Sunday, October 31, 2004

Terror has touched one in five Israeli Jews

JERUSALEM - A huge percentage of Israel’s citizens unparalleled in any other nation on earth are forced to live with the pain and grief produced by unrelenting Islamic terrorism, a study conducted at Haifa University has revealed.

One out of every five Israeli Jews has lost a loved one to the current “Palestinian” terrorist campaign, according to the survey.

That is the equivalent of approximately 60 million American victims of terror.

In addition, over 14 percent of the Israeli Jewish population has either witnessed a terrorist attack or stumbled upon a scene where murdered Jewish bodies were present.

Most of those polled in the study said they had adjusted their lives as a result of Palestinian Arab terrorism, and were pessimistic about the government’s ability to protect them.

Disturbing results

Professor Gavriel Ben Dor and Dr. Daphna Kanti-Nissim of Haifa University carried out the survey last month by conducting telephone interviews with a random sampling of 1,613 Israelis.

Nearly 29 percent of Jewish respondents said they had lost a close friend or relative to Palestinian Arab violence since September 2000.

There are roughly five million Israeli Jews, meaning more than one million had registered the loss of a loved one to terror in the past four years.

Fifteen percent of the Jews polled said someone among their family or friends had suffered injuries as a result of Arab terror during that period.

The results also showed that 14.5 percent of Israeli Jews had either directly witnessed a terrorist attack or had subsequently arrived at a site where the bodies of murdered men, women and children were present.

Psychological effect

The atmosphere of terrorism, suffering and grief has produced a serious psychological effect on Israel’s Jews, the study explains.

“If Israel has won the Intifada, as some pundits have claimed, it is having a much more difficult time in the psychological battle against terror,” read a press release issued by Ben Dor and Kanti-Nissim last week.

“Nearly one third of the Israeli public (28.1%) will have nothing to do with any event, person, or situation that reminds them of a terrorist incident,” their statement noted.

A full two-thirds of Israelis said they have less faith in the government’s ability to protect them than they had four years ago.

More than half of the public feels less in control of events affecting their lives, and 56.3 percent are pessimistic about their future welfare.

The numbers were even higher among Israeli Arab respondents, though they are rarely if ever the direct targets of “Palestinian” terrorists.

In search of a solution

Israel has for years searched in vain for diplomatic and limited military solutions to the terrorism plaguing its citizens.

Jerusalem has, under constant and heavy international pressure, refrained from fully unleashing its vaunted IDF against the forces of “Palestinian” terror.

An operation to forcibly disarm and dismantle the terror groups – in light of the Palestinian Authority’s decade-long refusal to do so – is a non-starter amid fears of the worldwide outcry it would produce.