Arab leaders are consistent. They have never wavered in their hatred for Israel.
This doesn’t mean that Arab leaders are afraid of change. They’re not afraid, at least not when it comes to war against Israel. In fact, when it comes to their war against Israel, Arab leaders have been most creative (Joseph Puder, “Abbas’ Religious Incitement”, FrontPageMag, November 2, 2015).
For almost 100 years, Arab leaders appear to have waged at least twelve distinctive types of war against the world’s only Jewish state. Each war has a different tone. Each has a different theme. Each employs a different strategy.
Here’s my personal list of those wars:
The first type of Arab anti-Israel war was used before 1947. It involved small-weapons attacks against Jewish villages and communities throughout Israel.
The small-weapons attacks were committed by individuals, pairs of attackers, small bands of marauders and the occasional progrom-style rampage through Jewish-populated areas. These attacks and progroms (riots in which Arabs stormed into Jewish areas killing and burning) began soon after World War One. They terrorized Jews. But they failed miserably.
These attacks did little to stem the flow of Jews into pre-state Jewish Palestine. For example, according to at least one opinion, less than 4,100 Jews emigrated to pre-state Israel in 1931. In 1936, more than 60,000 Jews emigrated there (C.N. Trueman, “Palestine 1918 to 1948”, the history learning site, May 26, 2015). This ‘war’ changed nothing. But a lot of Arabs died trying to kill Jews.
The second war was an economic boycott against Jewish businesses in pre-state (Jewish) Palestine. These boycotts may have begun as early as 1922. Their intent then was the same as today’s boycott attempts—to stop doing business with any Jewish business in Israel. But they were focused primarily, I understand, on Jewish businesses in Israel. They had no real effect on Jewish economic development.
Beginning in late 1945, just months after World War Two had ended, the Arab League officially created its own boycott effort. This boycott was more elaborate. It applied to all Arab businesses. It also attempted to blacklist and pressure all companies, anywhere, to stop doing business with ‘Zionists’ in Israel. It didn’t do much damage. Its effect on Israel’s economic growth was negligible.
The third ‘war’ against Israel was purely military, in the most traditional sense of that word. In 1947-8, 1967 and 1973 Arab armies from surrounding Arab nations gathered to attack Israel. Their aim was to push Israel into the Sea. That war failed.
The fourth war to destroy Israel was a war of terror. This was created by Yasser Arafat. While ‘fedayeen’ (Arab guerrilla fighters) had been harassing (and killing) Jews after 1948, Arafat seems to have taken for himself the crown of ‘creating terror against Israel’. Fedayeen attacks didn’t do much.
The fifth type of war was a more elaborate creation of Arafat. It was a war of terror with a new name (‘Intifada’). It brought to Israel a new way to kill Jews (suicide bombers).
The First Intifada (uprising) occurred in 1987 (Puder, ibid). A Second intifada, much bloodier, began in September, 2000. Both ran out of steam. They killed more than 1,000 Jews. But they failed to break the spirit of Jewish Israel (ibid). Almost 6,000 Arabs died during these ‘Intifadas’ (“Vital Statistics: Total Casualties, Arab-Israeli Conflict”, Jewishvirtuallibrary). This war failed miserably.
The sixth type of war began in 2005. It’s called, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (the BDS Movement). Its aim is economic war, not terror or Intifada or military attack.
It aims to destroy Israel by crushing Israel’s ability to do business outside Israel. Unlike the original Arab boycotts of Israel, this one has received far more publicity. But it, too, hasn’t harmed Israel. For example, Israel’s trade with the EU has increased since BDS began in 2005, not decreased.
The seventh, eighth and ninth wars against Israel are all the invention of Mahmoud Abbas. Where Arafat created only small terror and the larger suicide-bomb attacks, Abbas has proven to be more diverse. His efforts have also proven to be more savage—against his own followers. For every Jew he kills, ten-to-fourteen Arabs die (“Vital Statistics: Total Casualties, Arab-Israeli Conflict”, jewishvirtuallibrary, 2014).
The seventh war is an Abbas-designed re-tread of an old once-used war cry against Israel: the Jews are attacking Al Aqsa (the Temple Mount)! The call he’s used in this war is the call for a ‘Day of Rage’.
He’s made much trouble with these Days of Rage. But the ones most profoundly harmed aren’t Jews. It’s the Arabs who’ve participated in these riots.
The eighth war is another Abbas creation: the so-called car-and-knife Intifadas. These are relatively new. But they haven’t dented Israel’s presence on the land. They’ve killed many more Arabs than Jews.
But it’s the ninth war that separates Abbas from all of his predecessors. This ninth war is the most horrific. It’s the most barbaric: his Fatah Party incites children and young teens to die trying to stab Jews (Ari Yashar, “PA music video: Nothing beats 'martyrdom' shooting attacks”, Arutz Sheva, November 17, 2015.
Through Abbas’s sick creativity, the world has seen for the first time the use of an 11-year old and a 13-year old to attack Jews on Israel’s streets. These attacks don’t harm Israel’s presence in Israel. They get Arab children killed.
There is nothing more sick than convincing children to die for your ‘Cause’. There is nothing more ‘Abbas’ than children killers who are shot dead while trying to attack a Jew.
In the ugly Arab war to kill Jews, Abbas stands apart. He’s the ugliest of all.
He doesn’t send his own grandchildren to their deaths. He asks his followers to send their children.
I can think of three other Arab ‘wars’, numbers 10, 11 and 12: the war to deny Israel’s connection to the land, the war to transform Jewish Holy Sites to Islamic landmarks and the use of lawfare—the use of international law to criminalize Israel. Each of these wars are part of Abbas’ repertoire. Each has had little-to-no effect on Israel.
Abbas is a failure. He has failed at everything he’s tried--in every area but one. He’s the expert at figuring out how to get his own people killed.