Not a time to be discouraged

Since 1 October 2015, the people of Israel experienced a wave of attacks in the form of knife stabbings, car ramming and drive-by shootings. It was not expected and it caught many people off-guard.

Many people asked the inevitable question if it is still save to go on tour to Israel. My unwavering answer is – despite the incidents in certain areas, it is save to visit Israel. In fact, it is now the time to stand with, and support the Jewish people. The best tangible way to support them is to visit the country and show solidarity with your presence in a seemingly difficult time.

The security establishment is very effective in handling the situation and although it is extremely difficult to predict these kinds of attacks, the security forces are quick to bring incidents under control.

I came to realize that many people do not understand the current situation, either by reading the wrong sources or by a lack of context. It is therefore important to understand how the current situation started.

The relative calm after the Gaza offensive in 2014 was broken by an attitude of incitement by the Palestinian Authority, and in particular by the hostile speech at the United Nations by Pres. Mahmoud Abbas. Lies was spread that the Israeli government wants to change the status quo at the Al Aksa mosque. It stokes the fire even more.

Ordinary Palestinians interpreted the statements of their leaders as a message to protect the Al Aksa mosque by fighting the Jews. To stop this kind of incitement, the United States decided to partially withhold financial aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Israel went through much worse times and they will prevail.