In April 1920, Arab Palestinian terrorism was born. So too was the simple formula, so successful over the next century, of massacring Jews and then making excuses.
In that year, when Pesach coincided with the Muslim festival of "Nabi Musa," starting with bloodthirsty religious sermons by one Haj Amin al-Husseini, tens of thousands of Arabs rioted and slaughtered Jews throughout the Old City of Jerusalem, while chanting "Palestine is our land, the Jews are our dogs!" (They were not self-titled Palestinians yet, just Arabs living in the region of Roman-named Palestine, otherwise known as Southern Syria.)
Rather than placing the blame on the Arabs for the massacre, the world sought to make excuses and appease them when the British Mandatory powers made al-Husseini the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, despite his being clearly and legally implicated in the bloodshed.
As is now known, al-Husseini would spend much of the Second World War as a staunch ally of Hitler, the Nazis and a supporter of the extermination of six million Jews.
Unfortunately, then, as now, the world felt the need to assuage Arab violence by buying their excuses and claims of victimhood.
Thousands of Jews have been brutally slaughtered over the last century, but the blame has bizarrely been placed on the victims.
Outrageously, after the pogrom on October 7th, when over 1,400 Israelis were brutally murdered, with babies burned, women mutilated and defiled, and 240 brutally abducted, there are still those who make excuses for the bloodshed.
Even as Israel was still desperately trying to identify and bury its dead, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres was saying the festival of slaughter "did not happen in a vacuum."
Unfortunately, like almost every person who comments on the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict, Guterres is either ignorant of its history or is merely trying to excuse, appease and placate the Arabs.
They like to blame the "occupation," the State of Israel's policies towards the Palestinian Arabs, or what happens on the Temple Mount for the terror.
None of these, and a myriad of other excuses, stand the test of logic, facts or history.
If terror was a reaction to Israel's control of territories won in 1967, what excuse was there for the murderous terror attack on Apr 11, 1956, at Shafrir (Kfar Chabad), when three children and one youth worker were killed and five injured, when terrorists opened fire on a synagogue full of children and teenagers?
If terror was a reaction to the State of Israel's policies towards the Palestinians during or after the 1948 War of Independence, what excuse was there for the butcher of 67 Jews in Hebron on August 23, 1929, with Arabs slaughtering the Jewish neighbors with whom they had good relations, with their own hands?
The list goes on, but the point is clear.
This context is not what allegedly drove the terrorism; this is all lies.
Palestinian Arab terrorism has never been reactive; it is opportunistic.
The context is that Palestinian Arab violent rejectionism has no boundaries, little political agenda, beyond the murder and mass slaughter of Jews.
It might only be perpetrated by the minority, but it is celebrated by the majority.
While the focus of the current war might be Hamas, who perpetrated the massacre, its counterpart, Fatah, the party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, has been cheerleading front and center.
According to Palestinian Media Watch, Fatah officials put out to its followers on October 7th: "Allahu akbar" (i.e., "Allah is greatest"), come to jihad, come to jihad. To all our sons and brothers in the Palestinian [PA] Security Forces throughout the 'West Bank' – today is your day. Break into the settlements, strike the sons of apes of pigs... slaughter everyone who is Israeli, by Allah, they are the most cowardly among men. Today is a tiding of days of victory, Allah willing – for this is jihad, jihad, victory or martyrdom."
For Israel to be victorious in this war, it must not just defeat Hamas in Gaza, but must destroy Palestinian Arab violent rejectionism once and for all.
It is at the root of all of the violence, bloodshed and terrorism for over a century.
From al-Husseini, through Yasser Arafat to Khaled Meshaal and Mahmoud Abbas, all have held the same message even if it was packaged differently.
The West is busy preparing the way for Abbas to take over Gaza after Hamas has been toppled, but that will just be replacing like with like.
Abbas constantly incites the Palestinian Arabs to hate and murder, pays terrorists according to the number of Jews they kill, and memorializes mass murderers as heroes for the next generation.
Abbas is not the solution, but very much part of the same problem.
- For Israel to declare victory, it must root out and have a zero tolerance for Palestinian Arab violent rejectionism.
- It must defeat all terror groups, whatever their name.
- Israel should be breaking the will of Palestinian Arab leaders so that they give up their Jihad, through military, economic, political or diplomatic means.
- They must be forced to accept the permanence of the Jewish State in its ancestral and indigenous homeland.
This is the only way to finally bury Palestinian Arab violent rejectionism and end the over 100-year-old conflict once and for all.
This should be the true goal of this war.
Nave Dromi is director of the Middle East Forum's office in Israel and head of the Israel Victory Project. She is the author of the book, Rifle Full of Roses, which examines how radical agendas have influenced the IDF in recent decades.