The carnage of innocents in a restaurant in Tel Aviv is only the latest in a long series of terror attacks on Israelis. The next act of barbarism is only a matter of time, as inevitable as it will be brutal.
The acts are devoid of meaningful political consequence. In the history of warfare, no regime ever fell to terrorism. Only two non-colonial regimes ever fell to guerrilla warfare.
Terrorism only promotes the victims to harden their resolve. The once flourishing Israeli peace movement is a shadow of its former self. It was beaten into the ground by the various intifadas.
The mendacity of the attacks is heightened by their being celebrated in the streets of Gaza and the Palestinian Territories, just as were the attacks on America on 9/11.
Israel regrettably treats the attacks as if they were acts of criminal violence. They are not. An entire social, cultural, religious, and political infrastructure resulted in four pieces of human scum calmly ordering food and then opening fire on people they only knew as Jews.
These attacks must be seen for what they are—acts of war. They must be responded to as acts of war.
Apprehending and killing the perpetrators, who are celebrated as heroes and whose families will receive stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer, will solve nothing. These attacks and others like it must be seen for what they are—acts of war. They must be responded to as acts of war.
Terrorism continues as long as people see some sort of profit in it. For the Palestinians, the profit is keeping alive a dying movement that no one really cares about, except perhaps for a misguided American president and “snowflakes” on American college campuses. The turmoil in the Middle East far overshadows the Palestinian movement. Without American and European funds, without UNWRA, the Palestinians would have to find a way to accept a Jewish state alongside a Palestinian one—something they refuse to do.
As long as refugees are paid to be refugees, Palestinian refugees will continue into yet a fifth generation, an unprecedented status in the history of humanity. As long as the American taxpayer continues to fund the Palestinian Authority, which in turn openly funds and rewards terrorists, terrorism will continue.
If you want to stop terrorism, you make it so immensely costly that the costs outweigh the benefits. You attack the infrastructure that creates terrorism and engage in total war against it.
Yes, the Europeans and the Obama administration will condemn such actions even as the unelected president of the PA cannot mouth the words to condemn the barbarism of his “heroes” and is already looking for a school or playground to be named after those who have heroically shot unarmed innocents.
For every fallen Israeli, build a settlement in his or her name. Get rid of UNWRA. Let the American taxpayers know that their dollars reward and sustain the families of murderers. Start treating this attack as an attack by the Palestinian Authority against Israel, not as the actions of four individuals.
When the spokespersons at the Department of State inevitably call for restraint, remind them that Israel will exercise the same restraint in the Palestinian Authority that America exercised in Afghanistan after 9/11.
Stop trying to win the hearts and minds of Europeans who call those who kill Frenchmen “terrorists” and those who kill Jews “gunmen.”
Israeli is a nation state in the Middle East. It must react now as any Muslim state in the Middle East would react to the same circumstances. That is something the Palestinians will understand.
Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati, and a distinguished fellow with the Haym Salomon Center. @Salomoncenter