Palestinian Teenorism – written by Olivier Rafowicz

A new security problem is challenging Israel. This time it is not connected to ballistic missiles, Qassam rockets from Gaza or the  underground offensive tunnels of Hamas. This new security threat isn’t technically sophisticated and even Israeli scientists whose brains are capable most of the time to find solutions that provide the right answers to these threats, are baffled.

The problem starts when the danger does not come from  a sophisticated and developed machine but from the brain of a young Palestinian or Israeli Arab who suddenly decides out of the blue to take a knife or any other simple tool that you can find in your home and just kill a Jew because he is a Jew. Around 15 years ago, when the jihadist groups sent suicide bombers to Israel’s cities, I called the bomb attached to the suicide terrorist,  a “smart bomb”. Why? Because sixteen kilos of TNT explosives attached to a would-be terrorist who chose the best time and place to kill as many Jews as possible became a smart bomb with all the destructive aspects involved.

Nowadays, these young killers who are sometimes only 13 years old, take a knife and run out just to kill. This phenomenon is challenging the security authorities of Israel and we must understand what is going on and how to deal with this behaviour among Palestinian youngsters.

In spite of the fact that a general atmosphere of incitement and Islamic radicalism, supported by the Palestinian Authority and religious leaders coexists in Palestinian society, it is clear that they are not the only reasons for motivating kids and teenagers to kill and endanger their own lives.  They are teenrorists. This is a combination of terror and teenagers. This is  exactly what we are facing.

It is a deadly mixture of basic Arab hatred,  Islamic radicalism that is connected to confused brains and disturbs the  state of mind of teenagers who are using this behaviour to justify their killings and according to their beliefs, to show that their problems are a world issue. This Teenrorism is a new challenge for Israel and the western world because inflation of social networks,the sophisticated branding of Daesh and non-stop violence day and night is very negative association which isn t at all adapted to the static traditional muslim society .For these young men and women,this situation creates a discrepancy ,a distortion and a deep desire to move from feelings into action,where to kill and be killed is the only way for exit.

The rationale is “I cannot stand living anymore but I must make my death useful for what I believe is the interest of my people”.Even if the first reason isn t political at all. That is the reason why after attempted killing of Jews and once the killer has been neutralized the leaders and local media in Arabic call them “brave” and Shahids (martyrs). Even though that within Palestinian society everyone knows that they are independent and disconnected from terrorist groups, their leaders are trying their best to promote the fact that all these killers are a result of the political situation. This is not the case.

The Palestinian Authority at the highest level along with the families of these youngsters are directly responsible for creating teenorists. Instead of condemning all of these actions, they are inflaming the situation and motivating new ones. The father of the Otniel teenorist said that he was proud that his son had carried out an attack which robbed Daphna Meir, a mother of six, of her life.

Palestinian mothers and fathers with the medical and technical infrastructure in their community should go to the local psychologist to help their kids instead of supporting terrorism. The problem is that in this society there is total mistrust and even refusal to receive psychological assistance because it is considered shameful and not socially acceptable. In this matter, Jewish mothers and women could start an initiative with Arab Israeli women and psychologists by forming an organisation or project, that helps to identify potential candidates for teenrorism  before they leave home with a knife to kill and be killed.

Israeli society has a much higher respect for life and the lives of our children. it is very difficult for our society to face not only terrorism but teenrorists and kids that are even younger who perpetrate these killings. In this situation it is obvious that using  Psychological assistance and guidance with a global willingness from both sides to prevent young boys and girls from giving in to violence is a priority for all of us. It is not enough to receive the usual criticism from the Swedish foreign minister or Europe to stop this Teenrorism, something has to be done to save the lives of Palestinians and Israelis.

Teenrorism is bad for all sides and it has to be stopped.


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