On November 23, two bags filled with nails, shrapnel, and explosives were remotely detonated during rush hour at bus stops in Jerusalem. Canadian yeshivah student Aryeh Schupak was killed. Israeli Tadese Tashume Ben Ma’ada, age 50, father of six, originally from Ethiopia, died later from his wounds. Someone I know was one of the over 20 who were wounded. He was left with a nail in his diaphragm and in his arm. He is an American citizen. The other injured American citizen was Naomi Pilichowski, who was featured in a New York Post article on November 25.
The use of remote-controlled bombs represents a major escalation and increased level of sophistication by the terrorists. There have been 280 terrorist attacks in Israel in 2022. There were 91 by comparison in 2021. There were 110 shooting attacks in 2022, compared to 25 in 2021. Israeli counterterrorism forces prevented over 500 planned attacks.
The White House condemned the attack and Ambassador Tom Nides said in a tweet that he was “appalled by the cowardly terrorist attacks in Jerusalem today that targeted innocent civilians including children.”
Unfortunately, as important as these statements are, they have to be followed up with concrete action. Otherwise it falls into the category of “lip service.” Without a massive outcry and outrage, nothing will be done. American citizens have to be protected abroad. The Taylor Force Act was enacted to help Americans in Israel. President Biden must stop funding the PA. It is clear that the “Pay to Slay” policy of the PA is still in effect. This is despite their words of condemnation of the bombing. Their words ring hollow, especially when they name streets after terrorists and continue to spew hatred against Jews in their textbooks and schools. Congress must do everything it can to prevent terrorism against Americans in the Middle East.
Since the Oslo Accords were signed, in 1993, terrorism has been non-ending. It has been a nightmare. It is totally unacceptable. No country in the world would put up with it. The lack of outcry and outrage reminds me of Hannah Arendt’s description of the Eichmann Trial in 1963, which she entitled, “Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil.” Terrorism is evil. There can be zero tolerance for it. No level is acceptable. It has to be brought to an end. It is not business as usual. The United States has a responsibility to protect its citizens anywhere in the world. One cannot sleep until this is accomplished.
Dr. Joe Frager is Chairman of the Israel Advocacy Commission for the Rabbinical Alliance of America; Chairman of the Executive Committee of American Friends of Ateret Cohanim; Dean at Kollel Ayshel Avraham; Executive Vice President of the Israel Heritage Foundation; and a physician in practice for 41 years.