Israelis Living Under the Knives

knife attack

A new wave of terror is now visiting Israeli civilians. It is occurring everywhere, in cities big and small, on a daily basis.

It is a new terror, with a new weapon -- the terror of the knife.

Unfortunately, terrorism attacks are nothing new in Israel. They've been occurring since the beginning of the state.

Even as the first Israeli prime minister, David Ben Gurion, was reading the Israeli declaration of independence, the Egyptian air force had already started to bomb Tel Aviv.

In the years since then, Jewish Israelis have learned to live with on-and-off terror attacks from their Arab neighbors. Near the borders, children learned to rush to shelters when sirens are sounded.

Over the years, the acts of terror included many bombings -- targets included teens waiting in line to get into a Tel Aviv beach cafe, a popular restaurant in Jerusalem and many municipal buses. There have also been stonings and shootings at civilian Israeli cars. Arabs have driven cars and heavy equipment into crowds, killing many. Young and old have been indiscriminately wounded and killed by Arab terrorists.

In 2000, an official Arab intifada (uprising, throwing off) was launched. Bombs were detonated and stones were thrown at cars and people, causing injuries and even deaths. The intifada lasted about five years.

Then Gaza was given to the Palestinians, and from there rockets were launched daily at Israeli cities. This, too, seemed to have petered out, especially with the rebuff of the rockets by the Iron Dome installations, which met hostile rockets in mid-air and detonated them.

Here and there, especially in the West Bank, there were still many Arab attacks on civilians. Most of an entire family was killed in a settlement, with everyone's throat cut, including that of a baby.

But then there was, in general, a quiet. A dividing wall built by Israel had helped to keep down the terrorism. Through all of the terror attacks, the Israelis went about their business, with the streets full of energetic people. They felt prepared for the worst. All new buildings had to include bomb shelters and bomb-resistant special rooms.

But a bit over a month ago, a new wave of terror began, one that has even more strongly affected the Jewish Israeli populace. Just after the Jewish new year, a young couple was shot to death in their car, in front of their young children who were in the back seat. Prior to the present wave, terrorist attacks came predominately from Arabs who lived outside of Israel proper, but many of these attacks now are committed by young Israeli Arabs, those who have Israeli citizenship with all of its benefits, education, health care and voting rights.

These Israeli Arabs are targeting Israelis and stabbing them.