The shooting in Tel Aviv once again highlighted the terror and violence faced on a daily basis by Israel and her people. However, writes JNS' Stephen Flatow, it also exposed five major myths regarding the Israeli-Palestinian situation:
Myth #1: “The problem is the settlements”
This was not a massacre of “settlers.” The attack did not take place in some disputed territory. Nobody can claim that the victims “provoked” the violence by living in some predominantly Arab area. These were people drinking coffee in the heart of Tel Aviv.
Myth #2: “It was a reaction to the occupation”
The attackers are residents of the village of Yatta. The Israeli occupation of Yatta ended when Israeli troops withdrew from the territories where 98 percent of the Palestinians reside in late 1995. Yatta has been under the rule of the Palestinian Authority for nearly 21 years.
Although Israel’s critics continue to falsely claim that the Palestinians live under “Israeli occupation,” the Israeli public knows better. The Israel Democracy Institute/Tel Aviv University monthly Peace Index survey for May 2016 found 71.7 percent of Israeli Jews say it is wrong to categorize Israel’s status in the territories (it rules the areas where Jews reside) as “occupation.”
Myth #3: “The Palestinian Authority condemned the attack”
The Palestinian Authority (PA) never calls such attacks “terrorism,” and always brackets the attacks on Israelis together with Israeli actions against terrorists, thereby justifying the attacks on Israelis. Its response to the Tel Aviv massacre was no different. It declared: “We condemn violence and attacks against civilians on both sides, whatever the justification.” The PA “not only condemned the attack in south Tel Aviv early on Monday morning, but also the recent Israel Defense Forces strikes on Gaza, and attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank and in Jerusalem,” according to Israel’s Channel 10 television network.
Fatah, which is chaired by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, explicitly defended the massacre...