In light of recent terror attacks, I have found it curiously and unfortunately frequent for people to dismiss terrorism as a status quo in the Middle East– specifically in Israel. Is complacency justified by the fact that terrorism is supposedly inevitable in this area of the world? Of course not. Then why is mainstream media coverage so oblivious (whether intentional or not) to the baseless hatred these Palestinian terrorists are actualizing? Has terrorism become too mainstream to report, or in other words, report accurately?
I am going to take the first jab at breaking this status quo. Growing up in a traditionally Jewish household with Israeli parents has exposed me to the beauty of the holy land of Eretz Yisrael and the sacred ties it has to my faith. In addition to my upbringing, experiencing Israel has given me the fidelity to declare myself a Zionist. In particular, the summer before I began college, following a densely packed, unbelievably uplifting ten days on Birthright, I headed to the city of Netanya to intern at Laniado hospital. With no relatives living in Netanya, housing accommodations were not finalized upon my arrival, but after a mere couple of hours at the hospital, I was settled in a home with a family I will always treasure. Excited for all the medical adventures that lay ahead, I walked to the hospital every morning with headphones on, music booming, and a skip in my step. I did not have to wear a backpack to protect myself from possible stabbings. I did not have to be trained in Krav Maga, on the off chance that a terrorist might attack me. I had no reason to fear being a Jew in my homeland— my Israel. My Israel is the sanctified cobblestone streets of Jerusalem. My Israel is the frenzy of the shuk (marketplace) on Friday afternoons. My Israel is alive and prospering. My Israel is not a warzone.
The horrifyingly long list of violent attacks in Israel that have occurred on a daily basis for the past two weeks do not seem real to me. The lack of accurate mainstream media coverage of all the terror in Israel is especially appalling. Israel is not a barren desert bound for continuous gunfire and conflict. Israel is an advanced society founded on the principles of a liberal democracy. It is an oasis of knowledge and innovation that is consistently setting records and jumping hurdles in the international community— from pioneering scientific research to actualizing humanitarian efforts both on the domestic and global front. It becomes that much harder to justify such attacks when one begins to realize what Israel really is beyond simply a constituent of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Unfortunately, mainstream media has fallen short in objectively reporting the terror—BBC just recently confidently reported, “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two,” despite the fact that this Palestinian terrorist in question had stabbed two Israelis to death. It is essential to get educated on the severity of this crisis beyond just reading and accepting deceiving headlines. Don’t simply acquiesce this information. These headlines circumvent the real issue of an uprising based on unsubstantiated and baseless terror running rampant in Israel. The headlines seem to equivocate both sides, in turn attempting to condone the gruesome stabbings and shootings that have made daily life a fight for existence.
There should be no attempt at justifying the terror attacks because these ruthless killings should be seen as murders and not acts of rebellion. Terrorism is not a reaction to alleged Israeli actions. It is the result of an indoctrination of outright hatred that raises its followers to wholeheartedly believe it is courageous, heroic, and necessary to murder Jews. As a Jewish student thousands and thousands of miles from the terror, I feel it is my duty to help get us one step closer to making this onslaught of terror an international priority. Stop the incitement. End the silence. Terrorism is not a status quo and will never be.
Tali Moore is a junior and a ZOA Campus Fellow at UCLA. She is also the student president of Chabad at UCLA.