This week’s editorial was supposed to celebrate Monday’s historic Sde Boker summit, which saw the foreign ministers of Egypt, Bahrain, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates all in Israel to herald a new era of cooperation and progress in the Middle East.
At the summit, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken boldly declared that “once-impossible things have become possible” as the ever-warming ties between Israel and its new regional allies continued to inspire hope for a shared future of peace, stability and security.
Sadly, the people of Israel were delivered a harsh reality check on Tuesday night as the Bnei Brak terrorist went on his rampage, murdering five. The attack followed last week’s terror in Beersheba and Sunday’s Hadera attack.
Eleven dead in just eight days.
People with families and loved ones; families forever ripped apart.
While Israel continues to make regional advances in its diplomacy, domestically, the scourge of terrorism – whether committed by citizens with Islamic State links or by Palestinians – is still a very real and deadly threat.
We stand with Israel and its people and send our prayers to the loved ones of the victims. We thank those who have denounced this terror.
We also note Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas’ condemnation of the Bnei Brak attack and hope he will back his words by tempering rather than festering anti-Israel incitement, by ceasing the PA’s policy of paying salaries to terrorists and by returning to the table in good faith to negotiate a deal to end the conflict.
Abbas will only fail his own people should he continue with his intransigence. It is time he read the direction of the wind in the region, reconcile his people to the reality of Israel’s existence and work together with Israel for a brighter future for both peoples.
Which brings us back to Sde Boker, which was attended by representatives of nations who finally came to just that realisation.
And just perhaps, the summit’s promise is the antidote to terrorism; that Israel will prevail and look to the future regardless of those who wish its citizens harm.
Perhaps we are celebrating the summit after all.