In the space of barely a week, Palestinian Arab terrorists have singled out and stabbed Israeli women in three different cities, murdering two and wounding two others. There's no point in mincing words: this is a Palestinian "War on Women."
In the heat of American political campaigns, members of one party sometimes use language that sounds as if they are accusing their rivals of engaging in violence. One side will accuse the other of "assaulting" or "bashing" or "waging war" against somebody. But these are rhetorical flourishes. When candidate claim someone is waging a "war on women," they don't literally mean that their rival is killing women. It's a complaint about the other person's policy positions or opinions.
That, however, is true only in a civilized society. When it comes to the less-civilized--for example, Palestinian mass-murderers--a "war" is a war. And when the attackers specifically target women, as they are now doing, then--yes, it's an actual War on Women.
On January 17, a knife-wielding Palestinian terrorist entered the home of Mrs. Dafna Meir, in the town of Otniel, and stabbed her to death in front of her children. The next day, a Palestinian stabber attacked and wounded a pregnant woman, Mrs. Michal Froman, in a clothing depot in Tekoah. Seven days later, two terrorists stabbed 24 year-old Shlomit Krigman to death in front of a minimarket in Beit Horon. Then they chased and stabbed another woman, age 58.
Think about the deliberation that went into the Beit Horon attack. It wasn't just one "lone wolf," acting on impulse. Here were two terrorists--meaning that they discussed it beforehand. They made a plan; they selected a location; they prepared their weapons.
As the two Palestinians approached the Beit Horon minimarket, they saw Shlomit Krigman standing outside. They didn't have to attack her. They could have just charged into the minimarket. If even one of the attackers had any compunction about slaughtering a defenseless woman, he could have held back. But neither of them had any hesitations. They both stabbed her.
At that point, a man inside the store blocked the entranceway with a shopping cart. The terrorists saw a middle-aged woman outside, starting to run away. So they had two choices. They could have fled, and perhaps escaped with their lives. Or they could chase and stab another Jewish woman. They made a conscious choice: they continued their bloody war on women.
Women's rights groups around the world should be outraged. Feminists should be picketing the Palestinian Authority's offices. Anyone who is genuinely concerned about "wars on women" at least should be issuing angry press releases about the Palestinians' war on women.
But they won't. Just as they were silent every pervious time that Palestinian Arab terrorists have waged war on women.
Women's groups were silent when Palestinians murdered nature photographer Gail Rubin, a niece of U.S. Senator Abraham Ribicoff, on a Tel Aviv beach in March 1978. The Palestinians could have tied Gail up. Or they could have taken her hostage. Instead, they murdered her. The Palestinian Authority recently named a public square in its capital city, Ramallah, in honor of Gail's killer.
But one doesn't have to go all the way back to the 1970s to find examples of the Palestinian War on Women. A year ago, a Palestinian terrorist crouched on the hill by the side of the road just outside the town of Ma'ale Shomron, with a firebomb in one hand. An Israeli automobile approached. The terrorist was situated on the passenger-side of the car, and he was close enough for the firebomb to make a direct hit--meaning that he was close enough to see the little girl who was the passenger. Yet he threw the bomb. Ayala Shapira suffered severe burns; it was a miracle that she survived. Did any women's rights groups say a word about Ayala? Who today outside of israel even remembers her name?
Perhaps it is too much to expect anyone to care. After all, when has the international community ever paid attention to the other part of the Palestinians' war on women--their war on Palestinian Arab women? In the territories run by the Palestinian Authority, Arab women are frequently murdered in so-called "honor killings"--butchered by relatives who suspect them of violating Islamic morality. The PA's own laws ensure that such honor-killers receive lenient sentences.
If all the "human rights" groups and State Department wonks, who are deeply sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, do not speak up when Palestinian Arab women are murdered, what are the chances of them saying anything when Jewish women are murdered?
Let's be clear: it's not that women's rights groups or human rights activists or State Department types are indifferent to women being murdered. It's that they are so afraid of the murderers that they will do anything to appease them. They are terrified of joining the long list of victims of the stabbers and bombers and hijackers. Thus they quietly go along with whatever Palestinian terrorists do--in the desperate hope that they won't be next
Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.