Texas Shooting to Israel — Trapped by Terrorism

As readers of my website know, Israel is often on my mind. The growing similarity to what we’re reading in the news lately — gives me pause.

Headlines too often in Israel — not the United States, are car rammings, shootings and bombings. Now, Palestinian-styled terrorism has been exported to the U.S.

With the church shootings Sunday, dead in the United States due to terrorism in 2017 has topped 100, with hundreds more injured.1 The two largest recent mass murders — on Sunday in Texas, 26 dead, and 20 injured during church services,2 and in a concert sniper attack in Las Vegas in October — 59 dead, and 527 injured.3 But there were six others this year alone, and in another unrelated event on Sunday, a woman in California was killed in a party bus attack.4 The statistics in both the United States and Israel are staggering…

As I was writing this article, news came in from Israel — on Monday…a Palestinian suicide bomber, blew up a car bomb next to a bus in northern Israel igniting a powerful fire, killing at least sixteen people and setting back the Peace process — what else is new…this is Israel, once again needless Palestinian terror and bloodshed.5

“The militant Palestinian group Islamic Jihad said it carried out the bombing near Megiddo, the Hebrew name for Armageddon, to coincide with the 35th anniversary of the 1967 Middle East war in which Israel seized the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”6

The attack followed talks between U.S. CIA Director George Tenet and Palestinian and Israeli leaders intended to initiate Palestinian Authority reforms to help stop suicide attacks7 —  this was the terrorists’ cruel answer.

The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports:

  • In 2016, [in Israel], there were twelve vehicular ramming attacks.8
  • Since September 2015, fifty-nine people have been killed in terrorist attacks and 827 people injured.9
  • There have been 186 stabbing attacks and 132 attempted stabbings; 163 shootings; 60 vehicle rammings, and one bus bombing (correction — Monday’s bus explosion makes that two).10

And we have to remember, Israel is only about the size of New Jersey. Unfortunately their terrorist statistics should be written in pencil as fast as they change.

In Breaking Israel News, Jonathan Feldstein, writes disturbingly of the Palestinian Authority’s encouragement of these attacks, whereby the PA pays salaries to jailed terrorists and the surviving families of the perpetrators:

The PA pays terrorists serving sentences in Israeli jails for acts of terror or their surviving families [after the terrorist blows themselves up], $324-$3120 per month, increasing with the length of the prison term [the more Jews killed, the higher the salary].11

A stipend to the family of a married civilian “martyr” with two kids combines to around $2500 per year. The PA allocates more than 7% of their budget annually for this purpose — $300 million dollars.12

If you look at it another way, terrorism for Palestinians may be the best job in town. Well, the results aren’t fun for the terrorist because you either are dead or serving a long prison sentence, but if you want to support your family — it’s a highly paid assignment and probably more than you’d ever make in a normal job. Proving, the PA is intentionally incenting their people to perform acts of terrorism.

This is the government the United States and others provide millions of dollars annually, and whom Israel must partner with for Peace.

Feldstein continues, “The US alone [referring to the fact that many other nations like the EU contribute to their funding as well] provides the PA (Palestinian Authority) with $300 million annually.  At that rate, every American is actually underwriting a ‘terror tax’ of almost $1 each.  Therefore, at least indirectly, all Americans are paying the families of murderers of US [and Israeli] citizens.13

Sometimes Americans visiting, or who have moved to Israel, get caught in the attack. For example, an American visiting Tel Aviv in 2016, Taylor Force was murdered by a Palestinian while walking along the beach.14

That’s why South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham and other senators are sponsoring the Taylor Force Act which would prevent funds flowing to Palestinians for these payments and requires the PA to stop promoting acts of violence against Israeli citizens.15

However, this compensation is so much a part of the Palestinian economy, there is concern that stopping these funds could destabilize the PA and also threaten projects that do help the Palestinian people. As always, there are never easy solutions in this part of the world.16

But in the United States not only have terror attacks been due to Islamic terrorists like in the recent New York car ramming incident, sometimes they are acted out by criminals for unknown reasons.

Devin Patrick Kelley, clad in a ballistic vest and carrying a Ruger assault rifle opened fire on innocent church goers, the victims ages five to seventy-two — tragic.17

Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter, was the son of a “psychopathic bank robber” on the FBI’s most wanted list.18

Sure there are the cases of Islamic extremists dedicated to the destruction of Western values here and in countries like Israel, but some of these perpetrators are homegrown, disenfranchised murderers. I hope it’s not a trend or a sign of the times. I’d hate to see our reality become like in Israel, with terror so common, people don’t have the patience to wait until they are safe…

As Palestinian missiles pummel Israelis, often the reason you don’t hear of hundreds of dead Israelis is because of Iron Dome — Israel’s super hero. It Is Israel’s anti-missile defense system that thwarts Palestinian rockets. It tracks the trajectory of incoming missiles and if they are headed toward a populated area, Israel sends this counter weapon to blow it up or at least knock it off its course.

If you’re in a bomb shelter, you’re instructed to wait ten minutes until the shrapnel has time to fall from the sky to the ground — you wouldn’t want to get bonked in the head from the falling object. Yet Israelis often don’t wait the full ten minutes. They are too impatient — too many bomb shelters have become part of the fabric of their lives. Not something I want as part of my reality — do you? How do I know?

That’s what we experienced on our family’s vacation in Israel July 2014, when we found ourselves in the middle of war — the topic of my book that will be out next year. The missiles landed close enough to blow apart my world as I knew it…”Blasted from Complacency,” is a story of touring, terror and transformation.

We saw first-hand what it’s like to live as an Israeli with terror a daily possibility…I pray the recent trends in the United States stop so we don’t have to face this unfathomable existence. If my true-life account sounds interesting to you, I hope you choose to follow me, or send me an email at Penny@PennySTee.com. I’ll be sure to let you know my book’s release date.

There are so many questions that need to be answered. Is this our wakeup call? True, Radical Islam is spreading, but in the United States, it’s much more complicated than that…gun control? Mental health legislation? What is causing the insanity?

Or do we need to be more proactive and help protect our suffering neighbors and the marginalized — do you walk by the homeless, and not see them? I know I’ve noticed their numbers are growing on the street, yet their faces have changed. No longer just the look of the dirty, unapologetic drunk — I see kids with their mom’s with signs — I need help… it’s heartbreaking.

I live in Orange County California, a region known for affluence — I’m embarrassed when I see shows advertised like The Housewives of Orange County. Yet I bet it would surprise you to know that nearly 50% of our kids have to be on school lunch programs — otherwise they would go hungry. Their families are part of the working poor. How do they eat when there’s a school holiday or summer vacation? Shouldn’t we be asking ourselves these questions?

You might wonder how I know these stats. My son and I have had a service project ever since he was five. He came home from Kindergarten on Earth Day and said, “Mom, I want to save the world!” A big proclamation for such a little guy! Ever since we’ve had a recycling project trading bottles and cans for cash. The money goes to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. So far our efforts have supplied over 18,000 meals.

I tell you this not to brag, although admittedly I am proud of my son who’s about to leave for college — but to encourage you to realize that a little effort can truly help lots of people over time. What could you do to help?

With Thanksgiving coming up in the next couple weeks, gratitude is on my mind. I’m very grateful for the life we have, and our bounty of love from friends and family — yet not everyone lives this way. Nor is it a guaranteed way of life — unexpected surprises happen often, just look at the news…

There are food drives this time of year. Instead of thinking you’ll do it next time, please stop, and fill your baskets with the non-perishable items requested. Many drop offs are right at the stores. This is the time of year when food banks stock their shelves for the year. Please keep that in mind.

As far as the growing terrorist problem, only time will tell which direction this insidious issue is headed. It’s concerning, and we better look at it with eyes wide open to stop it from spreading — for the sanctity and safety of our families.

As always, I invite you to Join Me on My Journey…

Footnotes

1 “Terrorism in the United States,” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_in_the_United_States#2010.E2.80.93present, (accessed, November 6, 2017).

2 “At least 26 killed in mass shooting at Texas church,” Fox News. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/05/mass-shooting-reported-at-texas-sutherland-springs-church.html, (accessed, November 6, 2017).

3 “Terroism in the United States,” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_in_the_United_States#2010.E2.80.93present, (accessed, November 6, 2017).

4 “California party bus shooting leaves 1 dead, 3 wounded,” Fox News. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/04/california-party-bus-shooting-leaves-1-dead-3-wounded.html (accessed, November 6, 2017).

 5 “Bus blast rocks Israel, The Daily Mail. htmlhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-119954/Bus-blast-rocks-Israel.html, (accessed November 6, 2017).

6 “Bus blast rocks Israel,” The Daily Mail. htmlhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-119954/Bus-blast-rocks-Israel.html, (accessed November 6, 2017).

7 “Bus blast rocks Israel,” The Daily Mail. htmlhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-119954/Bus-blast-rocks-Israel.html, (accessed November 6, 2017).

8 “Wave of terror 2015-2017,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. http://mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/terrorism/palestinian/pages/wave-of-terror-october-2015.aspx, (accessed November 6, 2017).

9 “Wave of terror 2015-2017,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. http://mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/terrorism/palestinian/pages/wave-of-terror-october-2015.aspx, (accessed November 6, 2017).

10 “Wave of terror 2015-2017,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. http://mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/terrorism/palestinian/pages/wave-of-terror-october-2015.aspx, (accessed November 6, 2017).

11 “Your Tax Dollar Funding Terrorism,” Jonathan Feldstein, May 10, 2017.  https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/87827/tax-dollar-funding-palestinian-terrorism-opinion/, (accessed November 6, 2017).”Jonathan Feldstein, May 10, 2017.

12 “Your Tax Dollar Funding Terrorism,” Jonathan Feldstein, May 10, 2017.  https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/87827/tax-dollar-funding-palestinian-terrorism-opinion/, (accessed November 6, 2017).”Jonathan Feldstein, May 10, 2017.

13 “Your Tax Dollar Funding Terrorism,” Jonathan Feldstein, May 10, 2017.  https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/87827/tax-dollar-funding-palestinian-terrorism-opinion/, (accessed November 6, 2017).

14 “Your Tax Dollar Funding Terrorism,” Jonathan Feldstein, May 10, 2017.  https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/87827/tax-dollar-funding-palestinian-terrorism-opinion/, (accessed November 6, 2017).

15  “Your Tax Dollar Funding Terrorism,” Jonathan Feldstein, May 10, 2017.  https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/87827/tax-dollar-funding-palestinian-terrorism-opinion/, (accessed November 6, 2017).

16 “Your Tax Dollar Funding Terrorism,” Jonathan Feldstein, May 10, 2017.  https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/87827/tax-dollar-funding-palestinian-terrorism-opinion/, (accessed November 6, 2017).

17  “At least 26 killed in mass shooting at Texas church,” Nicole Darrah, Fox News.  http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/05/mass-shooting-reported-at-texas-sutherland-springs-church.html/, (accessed November 6, 2017).

18 “Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, family battled mental issues, legal troubles,” Fox News. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/06/las-vegas-shooter-stephen-paddock-family-battled-mental-issues-legal-troubles.html, (accessed November 6, 2017).

 

 

 

 

 

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