By Stephen M. Flatow
More than a dozen Arab students at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem have been arrested for planning suicide bombings and other attacks, Israel’s Shin Bet security service revealed at the end of December. The news came little more than a week before the opening of the conference of America’s largest organization of historians.
During their meeting in Atlanta, the members of the American Historical Association will consider a resolution condemning the Israeli police for supposedly violating the rights of students at Al-Quds and other Arab universities by “invading” their campuses.
Shin Bet announced that it had recently captured 25 Hamas terrorists, of whom the majority are students at Al-Quds, which is in the predominantly Arab Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Dis.
Elsewhere in the same neighborhood, Israeli security forces uncovered what they called “a makeshift laboratory” that was being used “to create the explosives necessary for the attacks.”
The leader of the terror cell was a 24-year-old Al-Quds student named Ahmad Jamal Mousa Azzam. He’s a resident of Qalqilya, which is, by the way, under the control of the Palestinian Authority. Azzam is just one of the numerous terrorists who operate with impunity in the PA-run territories.
After learning from his Hamas terror bosses “how to create explosive belts and vests, as well as improvised explosive devices,” Azzam set about recruiting fellow students, an effort that met with considerable success.
Apparently some of the students about whom the American Historical Association members are so worried have something on their minds other than exams and varsity soccer.
The students “assisted (Azzam) in every aspect of the plot, from renting apartments to use as laboratories to purchasing the chemicals and materials necessary to create the explosives, as well as volunteering to act as suicide bombers in the planned attacks,” Shin Bet said.
Azzam was one busy fellow: The Israelis also captured a second terror cell he had organized in between pop quizzes and frat parties. Based in Bethlehem, “some of its members also came from Al-Quds University,” according to Shin Bet. Issa Nasser Issa Shoka, a 19-year-old Al-Quds student, “agreed to carry out a suicide bombing and also to help Azzam transfer money between the West Bank and Gaza.”
When the American Historical Association convenes its annual meeting at the Atlanta Hilton downtown Thursday, Jan. 7, its members will debate a resolution that condemns Israel for supposedly “impeding instruction at Palestinian institutions of higher learning.” The resolution claims that Israel’s security forces “routinely invade campuses in Jerusalem and the West Bank.”
Life in Israel involves concerns that don’t affect Americans. We don’t have to worry about students at our universities, in Atlanta or anywhere else, strapping on suicide vests to carry out mass murder. But Israelis do have that worry because it has happened so many times.
My own daughter, Alisa, a Brandeis junior visiting Israel, was a victim of a Palestinian suicide bomber. That is why the Israeli security forces sometimes have to “invade” (that is, enter) Arab college campuses. Because, as the recent news demonstrates, sometimes there are terrorists hiding amid the chalkboards.
Stephen M. Flatow, a lawyer in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.