Tags: israel | har adar | terror | killing

Aharoni: Historical Perspective on Israel's Recent Har Adar Terror Attack

Aharoni: Historical Perspective on Israel's Recent Har Adar Terror Attack
Israeli security forces and emergency services gather at the site of a fatal attack at the entrance to the West Bank settlement of Har Adar after a Palestinian opened fire on security personnel before being shot dead on September 26, 2017. (Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

By Tuesday, 26 September 2017 01:53 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Har Adar has been my home for almost two decades. As a former Foreign Service diplomat, I visited dozens of communities worldwide. I also spent 17 years living in places across North America, including Brookline, Massachusetts; Beverly Hills, California; and Manhattan and Westchester County, New York.

Har Adar, by far, was and still is, the safest community I have ever lived in. With a nearly nonexistent crime rate, it is the closest thing in Israel to a residential "gated community," where entry points are strictly controlled.

Indeed, yesterday’s terrorist attack, which claimed the lives of three young Israelis and severely injured another, is a dramatic event in the annals of our communal life.

It is dramatic for several reasons:

First, is its precedence. In its 31 years Har Adar has never experienced such a bloody attack.

Second, it has severely damaged the social and economic fabric of life on both sides of the fence. Understandably, Israel’s decision-makers will seriously hesitate before reverting to normal routines. Add to that the unquestionably devastating economic impact of the attack on the Palestinians in the surrounding villages.

Third, the attack further highlights the omnipresence of the "trust" factor. Even the most open-minded and moderate Israelis will agree that since 1860 there has been an ongoing refusal to accept Israel’s right to exist as a national homeland for the Jewish people. The "trust" conversation is a tough one, since it takes place within the realm of emotions. Whatever twisted personal motives the murderer might have had, the fact remains that he chose to pour out his wrath and frustration on Israelis. This serves as a painful reminder that the conflict is alive and kicking.

So, what will happen now?

It is important to hold this discussion in the right historical context:

Har Adar, founded on the foothills of the historic "Radar Hill," is a living monument to the heroic and bloody battle for Israel’s independence and struggle to exist.

In April 1948, the newly founded Palmach-Harel infantry Brigade, led by 25-year-old Yitzhak Rabin z’l, made several attempts to conquer the hill. The Brigade, which lost a total of 438 men during the entire war, lost 15 of them right here on Radar Hill.

In 1967, on the third day of the six-day war, the same Harel Brigade, now part of the armored corps, conquered the Radar Hill as part of a larger battle plan to conquer the strategic site of Nebi-Samuel. Dozens of lives were lost during this battle. It is no wonder that Harel Brigade’s official monument was erected on top of this hill.

In Har Adar we are surrounded by constant reminders of the fragility of life in our region.

For example, residents of Har Adar pass by the entrance to the neighboring Ma’ale Ha’hamisha (the "Five’s Hillside") kibbutz daily. In November of 1937, five young Jews, who had just arrived from Poland, were brutally murdered by Arab villagers from Qatana, another neighboring Palestinian village, known for its hostility until this very day. Three weeks later the kibbutz was established in their memory.

This is the answer to the question posed above:

Life has its own inertia and energy. We have overcome larger obstacles. However painful and difficult to curb, terrorism does not pose an existential threat to our nation or communities. Despite our hill’s extremely bloody history, Har Adar is a flourishing, thriving, and vibrant community. We are surrounded by four Palestinian villages, from North to West, yet we have managed to develop a reasonably stable eco-system with our Palestinian neighbors that has withstood dramatic challenges, including the first and second Intifadas. Whether we like it or not, these are our neighbors. Har Adar is a microcosm encapsulating life along the Israeli-Palestinian divide: constantly finding sanity, stability, and balancing mechanisms amid a bitterly violent conflict.

Ambassador Ido Aharoni serves as a global distinguished professor at New York University’s School of International Relations in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Ambassador Aharoni is a 25-year veteran of Israel’s Foreign service, a public diplomacy specialist, founder of the Brand Israel program and a well-known nation branding practitioner. He is the founder of Emerson Rigby Ltd., an Israel-based consultancy firm specializing in non-product branding and positioning. Ambassador Aharoni, who served as Israel's longest serving consul-general in New York and the tristate area for six years, oversaw the operations of Israel’s largest diplomatic mission worldwide. Ambassador Aharoni joined Israel’s Foreign Service in the summer of 1991 and held two other overseas positions in Los Angeles (1994-1998) and in New York (2001-2005). He is a graduate of Tel Aviv University (Film, TV, Sociology and Social Anthropology) and Emerson College (Master’s in Mass Communications and Media Studies). At the Hebrew University in Jerusalem he attended the special Foreign Service program in Government and Diplomacy. To reach more of his reports — Click Here Now.

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Har Adar, by far, was and still is, the safest community I have ever lived in. With a nearly nonexistent crime rate, it is the closest thing in Israel to a residential "gated community," where entry points are strictly controlled.
israel, har adar, terror, killing
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 01:53 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved