, and Berlin: European authorities are united in their revulsion of and commitment to defeat terrorism in their midst. They tell us they will not shirk from confronting the multiple global and homegrown threats and are determined to secure the safety and security of their citizens.

Yet, that commitment disappears at Israel’s borders. The latest outrage took place in the midst of the Middle East’s most tolerant city, Tel Aviv on Wednesday.

On a beautiful evening, two nicely dressed young men, ordered food and then took out weapons and murdered four Israelis and gravely wounding many others.

The perpetrators, who were later caught by police, are now being celebrated throughout the Palestinian Territories and globally online, as heroes.

Everyone in Israel knows that such brutal attacks will continue. Why should the terrorist butchery stop, when the world rewards such behavior?

France, which cannot secure its own streets from young Muslim toughs and which has suffered devastating terrorist attacks, found time to convene a conference last week to promote an international “peace plan” for the Israel/Palestinian conflict. They didn’t bother consulting with or inviting Israelis to the table, though the Jewish State will be expected to pay the bill. Palestinians will continue to enjoy billions in aid (most of which disappears into the deep pockets of the corrupt Palestinian Authority) from the European Union, from the United States, from ‘human rights’ NGOs and from Church groups, no matter what terrorist outrage is unleashed on Israelis. 

For Palestinians, terrorism does pay. They have been given a moral free pass by much of the world. So even Europe struggles to uncover terrorist cells, to come up with ways to stop hateful theology and pro-terrorist social media from infecting a generation of disaffected Muslim youth in their midst, they provide a moral blank check to Palestinian terrorism and continue to write real checks to help pay for hate education and a virulently anti-Israel media.

There are rumors about that President Obama will instruct our UN Ambassador Samantha Power, not to veto a French-led Security Council Resolution this Fall that will make draconian one-sided demands of Israel in the name of “peace”. The boilerplate reaction to the murders of the four Israelis by our State Department reveals more in what it doesn’t say:

The United States condemns today’s horrific terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in the strongest possible terms. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and our hopes for a quick recovery for those wounded. These cowardly attacks against innocent civilians can never be justified. We are in touch with Israeli authorities to express our support and concern.”


Not one word of rebuke of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah and Gaza City. Those crocodile tears dried almost before they were shed.

Here’s the bottom line. Israelis want peace but need a peace partner. Isaac Herzog, head of Israel’s  ‘pro-peace’ Left publicly stated that a two-state solution is impossible right now because there is no Palestinian partner.  

If the EU, President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry, the NGO community, the international Media truly want to leave a legacy of peace for The Holy Land, they must start holding the Palestinians to the same standard of all civilized people. Anything less will kill prospects for peace and ignite more chaos and bloodshed.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper is associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. Follow the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Facebook and on Twitter.

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