Ramadan Roulette…writes Michael Kuttner

June 17, 2016 by Michael Kuttner
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Unlike its Russian namesake one can guarantee that every weapon is fully loaded and intended to be lethal.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

Every day is a target of terror but some days are more lethal than others. That is why Ramadan which lasts an entire month has become over the years a favourite time for the carrying out of terror attacks against innocent civilians. Regardless of whether those targeted are fellow Moslems or others identified as infidels the fact remains that a brutal war has been declared precisely at a time when faithful followers of Islam are observing one of their most sacred festivals. A time of fasting, introspection and dedication to good deeds has become hijacked in large parts of the Islamic world by an agenda of murder, mayhem, jihad and hate. This year is no exception to past years, all of which have produced a bumper crop of terrorist outrages against innocent civilians right around the globe.

Israelis have become used to the fact that as Ramadan rolls around each year, the level of incitement and threats mount in ferocity and the probability of terror is guaranteed. These days this Ramadan rage has spread to almost every part of the world. No country is immune from this toxic poison. Thus it has proven again this year with devastating results. It is instructive to observe the reactions of those targeted because unfortunately despite the clear messages of the jihadists there are still far too many who do not want to acknowledge the stark realities exploding in their faces.

As a gesture of goodwill, which many knew was futile, Israeli authorities issued permits for large numbers of Arabs from the Palestinian Authority (including Gaza) to enter Israel for the purpose of visiting family & friends and praying at the Al Aqsa Mosque. I emphasize the word futile because past gestures have merely been seen as a sign of weakness and exploited accordingly. Those who still naively believe that the rest of the world will applaud us for any humanitarian gesture never cease to be amazed when the opposite happens. In this case two young cousins from the Hebron area (without permits) managed to get to Tel Aviv where they proceeded to carry out a shooting attack at a restaurant. Families enjoying a summer day’s outing were the targets. The toll of 4 dead and 16 wounded could have been much higher if not for the quick reaction of security people and the public. The two terrorists plus another who had transported them to Tel Aviv were all apprehended. The Government immediately cancelled all permits to enter Israel which is rather like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.

What followed however ignited a storm across Israel. The usual suspects led by the US State Department and EU urged Israel not to over react and make matters worse! That was bad enough but to be expected given past hypocrisy when it comes to terror killing Israelis. Worse was to come. The Mayor of Tel Aviv, often spoken of as an aspiring leader of the Labour Party, was quoted by a variety of media sources as more or less laying the blame for this terror at the feet of the Israeli Government. This self-flagellation of leftist politicians and others is eagerly picked up by an eager media and those dedicated to the delegitimisation of the Jewish State. So it proved in this case. Caught out by the firestorm provoked, the Mayor tried to backtrack rather unconvincingly. In an effort to elicit a direct comment from City Hall I sent the following email and received a reply within a few hours.

This response leads me to conclude that as far as some people are concerned appeasement is alive and well. Despite the call for a Ramadan month of jihad and frenzied scenes of jubilant celebrations following the terror attack there are still those who cannot accept reality. Here are the emails concerned:


I am Israel correspondent for J-Wire,  Australia & New Zealand Online Jewish News.

Tel Aviv  Mayor, Huldai’s statement following the terror attack has sparked much attention among our readers. It would be most helpful if you could ask him to comment on the following questions posed by many interested persons. His clarifications would be most enlightening. 

  1. Prior to 1967 there was no “occupation” yet there was terror perpetrated by the same people as we are witnessing today. Was this perhaps frustration at the fact that Israel existed at all?
  1. Hamas which is a partner of the Palestinian Authority maintains that all of Israel including Tel Aviv is occupied. In the light of this can we assume that Mr. Huldai is prepared to negotiate the return of all or part of the city to those who claim it?
  1. Over 90% of Palestinian Arabs live under the control of the Palestinian Authority. Can they still be classified as “occupied?”
  1. Polls taken show that the majority of Arabs in East Jerusalem prefer Israeli citizenship (and benefits) as opposed to coming under the rule of the PA? Does this not say something?
  1. The territory called “occupied” was in actual fact illegally occupied by Jordan between 1948 – 1967. During that time no steps were taken to establish Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian State. In fact no interest in establishing a Palestinian State was evinced or implemented. Instead Jews were denied access to the Kotel and Jews were ethnically cleansed from half of the city and all of the West Bank. Does the Mayor wish this to be repeated again?
  1. Many Jewish settlements were legally established prior to 1948 in territory now classified as occupied. What should happen to them now that they have been re-established?
  1. Many opportunities have been offered by various Israeli Governments but in each case they have been rejected by Arafat and Abbas.  How can Israel be accused therefore in refusing to compromise?
  1. In the light of chaos in the Arab world and the rise of terror groups which threaten Moslems as well as Jews, how does the Mayor envisage a democratic, human rights supporting, tolerant Palestinian State to be feasible? 
  1. PA officials deny any Jewish historical connection to the Temple Mount, Jerusalem or in fact Israel in general. What does the Mayor think this bodes for a Palestinian State whose borders would abut Tel Aviv and suburbs?
  1. Official PA incitement and hate education inculcates among the population, especially youths, the notion that Israel, Jews and Judaism are illegitimate and therefore targets for terror acts. Does the Mayor believe that this will all spontaneously disappear if we give up strategic land and go back to what Abba Eban called the “Auschwitz borders” of 1949? 


Thank you and looking forward to clarifications for the benefit of our readers. 


I assume you are referring to the Mayor’s interview on Thursday June 9th.

Here is the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality’s response: 

“The Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo never said that Palestinian celebrations are a result of occupation nor did he support these actions in any way.

Mayor Huldai visited the injured in the hospitals and condemned the terror attack against innocent people.

He repeated his stand that the occupation must end by reaching a political solution with recognized international borders”.

 Meanwhile we have had the horror of Orlando. It took 3 hours for the authorities to subdue the terrorist. Despite shouting “Allahu Akbar”, Islamic State claiming the credit and evidence of past Islamic connections, the amazing spectacle of denial by the politically correct brigade is on full show.

Obama cannot bring himself to use the word Islamic terror and he together with other deniers on the left are still unconvinced that there is any sort of common theme. This sort of refusal to connect the self-evident dots manifests itself everywhere, from Wellington where the NZ PM denies any connection of this terror to radicalized religious fanatics and blames gun laws, to Washington and Europe where frantic attempts to ignore clear omens of further impending acts of terror loom large. This week’s murder of two French parents in front of their child is another chilling example of what is yet to come.

It’s time to point out some facts which may prove unpalatable to sensitive types.

  • Those carrying out these terror acts make sure to shout out their allegiance to Islam.
  • Paris, Orlando, London, Bangkok, Brussels and other targets have nothing whatsoever to do with occupation and settlements.
  • The slaughter of Moslems in Iraq, Syria and Yemen has no connection to anything Israel may or may not do.
  • The perpetrators have all been radicalized by an ideology based on hate and intolerance.
  • Gun laws have nothing at all to do with the ability to cause murder.
  • Note the double standards: when terror strikes Israelis the international community admonishes the Jewish State not to make matters worse and at the same time take steps to appease those involved. Furthermore we are lectured that failure to create yet another terror supporting State means we deserve punishment. When terror strikes elsewhere these pontificating caveats do not feature. Instead Parliaments pass resolutions, parades of solidarity take place and politicians fall over themselves to show solidarity with those targeted. When Israelis are massacred a mute veil of silence descends upon most of these same people.
  • Have you noticed that with a few exceptions, Moslem groups which are quick to denounce terror acts outside Israel are strangely silent when it comes to the same events in Israel?
  • Where are Moslem religious leaders, spiritual and lay? Have you heard them denouncing terror against innocent Israeli civilians?
  • Where are the Moslem moderates in all this? Why do they not rise up in revulsion and wrest back their religion from the grasp of the jihadists? They are it seems cowed into shameful silence.

An expert in Arab affairs has stated: “if you don’t name it – you can’t solve it.” 

That is why unless and until this poisonous plague is recognized for what it really is and defeated, the prognosis is bleak for most of the civilized world.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.


4 Responses to “Ramadan Roulette…writes Michael Kuttner”
  1. Yirmiyahu Natan says:

    With all due respect to Mr. Kuttner’s semantic gymnastics, it is an undeniable fact that Israel is sliding towrds the point of no return in the guise of a two-nation state that will mark the end of the Zionist enterprise as envisioned by Herzl.
    Anyone supporting democracy as the preferred means of government must recognise that Israel cannot continue denying full civil and electoral rights to all the people living in the areas under its jurisdiction whether it be Netanya or Nablus. The alternative, supported by the majority of the Israeli elecotrate, is of course to separate from those areas Israel conquered in 1967 containing a Palestinian majority and to annex the blocs of large Jewish settlement, thereby guaranteeing a Jewish AND democratic State.
    The ostrich like policy being practiced by Prime Minister Netanyahu and advocated by Mr. Kuttner will lead to a watered down version of apartheid and a pariah status for Israel on the international stage.
    Mr. Kuttner’s Pavlov-like weekly wailings about anti-semitism in every corner of the globe may satisfy his persecution complex but will not advance the State of Israel a milimeter towards a hopeful and better future.

    • Rami Reed says:

      Nonsense argument Mr Natan. Israel has offered a state to the Palestinians on at least 95% of the West Bank and all of Gaza numerous times. In 2000 by Ehud Barak, by President Clinton with the agreement of Barak. Both refused by Arafat. Ehud Olmert offered them a state including shared administration of Jerusalem in 2008. Abbas didn’t bother to even reply. In 2010, Israel at the urging of. Obama ceased any building in settlement areas fo 10 Months in order to get the Palestinians to come to the table. They only arrived in the last three weeks and after a couple of days departed. In the meantime, the Palestinians insist on a right of return of Palestinians to Israel, refuse to agree that Israel is a Jewish state, refuse to recognise any Jewish history in Israel, refuse to allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount. Indeed they state that no Jewish temple ever stood there at all and insist that not one Jew will be able to reside in any future Palestinian State. AND you blame Israel! Are you joking?

      • Ben Tzur says:

        Excellent comment, Rami Reed. Of course it is likely to be too complicated (i.e., simple truth) for Mr. Natan to grasp. There are some further implications to your observations that are probably even more complicated and obscure for such bright lights to grasp, such as that the historically consistent refusal of the Arab/Muslim populations that now call themselves “Palestinians” to accept any peace offer whatsoever, on any terms other than suicidal surrender, in 1947-48, 1967, 1979, 1993-4, 2000, 2001, 2008, 2010, 2013, and presently, proves that they reject peace of any sort with the Jewish state on principle, in any genuine form. They actually relish instead the present situation in which people like Mr. Natan can accuse Israel of wilfully and cruelly “oppressing and occupying” them. That justifies their terrorism and war. That is why, for example, they create a literal apartheid situation within the Palestinian Authority territory, cruelly keeping interned, permanently, hundreds of thousands of their very own “Palestinians” in the so-called “Palestinian refugee camps” right within their own “Palestine,” forbidding them employment, freedom of residence, or other normal citizenship rights, instead enslaving them as impoverished welfare recipients so that the P.A. can attract billions in international “aid” pocketed by their own Fatah elite, while warping the whole society with hatred. The PA has effectively created the “refugees” as internationally dramatized hostages against Israel’s existence. It has proven to be a real money-spinner and propaganda bonanza. Who can forget Arafat’s wildly applauded reception in the U.N., machine gun across his chest, back in the days when the U.N. General Assembly “resolved” that Zionism = Racism?

        The Fatah and Hamas do not want peace. They want war, and the annihilation of Israel. This has been their consistent policy goal, officially declared (in Arabic, not always however in English or other European languages) from the start of their existence. There really is no mystery about it.

        • Yirmiyahu Natan says:

          Mr. Tzur,

          I must give thanks where it is due to yourself and your associate Mr. Reed for assisting to prove my point. At no stage did I propose offering the Palestinians any kind of deal or offer – I have no illusions as to their obvious intentions for the State of Israel. On the contrary, I propose a unilateral separation from those areas under Israeli control which are home to an overwhelming Palestinian majority, where our teenage children are forced to stand at roadblocks playing God and deciding whether to allow passage to pregnant women and sick children. This morally untenable reality is poisoning the souls of our own children and has become distanced from the true role of the I.D.F.
          The blocs of Jewish settlement would be annexed with full human, civil and electorate rights being accorded to ALL the people living in these areas including Palestinians.
          This is the ONLY viable solution which will both preserve Israel’s moral fibre and prevent international isolation.
          Needless to say, such a move would automaticaly lead to less Palestinians having access to Israeli cities and settlements, thereby enhancing the level of personal security.
          While you and Mr. Reed seem to be most proficient at decrying the Palestinian human rights record, neither of you offer a hint of an alternative solution, seemingly being quite content with current reality. This being the case, I can only assume that you are either living elsewhere or have a pechant for masochism and in any case, have demonstrated most clearly why an alternative is urgently required.

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