In September of every year, the attacks on New York and Washington and the wave of terror that the world witnessed after that date are brought back to the forefront of our minds. Israel was the only beneficiary from the 9/11 attacks. It is also the biggest beneficiary from the wave of terrorism that hits the world from time to time, as no one is as good as the Israelis when it comes to exploiting opportunities and events.
On September 11 2001, when civilian planes hit New York and Washington in the United States, the Palestinians were getting ready to commemorate the first anniversary of the Al-Aqsa Intifada which broke out on 28 September 2000. They were also preparing to mark the first anniversary of the murder of the martyr, Muhammad Al-Durra, who was one of the symbols of that intifada. His death also ignited an unprecedented wave of global solidarity with the Palestinian people, when the people’s uprising almost achieved, in a year, what politicians couldn’t achieve throughout their 11 years of negotiations.
The year of the catastrophes in America and the world barely ended in 2001 when Israel began to reap the benefits of developments in the world and benefited from what was happening. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon landed in Washington before the blood of innocent people in New York and Washington dried up. He started an international campaign against the Palestinians, being the first to succeed in combining the popular uprising to terrorism. At the time, he managed to convince the Americans that the terrorists who flew the planes were the same “terrorists” who demanded an end to the occupation during the popular uprising, and that the child, Muhammad Al-Durra, was one of those “terrorists” who must be thwarted. The American administration was persuaded and Sharon was successful, making Israel the first to benefit from the crime.
The Israelis have benefited from all the consequences of this phenomenon, most recently from Daesh, which targeted everyone in the world, East and West, except for Israel. The organisation did not approach Israel and even the armed Islamist groups in Syria wouldn’t get close to the Golan Heights. They didn’t, even by accident, fire any of missiles towards the Israelis, who are only a stone’s throw away.
In the midst of the chaos of terrorism and the world’s preoccupation and battle with it, Israel has managed to carry out the biggest series of assassinations in the history of the Palestinian people. This campaign killed the martyr Yasser Arafat, after being besieged in his home for three years, Ahmed Yassin and others. It also violated the Oslo Accords and abolished the territorial division of the West Bank, including the expropriation of Areas A that are supposedly protected by international agreement. Israel also hindered the political process and seized land in order to build the wall, expand settlements and Judaise Jerusalem.
Ten years after Israel did, the Arab governments discovered the magic recipe and learned how to combine and confuse popular protest with acts of terrorism. The tyrannical and oppressive regimes succeeded in this combination, making political protestors terrorists, as well as bloggers and Twitter uses on the internet and those posting pictures on Instagram. These people are now being imprisoned on charges of terrorism, a charge accepted by the world rather than the accusation of “expressing an opinion” which cannot be accepted or understood by the world.
In short, the wave of terrorism and blind violence that has swept the world over the past years has cost the Arabs and Muslims a lot. They are the ones who are paying the biggest price and have fallen victim to it. This is clearly evident in the recent data indicating that Daesh killed 11,000 people last year, only 0.6 per cent of whom are Europeans. This means that the direct victims of terrorism are the
Arabs and Muslims. They are also the indirect victims of terrorism who fall victim to those who are skilled at exploiting and benefiting from the events in the world.
This article first appeared in Arabic in Al-Quds Al-Arabi on the 22 September 2017
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.