When the blood-curdling battle cry exhorting the masses to slaughter the Jews, “Itbach al-Yahud,” was first shouted on April 4, 1920, by Arab marauders rampaging through the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, it was accompanied by another mantra: “A-Dawla ma’ana” – the government is with us.
That was the first brazen reverberation of the trust that Jews can be attacked with impunity, that no deterrence exists. It was since oft-chanted during the perpetration of other atrocities during the British Mandate era masterminded by infamous Jerusalem mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini, most notably the hideous Hebron massacre of 1929.
In a broad sense, that same premise endures and it has spurred Hamas and its assorted Gazan cohorts – all Husseini’s avid torchbearers – to escalate their rocket fire, ambushes and other assorted provocations.
Their confidence was buoyed by a confluence of conditions. Foremost was the seeming Israeli toleration for the random rocketing of an ever-expanding sphere of population centers. Our prolonged inaction had lent the impression of powerlessness and, in our region apparent weakness only invites intensifying aggression. Continue reading