Jalal Abukhater’s article (There’s no cycle of violence in Jerusalem – only Israel’s lethal oppression of my people, 7 February), published days after a Palestinian terrorist murdered seven innocent people at a synagogue in Jerusalem on Holocaust Memorial Day, subordinates the value of Israeli lives.
Palestinians and Israelis are both suffering, and this pains me. This is precisely why the article illustrates a problem in the wider discourse – the denial of, and refusal to accept, Israeli suffering. In 2022, Israelis suffered from over 5,000 Palestinian terror attacks, including car-rammings, shootings, stabbings and bombings targeting innocent men, women and children on the streets of Israel. This is the reality on the ground. On 10 February, for example, a Palestinian drove his car into a crowded bus stop, killing three people, including two brothers aged six and eight. Just imagine you or your loved ones falling victim to such abhorrent terror on your way to work. This is precisely why Israel’s counter-terrorism apparatus exists, because without it I dread to think how many more zeros would be added to that 5,000 total.
Israel has shown its desire for peace with the Palestinians throughout the years, including several attempts to sign peace agreements in 1993, 2000, 2008 and 2014 and we continue to reach out for peace. However, violence is rife. Just this month, three Palestinian teenagers carried out three terror attacks targeting Israeli civilians. This does not happen in a vacuum. Unfortunately, Palestinian incitement is embedded within the society from a young age. Textbooks at schools, social media and Palestinian Authority policy are all geared towards violence against innocent Israelis. I am hopeful that there will be peace. For this to happen, there must be recognition from the Palestinian leadership that incitement and violence must end.
Spokesperson, Embassy of Israel to the UK