This is a guest post by Stephen Hoffman
On Wednesday in Sarona Market, like most nights in the centre of Tel Aviv, people were eating, drinking, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. They were celebrating life; sadly terrorists who love death want to end all this.
Four people in Sarona Market were murdered in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists. Their only crime, just like an ever growing list of those who have died in Israel was being Israeli.
I’ve been to Max Brenner where the attacks took place tonight a number of times. The day before I had been all around Tel Aviv with a good friend of mine, as I’ve taken a short trip to see friends and family in Israel. Eerily, like the terrorists, I’ve ordered Brownies for dessert there too. Only yesterday I was in Tel Aviv with a friend, seeing the great things Tel Aviv has to offer. It is a city which will continue to be a joy for those who visit and so I am sure the terrorists won’t win.
My belief that Tel Aviv will continue to survive and flourish was clear for me to see first-hand when I went to Max Brenner on Friday morning. The place was nearly entirely full at 10.30am in the morning and was getting fuller. The tribute to those who had died near to the café was beautifully done. Most importantly though the people of Israel were not cowed, they were still going about their everyday life and in doing so sticking up two fingers to Islamist terrorists who value death over life.
The terrorists who murdered four innocent people are pure evil and it is sickening that the first action in response to the terror attack from Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s PM in Gaza was to call the terrorists heroes. It’s sadly unsurprising though when you consider that Hamas’s charter reads like the dummy’s version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. With a diet of incitement like this (I blame the system not the people) it is no wonder that in Gaza and the West Bank once news of the attack was heard, there were celebratory fireworks in Gaza City, Tulkarem, a refugee camp in Bethlehem and Hebron.
There have been numerous terrorist attacks in Israel over the past year. Frankly I am fed up of people worldwide and Governments either ignoring it or trying to provide context for it. What context are you looking for! They were drinking coffee and eating for crying out loud. What happened was in a place very similar to Covent Garden in London. We’d rightly be outraged by a terror attack in Covent Garden, so let’s be outraged when there are terrorist attacks in Israel.
No ifs and buts, this isn’t about a two state solution, settlements etc, this is about murdering innocent civilians, about trying to destroy Israel. In the mind of many Palestinian leaders who create the breeding ground for terrorists it’s not just the West Bank that is occupied, but Tel Aviv too. This was bought home to me last July when I visited a Palestinian refugee camp and saw numerous maps showing the whole of Israel as occupied and listened to a speech where the terms Jewish and Zionist colonialists were regularly interchanged. Sadly, I am not surprised in this diet of indoctrinating hate, for which Fatah is as much to blame as Hamas, that a number of Palestinians act on their hatred of Jews and Israelis through Islamist terrorism.
It’s about murdering people just for being Israeli and to be honest a lot of the time for being Jewish. The sooner we realise this the sooner we stop finding excuses for terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and then can stand wholeheartedly with the people of Israel when murderous terrorist attacks occur.
For those like me who want to show their solidarity with the people of Israel and Tel Aviv at this difficult time, please sign this petition by We Believe in Israel.
Stephen Hoffman tweets at @thehoff102 and has been active in Israel advocacy for a number of years.