A 13 year old girl was murdered in her bedroom today. Her father was in the living room when he heard screams coming from her room. Her ran to her and found a 17 year old Palestinian leaning over her, stabbing her repeatedly. The father called for assistance and the assailant was shot dead by police. The girl didn't make it.
 
This is the latest tragic event in the current wave of violence that has been raging through Israel for the past six months. Hundreds of israelies have been injured in the past six months in such attacks. We've had a man machine gun a pub in tel aviv, two more go on a shooting spree in a shopping mall. We've had a bus taken hostage by two men, stopped only by alert citizens who rammed into the bus with their cars- stopping a potential massacre. We've had a mother open her house door to find a teenager with a knife, who stabbed her to death in front of her whole family. We've had a suicide bomber blow up a bus. We've had two 12 year old boys run with scissors and screw drivers – stabbing and murdering random children. We've had two teenage girls who stabbed an elderly man to death. We've seen an elderly woman come up to a policeman, only to pull out a knife and stab him in the neck. we've seen a man steal an m-16 from a soldier and open fire on passers by in a central bus station. We've seen a man ram his car into a bus stop, killing one man, then exiting his car with an axe and hack another bystander to death. We've had drive by shootings at cars, wiping out families. crowds of people have been run over by cars- used as missles, driven into them. And on top of it all- numerous daily stabbings against random bystanders - all at the hands of palestinains looking for the first jew they come accross to slay.
 
What has characterized all of these attacks, is that no one saw them coming. None of the killers belonged to a known terror group. None were part of a cell. All were "lone wolves" who seemingly got orders from no one. For this reason there has been virtually zero Israeli retaliation. No one knows who to strike back at, and the prevailing sentiment in the seemingly "hawkish" government, is that if we don't retaliate- maybe this phenomenon will die out on its own.
 
Well it isn't…
 
Another thing virtually all attackers had in common was – they were not poor. The prevailing connection points to upper middle class, ages 15 to 30, living very cushy lives- a car, house, internet, Smartphone, degrees in higher education, lively facebook account – and of course- a devout belief in radical islam.
 
Many of left suicide videos, stating they were eager to give up their lives in the name of islam. Many of them stated they were eager to give up their lives for the protection of the al-aqsa mosque.
 
For those of you who don't know, in the heart of the old city of Jerusalem lies a mosque holy to islam. It just so happens that the mosqe sits on the ruins of the ancient jewish temple destroyed roughly 2000 years ago by the Romans. The site is holy to jews, but out of realization that muslims have a tendency towards violence, the Israeli government forbids jews to pray in the large mosque compound. Israeli police will allow anyone to visit the site as long as there is no suspicion that he or she will pull out a bible and start praying. The fear is that such an egregious action as praying silently would cause the muslims to throw a fit and start world war 3.
 
And so - If Israeli police suspects you of intending to pray, a policeman will either accompany you, keeping a close eye that you don't even mumble prayer in silence or forbid you from entering in the first place. There are hilarious videos on youtube of religious jews accompanied by police - pulling out a bible, and simultaneously stormed on by a barrage of muslim fanatics who were just waiting for the occasion, and local police trying to stop them / save their lives / get them the hell out of there. There's even been one jewish couple that was caught on camera getting married at lightning speed while the officer was distracted...
 
So deep is the Israeli fear of radical islam that Israel is the one democratic country in the world where jews don’t have full religious freedom.
 
Such incidents of jews attempting to prey on the grounds of the al-asa mosque had been getting more frequent in the months leading to the current violent wave. They were still few, but more than at past.
 
The Palestinians saw this increase as an act of aggression, and their reaction can only be described as murderous. Mahmoud Abbas- leader of the Palestinian authority, routinely propped as a moderate and peace wising leader - spoke at the UN general assembly, and stated the "jews were defiling the mosque with their filthy feet". Upon returning home he gave a press conference where he said that "every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem, and the mosque - was holy." That "anyone spilling blood would go to heaven."
 
This is a world leader. Imagine obama saying this.
 
Palestianin TV iterated over and over that the "mosque is in danger". Social media filled up with instructional movies on "how to stab jews" – grab from behind, stab the neck…. Antisemitc cartoons were abound, thousands of likes, thousands of shares.
 
Imams in mosques began calling to muslims to "STAB STAB STAB – for the al- aqusa mosque".
 
More than six months have gone by. As previously said - the Israeli government has done virtually nothing to stop these attacks. Because there are no terror groups to target- and these are all religiously motivated "lone wolves" – the seemingly far right government decided to see if this thing will die out on its own. It was hoped that ignoring this phenomenon will keep it contained, as a military operation might lead to escalation.
 
Besides- no one in Israel really wants to destroy the Palestinian authority - inspite of its responsibilty for inciting the violence. The PA plays a double game, and a good one. Inciting violence on one hand, paying off murderers of jews lifetime salaries based on the severity of their crimes, and propping them as heroes – and on the other, working with Israeli security forces to stop known terrorists. There has been great debate in Israel if the PA indeed does more good or harm. This debate has left us paralyzed.
 
For a while, abstaining from action seemed to work. However The murder of the girl today, in her home, while she slept- followed by another stabbing attack later today – shows we desperately need a different course of action.
 
Some of you reading this may have made up your minds before finishing the first line. "Israel" means "occupation", israelies brought this on themselves and so on and so on.
 
I used to think the same- as an isreali living in Israel.
 
But this is not the case – and probably reason for a separate post. This is not "Palestinian terrorism" as much as it is Islamic terrorism. Global Islamic terrorism.
 
A direct thread of Islamic extremism runs through the gay nightclub shooting in florida, the paris attacks, Brussels attack, Istanbul attack, san berdino attack and this poor 13 year old girl stabbed to death. They were all killed by religiously motivated, radicalized muslims, who did not nessicarily need to be part of an organized terror cell. They did not require guidance. They had their minds poisoned with a monstrous ideology – and went out killing the first "apostate" they found.
 
Living in Israel has gotten me all too used to Islamic terrorism. It's a part of the landscape here, like earthquakes in japan. I've managed to grow thick skin to it. 3 months ago my first daughter was born, and since this morning when this poor girl was murdered I keep imagining my own daughter shrieking in terror from her crib as some monster who creeped in through the window is tearing her apart.
 
we are dealing with animals. plain and simple.

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Psychotic/sociopathic religious adherents are duped, brainwashed and incapable of rational thinking that contradicts their beliefs.

Creationists are attempting to make the natural world consistent with their religious construct. Those who accept evolution and actual age of earth/universe lack integrity and are not fully religious and as a result are more apt to have more progressive views about abortion, women and gays.

Religious and secular nuts can be comparable. The doctrinaire adherent of some political philosophy can be as dangerous and deranged as the religious adherent. If the psychopathology has a biological etiology it is readily distinguishable from one in which the impetus is from without.

[...] it is just a few rotten apples who spoil the apple pie.

But it's true, unless you choose to ignore a biilion people in the rest of the world who call themselves Muslims, or you insist (as a commanding "expert" on Islam?) that all Muslims must follow their scripture the same way as their extremist minority does.

I am not apologizing for Islam, as some butt-hurt/whiney anti-PCers would claim. I am merely pointing out that overtly declaring war on all of Islam brings us a whole lot more enemies than focusing instead on human rights and international law, and terrorism as true evil just by itself.

Indeed declaring war on a people through guilt by association...assaults the very humanist values one is trying to protect. If one group by race, religion, age, class or sexuality is targeted...then we all lose. Our secular humanist principles are worthless.

Pope is right about what we need to focus on...as naive as it may seem. You cant force secularism and broad liberal rights on a people nor carpetbomb them en masse. Painfully slow progress...with no guarantee it will work.

Pope is right about what we need to focus on...as naive as it may seem. You cant force secularism [...]

MmmmHhhhmmm.

But still push for secular rule in countries, as all people's "right" (per UN Declaration of Human Rights) to free exercise of religion or non-religion. It's as much a problem with dogmatic rulers as it is with religion.

Fundamentalists are purists. Fundamentalists are the religious adherents who are not making accommodations for modernity, science and reason. I judge of a thing when it has the power. And when major religious institutions have the power the percentage of followers who are fundamentalists is greatest. Modernity has eroded the power of non-Islamic religious institutions and there are fewer nuts.

What is most significant about my stance is that it places religion in its proper light: a haven for backwards thinking and backwards morality and one capable of metastasizing any which way since rational standards can never be used to rein in insane beliefs.

The notion that religion is a force for good is a disgusting and false one but the majority equate morality and religion. Therefore it behooves us to deny the idea that it is only a few extreme nuts who depart from the fold of religious goodness. What does it do when it has the power? How were Christians when they had the power?

What is most significant about my stance is that it places religion in its proper light: a haven for backwards thinking and backwards morality and one capable of metastasizing any which way since rational standards can never be used to rein in insane beliefs.

OK, so what else does your stance do for us, other than confirm our own correctness and give some people permission to blame liberals for evil that exists?

States can not and should not fight religious wars, for or against. But states can and should fight against theocracies and other despotic organizations that supress people's freedom of peaceful political and religious speech, whether it's Islamic or not. Even (say) blaming FGM solely on religion cannot eliminate FGM, as human rights must ultimately be respected and nurtured at the secular, state level.

That is my stance, because I think it's the best (and sometimes only) way we can make a lasting difference.

The lie equating religion and morality is greater than the lie positing gods. ( I know many or most atheists will disagree with me)  That is why we always hear ad nauseam how it is just a few sicko extremists who commit acts of terror.  And we constantly hear from rank and file brain-dead theists how religion and morality are intertwined. Instead we should alter the discourse first among educated people and ultimately the rank and file so that we know exactly what religion promotes and how detrimental it is to civilization.

That is why my stance is important.

And the other stuff you say is a non sequitur.

I feel like such a stupid American right now. I want to be and stay educated on these issues, and all we hear about over here is what circus act Trump is pulling next. Thanks for posting this. It is....very sad. I don't know what (if anything) I can do to help. Maybe just being informed is a good start.

@Pope Beanie — (taking the discussion to the top level)

I see a significant difference between our perpetual wars... enough to justify the stronger country to act more humanely. At present, both sides are bad guys, possibly forever.

Popie, baby, I'm not finding any actual suggestions. Should they send some people in before attacks on Hamas waving white flags (hoping not to be killed) and pleading with Hamas to let the innocent human shields go? Why would they agree to that?

So, what do you suggest in terms of killing off Hamas "more humanely"?

Popie, baby, I'm not finding any actual suggestions.

Can't you see what our own, conservative "stay the course" and God bless our country has affected the Middle East? Brute force killing doesn't work on religious idealists, unless brute force is elevated to a genocidal level. Perhaps we can eventually produce micro-drones that can move in closer to terrorist, and for longer periods of time for preemptive intelligence, so we can keep reducing the killing of innocents?

Killing en masse does not work!

Killing en masse does not work!

Well...if it's directed solely at people of one religion...it's okay...isn't it? I seem to remember Popper explaining the one single set of conditions that allows you to break the moral rule of not killing en masse and destroying towns and shooting children..or on the otherside blowing up a bus and sending flying motars into random neighbourhoods. I can't quite remember what those conditions are...but something tells me it has to do with one single Abrahamic religion. I can't figure out which one it is or why.

Fundamentalist versions of a religion, such as Wahhabism, are analogous to something like the Westboro Baptist Church popping up in 1700 or so, and gaining political influence....which in the 1970's oil embargo period, etc....lead to fulfillment of their political promises.

Essentially, when a sect decides that they are the only true version...and, also decides that disagreeing with them is punishable by death...their ascent to power is typically a guarantee of disaster.

The Saudis have this form of extremist religion, officially.  They are torn, internally, as they need to both be firm in their faith within their own political circles, and, soften their stance for the benefit of financial gain relative to commerce outside their inner circle.

This means that most of the terrorism associated with Islam is due to the Wahhabi and analogous "purists" such as Muslim Brotherhood, etc...with parallel goals but disparate beliefs.

THESE are what the rest of the world would call the "Bad Apples".

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