Eeta Prince-Gibson is an Israeli freelance journalist who once was editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Report. Her NY Times op-ed the other day, “Touring Terror in Jerusalem,” reminds us of the political and human costs of failing to achieve peace, and the danger looming of giving up on this vital goal today:
… Jerusalemites …. prefer to think that we’ve recovered from the fear and dread that took over our lives from 2000 to 2005, when terror attacks throughout Israel began to subside. The period that Israelis — in a combination of desperation and fatalism referred to as “the situation” — began [the day after] Sept. 28, 2000, when the then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon visited the Al Aqsa mosque on the holy site in Old Jerusalem known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif, setting off the wave of violence that came to be known as the Second Intifada.
From that September day through the beginning of Operation “Cast Lead,” when the Israel Defense Forces invaded Gaza on Dec. 27, 2008, 6,651 people were killed — 5,524 Palestinians, 1,063 Israelis and 64 foreign citizens, according to figures compiled by B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. More than 10,000 people were wounded.
Between 2000 and 2005, there were 1,048 suicide attacks against Israel, of which 903 were thwarted by Israeli security forces, according to data compiled by the Jewish Virtual Library. …