Roger L. Simon

Who is to Blame...

… for the Tel Aviv nightclub terror attack? Well, everybody, if we are to believe this Haaretz report – and I have no reason to doubt it.

Defense sources had told Haaretz that the bomber, Abdullah Badran, a resident of the West Bank town of Deir al Ghusun, had connections to Fatah and Islamic Jihad agents in the Tul Karm region as well as with Hezbollah. Palestinian security officials issued a similar assessment.

Of course, the differences between Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad have always been difficult to discern. They are more about nomenclature given their mutual policy, which is simply psychotic religious murder almost certain to deny Palestinians a state forever. But the target this time, more than the Israelis themselves, seems to be the new Palestinian Authority, personified for the moment by Mahmoud Abbas. The ball is very much in his court and evidently our government is urging the Israelis to give him a chance. How long this will last is obviously unclear. Debka is reporting the stockpiling of heavy weapons by the PA, which violates existing accords and seems to me monumentally stupid from the PA’s point of view, unless they intend to use them on their own extremists. If they start to turn them on the Israelis, I predict in short order most Palestinians will find themselves east of the Jordan River and likely to remain there.

UPDATE: Captain’s Quarters takes a different view. Ed Morrissey seems to believe that Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad can actually be differentiated in an ultimate sense. I respectfully disagree. I believe they share personnel, goals, information, everything, and take credit in the most elusive way possible. What is Al Qaeda, after all, but the fungible name of the old Muslim Brotherhood? There are new ones every day. It goes on.

Of course the most important development may be this:

The bomber’s family announced by loudspeaker that Mr. Badran had carried out a “martyrdom operation.”

But the mood in his West Bank village was subdued and without celebration, as has often been the case with such attacks, Reuters reported.