Saturday, December 27

The Kurds Deserve a State of their Own

English: The state flag of the Islamic Caliphate.
English: The state flag of the Islamic Caliphate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Flag of Islamic State of Iraq .
Flag of Islamic State of Iraq . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The scenario of IS (Islamic State - note that this savage and cruel organization was called ISIS - Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,  whose aims were to establish an Islamist Caliphate in these two countries. Their ambitions have gone beyond that to include the whole Middle East, including Israel) plundering and killing non-Muslims as well as Muslims (who do not share their world view) in Northern Iraq and Syria is horrendous! Be-headings, raping of women and ruthless murder, in the name of their despicable and cruel Islamist world view, leaves the civilized world with a sense of horror, but nothing more than that.

These IS savages seem to be above International Law. The stuttering and hesitant EU (European Union), including the US and their allies, are not doing very much to halt the spread of this cancer, not only in the Middle East, but also in their own countries. These savages have mosques in the main capitals of Europe, with hate-filled charismatic Imams preaching their propaganda against Jews and non-Muslims. They attract many non-Muslim youth to their hateful, cruel causes, recruiting these wayward youth to undergo Islamist brainwashing in their mosques and eventually sending them to Turkey, where they continue their journey to join the ranks of IS savagery in Syria and Iraq after further brainwashing and military training. The hateful racist rhetoric coming from mosques in Gaza has a great similarity to the IS-affiliated rhetoric against Jews and Christians in European countries. Imams, who indulge in Nazi-like diatribes, ought to be expelled to the countries of their origin instead of the appeasing Neville Chamberlain-like Scandinavian policies towards militant Islam.

After receiving training, these European Islamist converts return to their countries of origin for carrying out terrorist attacks against innocent people in their quest to create a Caliphate-ruled Europe. The cry of "Allahu Aqbar!" is their credo as they go on a killing spree, usually as rabid savages with sick minds.

The borders of Syria and Iraq have almost ceased to exist. IS plunders and leaves a bloody trail of human headless bodies in their ruthless quest of establishing an Islamic State Caliphate. The EU, US, Canada and as far afield as Australia, are not immune to this savagery and barbaric cruelty. The statements of condemnation coming from the leaders of these respective countries are so impotent and naive. There does not seem to be much effort on their part to get rid of this cruel terrorist organization as it affects the security of their own citizens as well.

The US has made some impotent attempt at bombing these savages, but without much success. The attempts at some unity to rid the world of this cancer is half-hearted, ineffective and pathetic! Is it apathy or maybe a policy of appeasement of terror in the hope that their countries will be immune from IS savagery and terror? Or - are they all so preoccupied with condemning Israel in the UN for so-called human rights abuses against Hamas and allies to be bothered with IS savagery? We have witnessed terror attacks by IS associated psychopath individuals in Sydney, Australia as well as in France, Belgium and of course Hamas terror in Israel. This is just the beginning of Islamist terror committed by individual psychopathic murderers.

The only nation that is motivated in fighting these IS savages are the Kurds. They are more effective than the US and its allies with a fraction of the resources to do so. The Kurds are the largest, stateless nation on earth! The Kurdish women fighters are brave and resilient, deserve much credit in their fight against the IS savages. They need all our support in their amazing motivation against incredible odds to rid this blight against their people, the Middle East and the world that has occupied large sections of Iraq and Syria. Hopefully the territory under IS control will be re-conquered by the Kurdish guerrilla fighters and become the basis of the establishment of a Kurdish State, even if it includes  IS conquered Iraq, Syria, Turkey (who is also playing a dubious role by acting as a transit point for the transferring of IS trainees to Iraq and Syria), and Iran.

If there is a nation that deserves a state, it is the Kurds. Kurdistan can once more be the nation that it once was. The world must wake up and help the Kurds to achieve this. We all have a historic opportunity to facilitate Kurdish independence - more than anytime in history with IS on our doorstep in areas that overlap historic Kurdistan.

There will be those who maintain that Palestinians are also stateless and deserve a state. Most Israelis agree that they do, including myself. However a Hamas-controlled Palestinian State alongside Israel threatening Israel's security, oppressing their own people and becoming no less barbaric than IS is no option, not for Israel or the Palestinian People. The Kurds are different and are not into terror for achieving a state.

The world owes the anarchy in Iraq and Syria nothing! They are responsible for the IS gaining strength in these countries by the US failure in Iraq. Saddam Hussein was defeated and a vacuum for IS domination began its roots there and in Syria. Oh, I almost forgot there is also Jabhat al-Nusra - offshoots of Al Qaeda.

Even Hamas Palestinian terrorists are adopting IS tactics against innocent people. Individual terrorist acts are part of the same tactic used by "Allahu Aqbar!" screaming, murderers both in IS and Hamas. Their ruthless and cruel behavior makes Al Qaeda almost angelic in comparison!

Saturday, December 20

The Upcoming Israeli General Elections of 2015

It is not surprising that 20 months after the last elections, the coalition has collapsed. Many issues are facing Israel including economy, social, educational issues, as well as improving infra-structure and affordable housing for young couples. Much money was funneled into the illegal settlement enterprise - the baby of the ruling right wing at the expense of solving many of these problems.

The most important problem facing us is the solution of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Israel's relations with the US, EU and many other countries in the world are influenced by the way Israel deals with this issue. We have not had any word yet on what the contesting parties intend to do in order to jump start peace talks with the Palestinians. The solution can only be achieved by negotiations with strong motivation on both sides to end the conflict. Israel’s international image has never been as poor as it is since the Likud coalition had been in power within the last couple of years.

We all know what has occurred on all these various issues over the last 20 months especially. The Likud coalition has achieved very little in the economic sphere, prices have soared, salaries have remained static and there is hidden unemployment.

In July 2014, there was Operation Protective Edge and despite Hamas being heavily bruised, they were not defeated and the war ended inconclusively with Hamas coming out of their holes under the debris and massive destruction in Gaza. Time will tell how soon the next round of fighting between Israel and Hamas will recommence. Hamas has been holding massive demonstrations of strength in rhetoric with their militants parading in army uniforms. The usual, hate-filled stereotype slogans of fantasy and glory are becoming common place in Gaza Street including the firing of an occasional missile into Israel despite the cease-fire.  Nothing has been done to alleviate the stressful situation of the citizens of Gaza including rehabilitation of homes destroyed in Operation Defensive Shield.

Voting at the Polling Station in Israel
There were the tragic terrorist attacks in Jerusalem with terrorists using vehicles as killing machines against innocent people waiting for public transport. Stabbings and violence undertaken by Palestinian terrorists against anybody that happens to be doing their routine business in Supermarkets, even those who were at prayer in a neighborhood synagogue in Jerusalem were not immune to the shocking violence and Palestinian terrorist killing sprees.

In the background of all these security threats, Netanyahu's coalition partners have not been playing Netanyahu's game and were demanding various reforms that Netanyahu was not prepared to concede. He decided to hold elections in the hope that he will strengthen his hand after the elections assuming that his Likud Bloc is re-elected.

The Labor Party under Yitschak Herzog and Hatnuah Party under Tzippi Livni have decided to run on one ticket against the right to extreme right Netanyahu-led Likud bloc. These two party leaders have formed a center-left bloc and it remains to be seen who else will tag onto their list. Avigdor Lieberman, a right wing leader of Israel Beitenu, whose views on transference of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship to the autonomous areas of the Palestinian Authority are well known, has indicated that he has no problem joining the left of center bloc or the right wing bloc, thus ensuring a seat  for himself and a cabinet post in the new government.

The Shas Party of ultra-Orthodox Sephardim is splitting with the resignation of Eli Yishai, one of the leaders of the party, to form his own party. What is interesting is the new party formations such as Moshe Kahlon's right of center, Kolanu Party. If one seeks a party that has an ideology which has stood the test of time and with which one can identify, it will not be easy. Even the traditional difference between left wing and right wing is becoming more blurred than ever before.

The situation in Israel  is very fluid electorally with new alliances forming between most unlikely bedfellows which changes on a daily basis. The polls by the various polling organizations show that the left of center block and right of center to extreme right are garnering equal support of 50 - 50 with the center block, Yesh Atid, holding the balance. The ultra-Orthodox Parties could support either side. The split in Shas will cause Shas to lose a lot of support forcing it to become marginal.

The main blocs are bending over backwards to get support from doubtful voters. Party loyalty to any party other than being left or right wing is not as strong as it was in the past. The race seems to be for egotistical reasons by getting a seat in the Knesset at all costs even if it means changing loyalties.

The situation is very unpredictable at this stage and the various polls are showing trends rather than predicting who will win.

When one goes to vote, the voter will land up with a coalition that would be ungovernable and many people refuse to go out an vote for this reason.
When one is faced with such a strange mix of parties, many of whom do not reflect the desires of many voters makes the choice difficult. Partisan parties that are one-issue parties and only represent a section of the population rather than all Israel's citizens is not good for the country. The newly elected government must represent all Israel's citizens irrespective of race, color or creed and solve the various communities' problems as they arise.

It is preferable to vote for a party that will not sacrifice its ideology for coalition wheeling and dealing for the sake of a Knesset seat. There are very few parties in that category. The Arab parties are partisan and do not represent the interests of the Arab communities, who are citizens of Israel. They could have done this as well as being a bridge for facilitating peace talks between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors, rather than rabble-rousing pro-Palestinian sentiments in the Knesset that were unproductive as well as being divisive. The religious parties join any coalition in order to get money for their yeshivot and religious coercion that is so-called "status quo". They have no problem being part of any government coalition with the exception of Eli Yishai's ultra-Orthodox breakaway party that has stated it will support Bibi Netanyahu as prime minister.

This leaves us with only two parties that over the years have retained their ideologies and will not join any coalition that is anathema to their ideology as well as being relatively non-partisan. These two parties are Meretz and Hadash, the latter is a joint Jewish-Arab party and is non-Zionist, while the former is left wing and Zionist with a social democratic basis that is social issues and peace-oriented. For those voters who still believe in  integrity and no automatic tagging onto a coalition that is opportunistic and does not lead us to the reforms that are necessary for all Israel's citizens, are really faced with these two choices, including advancing the peace process as well as an end to the occupation.

There will also be no compromise on terror and no government, whether left or right, will tolerate a Palestinian State alongside Israel that is ruled by Hamas that will dig tunnels to facilitate terrorist group infiltration into Israel for establishing an Islamic state and massacring hundreds of innocent civilians. Hamas record of accomplishment for peace with Israel is non-existent by their admission and charter.

Saturday, November 29

Israel - The Nation State of the Jewish People (Jewish Nation State Bill)

Many stupid bills are discussed in the Knesset, becoming hot potatoes in order to keep the right wing Netanyahu Coalition intact. There is none so stupid and idiotic as the bill to declare Israel, the Nation State of the Jewish People

Hello?As if after nearly 67 years of Independence, nobody is aware that Israel is a Jewish State and has to be declared as such by the right wing coalition today. Really? What was Israel in 1948 after the Declaration of Independence? Did all the previous governments of Israel prior to the present one not view Israel as a Jewish State and a state of all its citizens? Did the rest of the world, the majority of whom voted for partition in 1948 not view Israel as a Jewish state either? 

This is a tactic in order to seek legitimization of Israel as the "Nation State of the Jewish People" by President Mahmoud Abbas. Does Israel really need Mahmoud Abbas to recognize Israel as the "Nation State of the Jewish People"? After all, on all the official letter heads of Israel describes Israel as the "State of Israel" with the appropriate emblem, which even the Palestinian Authority recognizes as they have stated many times. This is not good enough for the Netanyahu Government. It is good enough for the rest of the world, even for the Saudi Initiative of 2002 which accepts Israel.

It is obvious that this is a delaying tactic used by the Netanyahu Government to maintain the status quo. This will prevent negotiations for a two–state solution. The Netanyahu Government wants peace with increased settlement building in the occupied territories that will achieve non-viability of a future Palestinian State alongside Israel. This is as plain as the noses on all our faces and like our noses being part of our anatomy, increased settlement building is an integral part of Netanyahu Coalition ideology.

 The idea of passing this law can only be the product of extreme nationalist ideology. It regards non-Jewish citizens in Israel as inferior, not entitled to equal rights. It is a disgrace that in Israel, this abominable ideology is alive and kicking in the Knesset.

Israel, as defined in its Declaration of Independence is appropriate, and so it shall remain. It defines Israel as a democratic Jewish State that ensures that all Israeli citizens have equal rights irrespective of race, creed and color. Why does the Bayit HaYehudi Party see fit to change it in order to gain more support from Jewish extremists as a populist action? The problem with these Bayit Hayehudi whacko racists is that the Declaration of Independence does not ensure that non-Jewish Arab citizens of Israel will become second class citizens, who are here on borrowed time. Avigdor Lieberman, the expat Russian, Ze'ev Elkin, another expat Russian have not lived here for generations like the Arab Israelis whom they wish to transfer to other lands.Of course, the Netanyahu Government denies this. These two Russian expats are enthusiastically joined by MK's Ayelet ShakedNaftali Bennett, the multimillionaire "Start-Up wiz" or rather the "Upstart wiz", Yariv Levin and the whole bunch of like-minded right wing MKs and cabinet minister settler, Temple Mount troublemakers. 

The claim by the Likud and its coalition that it does not degrade the Arab and Druze citizens of Israel is ludicrous. Would they claim otherwise? Of course they would not! If the President of IsraelReuven Rivlin, Attorney-General Weinstein and even some judges in the law courts have come out against this bill. Are they also viewed as being traitors by the coalition, some of whom are against this bill as well? Shimon Peires, the past President of Israel, also expressed opposition to this bill. 

It is a vengeful, unnecessary bill that creates second class citizenship for non-Jewish Israeli citizens. Apart from that, it goes against the Declaration of the State of Independence which has stood the test of time and has not changed the status of Israel by endangering its identity as a Jewish State. The only problem is that over the years the Declaration of Independence has been eroded when it comes to ensuring the equality of the minorities in Israel before the law. Now with the future "Nation State of the Jewish People" Law about to be enacted, democracy will be compromised and the victims will be everybody. 

A possible victim of this bill, because of the timing of the act of vandalism, on a dual medium school catering for Jewish Israelis and Arab Israelis carried out by the despicable, racist Price Tag organization.

This disgusting bill will also not serve Israel's interests in the international community.

Saturday, November 22

Has the Third Intifada Begun?

Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Since the end of Operation Protective Edge, East Jerusalem has been smoldering in unrest. Palestinian youngsters are throwing stones, fire-crackers and vandalizing the light rail train in East Jerusalem. Adding to the increasing violence, individual Palestinian terrorists have been ramming their vehicles into innocent bystanders, waiting for the light rail train to transport them. If this is not enough, the terrorist drivers of these vehicles abandon them and go on a stabbing spree, stabbing people wherever and whenever they can. They seem to be one up on the police in achieving their goal of terror.

An Israeli police officer gestures as he holds a weapon near the scene of the attack on a Jerusalem synagogue Photo: Reuters
Right wing religious Zealots, despite the warnings of the Chief Rabbinate, who claim that it is forbidden to pray on the Temple Mount, take no heed. They go there and aggravate the situation as well as asserting their right to be there. They are also encouraged by extremist right wing cabinet ministers in the Netanyahu Government coalition. The list of Palestinian terrorist attacks in Jerusalem this year and still continuing is horrifying.

All this violence occurs because of the propaganda of Hamas and Islamic Jihad that Israel wishes to change the "status quo" of the Al Aqsa mosque, which is not true. If it would not be this assumption, these terrorist organizations would find something else. The bottom line is the desire for the destruction, non-recognition of the “Zionist Entity” is top priority, and nothing on earth will change that mantra. Many in the Palestinian leadership, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and probably some members of Fatah, have similar fantasies of the destruction of Israel. According to the Shin Bet Chief, Yoram Cohen, Mahmoud Abbas is is not inciting terror. Mahmoud Abbas even came out in condemnation of the murder of Jews praying in the Har Nof Synagogue in Jerusalem.  
 The more the Israeli Government refuses to negotiate with the Palestinians and threatens to increase settlement activity in the territories as well as increases the use of force, the more it plays in the hands of the Palestinians and their supporters.

The only solution to the conflict is by negotiations. Palestinian violence, bloodshed, and retaliation by Israel are no solution. As mentioned in my last article, President Mahmoud Abbas is taking an extreme position in order to bring Hamas supporters back to the Fatah fold and thus increase his sagging support. He is even using cliché’s like "religious war" over Al Aqsa and even showing signs of "out-Hamasing" Hamas in rhetoric.

This proves that successive Israeli Governments have failed to achieve a common patriotism towards Israel that is inclusive of all Israel's citizens. It is during these times of tension when the true test of patriotism of Israel’s non-Jewish minorities is called.

The pandering to the extreme right wing in the coalition, building more settlements and asserting the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount despite the ruling of the Chief Rabbinate that it is against halacha, are catalysts for violence and bloodshed between Israelis and Palestinians. Israel has occupied the West Bank for many years now and has not improved conditions of living of the Palestinians there. Overcrowding, severe poverty, poor infra-structures, poor education and unemployment are the ingredients for violence. The Israeli Government shows insensitivity to the conditions of  Palestinians in the refugee camps around East Jerusalem. The constant nationalist rhetoric of the extreme right wing elements of the illegal settlers are also factors. Now and again these elements go on a vengeful rampage against the Palestinians, destroying their property and agricultural lands. Closing our eyes to this is no solution. Hardly any settler vandal has been brought before the law. So we cannot regard Israel as being blameless for the violence that is occurring. There have been no negotiations except force to be answered with force.

A trilateral meeting was held in Amman, Jordan on 13th November 2014 between  John Kerry, King Abdullah and Benjamin Netanyahu. Mahmoud Abbas was in Amman but not present at the meeting. He decided that it was sufficient for King Abdullah to represent Palestinian interests in restoring calm to Jerusalem. According to spokesmen at the meeting, there will be no direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on renewing peace negotiations as their positions are too wide apart. Hopefully this meeting will restore calm as the three sides agree that they have common interests in fighting extremist Islamist elements that threaten future peace in the Middle East.

Netanyahu reiterated that the status quo in Jerusalem will be maintained. This is subject to interpretation as the building of apartments in East Jerusalem for Israeli settlers does have the potential of promoting violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

On Friday 14 th November 2014, age restrictions for praying in the Al Aqsa Mosque was lifted by Israel and the prayers at the mosque were peaceful. This was the first time in many months there was no violence! Now that Jordan is in the picture it may have a moderating influence on the Palestinian leadership under Mahmoud Abbas to maintain calm.

At the time of writing on 18th November 2014, a terrorist attack occurred in a Jerusalem synagogue resulting in the death of 4 worshipers, several were injured and 4 in a serious condition. A Druze policeman died of his wounds a day later. Two attackers were killed by police, one suspect had escaped.

The rhetoric of Mahmoud Abbas has also received a more moderate tone since the meeting. If anything it will be Band Aid on the third Intifada. However, this temporary calm will only become permanent when both Israeli and Palestinian leaders return to the negotiation table to find a solution to this festering conflict. If not, the third intifada will not be long in coming.

The nature of the Palestinian violence is taking on a different character. Individual Palestinian terrorists wake up in the morning and decide to go on a rampage of killing using axes, poles, knives and vehicles for running over innocent people waiting for public transport. This makes it more difficult for the Security Forces to apprehend them apart from shooting them in action. The praises that these terrorists receive from many in the Arab world is alarming.

A strong, religious factor is becoming more prominent in these terrorist attacks in Jerusalem. In the past and probably even today, the conflict was based on land disputes. Adding the religious dimension on both sides will create a catastrophic situation which will make return to the negotiating table impossible with horrendous consequences for both sides.

The Palestinians are not living in a vacuum. The ISIS ideology is seeping into the conflict as we have observed over the last couple of months in the methods used in murdering innocent Israelis.  

Saturday, November 8

Condolence Letter, President Mahmoud Abbas and Terror in Jerusalem

A Palestinian man rams his car into a crowded train platform in east Jerusalem, then attacks people with an iron bar and injures at least six in what authorities called a terror attack before he was shot dead by the police.
A man looks on at the site where a Palestinian rammed his car into a crowd of pedestrians in Jerusalem  Phtoographer: Gali Tibbon/AFP via Getty Images 
President Mahmoud Abbas seems to be playing a game of contradictions. His speech made at the UNGA 2014 accusing Israel of genocide against the Palestinians is a case in point. After the shooting of right-wing activist, Yehuda Glick, he sent a condolence letter to the family of Muatez Hijazi, the prime suspect, after a gun fight with the police in which Hijazi was killed.

There is a feeling in the US and the EU that since the end of Operation Protective Edge, opportunities for peace has increased because of the false belief that President Mahmoud Abbas's stature in the Palestinian camp has improved. Nothing could be further from the truth. While Hamas has suffered a severe beating by the IDF, their stature in the Palestinian camp has not. Recent Palestinian polls show that Hamas has increased support over the PLO or the PA of Mahmoud Abbas. Mahmoud Abbas in theory may be stronger but in practice, he is weak. He has very little support from the Palestinian people and he is well aware of that. How can he increase his support from his people? He can achieve this by rhetoric that is not Israel friendly!

As mentioned earlier in this article, his UNGA 2014 genocide speech was addressed to the Palestinian People rather than to the world. He had to show his sympathy for Palestinian 
English: Mahmoud Abbas
English: Mahmoud Abbas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
suffering and victims of the recent IDF operation in Gaza.

By default rather than by elections, Abbas is now leader of Gaza while Hamas remains all powerful in Palestinian support and in rhetoric based on fantasies and falsities that are the tools of the trade of Hamas. Credibility is not a strong point of Hamas and this is grist to the mill for Palestinian support. Repeat a fantasy in Palestinian Street often enough and it becomes the truth - the fulfillment of Hamas fantasies and ideology.

In order to gain the support that he does not have, Mahmoud Abbas has decided to adopt the strategy of fueling the dreams of Hamas-supporting Palestinians to win them back to his fold of cronies. He can only do this by adopting Hamas-like rhetoric that is popular in Palestinian Street. The results are the rioting in Jerusalem and retrogression to support of terror against Israelis in Jerusalem, especially in East Jerusalem. The recent ramming of a bus by a Hamas terrorist resulted in the death of a 3 month old baby and an innocent bystander and injury to 8 people. A week later, the attempted assassination of Yehuda Glick was undertaken by a Hamas terrorist who was later killed in a gun fight with the police.

Rabbi Yehuda Glick is described as right wing in the press because of his belief in the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount. He differs from right wing religious Zionists because he believes in the right of Muslims to pray there as well as it is also a holy place for them.

Mahmoud Abbas is playing a double game of rhetoric support of terrorist acts, while at the same time, damning PM Netanyahu with faint praise in supporting him trying to stop the terrible violence that has engulfed Jerusalem. He supports Netanyahu in saying that the status quo of Jerusalem must be maintained.

Israel's extreme right wing in Netanyahu's coalition must also be held accountable for the deteriorating situation in Jerusalem. These MKs in his cabinet are encouraging settlement of Israelis in Palestinian areas of Jerusalem such as Silwan with the building of over 500 residential units in disputed areas. This is not wise. It has resulted in severe criticism from the US and the EU. The timing for doing this could not be worse. It has weakened Israel's credibility even further by adding another obstacle to a return to peace negotiations with the Palestinians that is moribund. Netanyahu's famous 2009 Bar Ilan speech in which he expressed his support for the two-state solution was a total farce! If he believed in that why carry on building settlements in hot spots where Palestinians live in order to make the two-state solution unattainable? Is this a tactic to placate his right wing coalition? The answer is obviously in the affirmative.

The "status quo" seems to go beyond freedom of praying on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem with the various arrangements that were in place over the years. In Israeli Government Coalition eyes, it also means achieving peace and maintaining the occupation including controlling Palestinian lives and an end to the Two-State Solution.

It appears that the knee-jerk reaction of Israel's Government is "the more Palestinian violence, the more we will build Israeli settlements in Palestinian areas!" It is a reaction of vengeance that will also give legitimacy to fringe right wing extremists, such as Price Tag (whose barbaric vandalism against Palestinians is treated with kid-glove indifference) to take the law into their own hands and aggravate a situation that is very volatile.

At the time of writing, another terrorist attack was carried out in Eastern Jerusalem. The driver of a vehicle, Ibrahim al-Akri from Shuafat, decided to ram his pick-up truck into innocent people waiting for the light rail tram, killing 2 persons and injuring 14 people. The terrorist driver was killed, after he left his vehicle to attack people with a metal bar, by the police. Ibrahim al-Akri was an active Hamas terrorist. His brother was a prisoner released during the Gilad Shalit agreement. It appears that there are many Hamas-Islamic Jihad terrorists adopting the tactic of driving their vehicles into places where innocent people are waiting for public transport in Eastern Jerusalem. Hamas, as expected, has praised this latest act of terror. It is obvious that this tactic of ramming vehicles into innocent people is becoming more frequent and unfortunately it will not be surprising if there will be more attacks of this nature in the near future.

There are discussions on blowing up the homes of terrorists and their families who were involved in terrorist attacks. This should apply to Jewish terrorists as well as in the case of the killing of the Palestinian teenager, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, and the burning of his body. Everyone should be equal before the law but unfortunately this is not the case.

Despite all the Hamas terror acts against innocent Israelis, it must never be used as a tool for vengeance by establishing new settlements in occupied territories. Every case of terror must be dealt by bringing the perpetrators to justice. Building illegal settlements aggravates the situation even further for reasons already stated in this article. Another ignition point is the arrival of extreme right wing Knesset members such as Moshe Feiglin, Tzippi Hatovely, Uzi Ariel,  "La Passionaria" Miri Regev and company onto the Temple Mount to emphasize their right to pray there, aggravates a highly volatile situation causing more violence and bloodshed. This is reckless, irresponsible behavior by those who should set an example for restraint. It serves no purpose apart from a clarion call to violence and hate. Apart from that, according to Halacha, it is forbidden for Jews to go to the Temple Mount for prayer. However, this does not seem binding on the right wing religious Zionists in the Netanyahu Coalition, when politics acts supreme despite the violence that is ignited. The solution to the conflict is by negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Freezing settlements is a first step towards creating an atmosphere of trust between the two sides and will also weaken Hamas, which is a terrorist organization. Increased settlement activity in the occupied territories increases Palestinian support for Hamas. Even President Mahmoud Abbas, considered a moderate by Israel's allies, is moving to a more extreme position. This is a negative development for Israel.