Op-Ed: Take a Look at Middle East Terrorists and You'll See How Ineffective Gun Control Really Is


The unmistakable smell of smoke drifted into my apartment just outside of Jerusalem.

Setting aside my preparations for an upcoming meeting with a client, I peered out the window. Two stray kittens that had become unapologetic squatters in our backyard garden glanced upward, sniffing at the air suspiciously. I called out to my wife in the other room, and we exited the apartment to get a better look.

In the street, columns of smoke rose around us. The sirens of fire engines wailed as helicopters hovered overhead. Two yellow single-engine planes soared in tight circles above us, searching for flames upon which to drop their tank loads of fire retardant chemicals.

We made our way to a nearby overlook, a popular scenic spot to view the low mountains and forests surrounding the communities of Jerusalem. Smoke and flames rose higher and higher from multiple sources, including the main highway into Jerusalem and a popular local winery. Israeli fire crews worked strenuously among the trees to battle the flames, and my wife and I paid close attention to emergency channels to determine if our suburban neighborhood would need to be evacuated.

The cause of the fires is still being investigated, but I would be very surprised if it isn’t determined to be arson.

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Last August, massive fires tore through the exact same area of the Jewish state, also suspected to be the work of arsonists. And just last month, a fire was intentionally ignited outside of a Jewish community in the Yehudah v’ Shomron region, also known as Judea and Samaria, or the West Bank. In that case, the spreading flames came within 150 yards of the Israeli Jewish residences, and local firefighters found a Palestinian Arab flag impudently hung from a tree at the scene.

Additionally, attaching incendiary devices to balloons and sending them floating into Israeli territory is now a favorite tactic of Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

This wasn’t the first time I had gazed out my window in such circumstances, smelling acrid smoke and seeing an eerie orange glow reflected in the night sky. But that time it wasn’t in Israel.

Rather, it was in a Democrat-dominated American city that had become one of the epicenters of Black Lives Matter and antifa violence in the summer of 2020. Despite CNN’s laughable attempt to pass off such destruction as “fiery but mostly peaceful protests,” arson had become the weapon of choice of these violent rioters, causing over $1 billion in damage.

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And it seems that Hamas militants and other Palestinian Arab terrorists have taken note. Or, at the very least, they are more than happy to parallel the methodology of wanton destruction favored by BLM, antifa and their radical leftist cohorts. But what would bring Palestinian Arab terrorists to use the same playbook as far-left anarchists in the U.S.?

Gun control measures.

The Israel Defense Force has done an excellent job of clearing the Palestinian Arab-controlled areas in the West Bank of firearms and other weapons. But a problem persists. No amount of effective gun control can curtail the murderous hate burning in the hearts of militants belonging to Hamas, Fatah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and similar terrorist entities.

As a result, these organizations continue to steal weapons or smuggle them into the Palestinian Arab regions illegally. More pertinently, other forms of violence are utilized, including stabbings and car-ramming attacks. Slings loaded with rocks wrapped in wire and gasoline-soaked rags are commonly used. Rocks are incessantly hurled at both Israeli soldiers and civilians. Cinder blocks are sometimes dropped from freeway overpasses onto the Israeli vehicles below.

At times, Palestinian Arab terrorists have even loaded donkeys with explosive devices to act as unwitting suicide bombers, and in one case a donkey was pushed off the terrace of a three-story house onto an IDF Hummer patrol below. But rest assured, the violent terrorists have toned down those tactics after a strong backlash from PETA. (Apparently, PETA is far more concerned about animals being hurt or killed in suicide bombings than human beings — including children.)

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The point is simple. It doesn’t matter how much gun control is employed by even one of the most elite militaries in the world. Violent hatred always finds a way. How can these improvised weapons — cars, kitchen knives and even poor donkeys — be controlled, monitored and regulated? It’s very simple; they can’t.

It is no coincidence that arson is becoming a favorite tactic of radical left-wing anarchists and fanatical Muslim terrorists alike. Both are drawn to this method of indiscriminate, chaotic destruction because it is nearly impossible to prevent beforehand and very difficult to mitigate after the fact. A simple cigarette lighter and a gallon of gasoline can cause widespread havoc. (Of course, in Biden’s America, the rising cost of gasoline might force aspiring anarchists on a budget to seek other, less expensive flammable liquids as an alternative.)

Left-wing politicians and media outlets downplay this violence as “mostly peaceful” in a flurry of double-speak reminiscent of George Orwell’s classic, “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” In contrast, the same leftists have gone into overdrive to attack the right to bear arms, especially when those firearms are legally owned by conservatives.

The trend is alarming. President Joe Biden and the Democratic political machine are actively seeking to disarm their opposition. Meanwhile, radical leftists have no fear of gun control measures. Living in Democratic urban areas where firearms have been heavily regulated for decades, they have adapted and shifted to other methods of destruction — much like the Palestinian Arab militants.

In fact, additional gun control measures can only benefit antifa, BLM and their allies, as the conservatives who stand up to them — like Kyle Rittenhouse and the McCloskeys — will find themselves wholly defenseless while violent leftists retain their weapons of choice.

The nature of this trend also shows the disposition and intention of the two sides. Conservatives wish to protect themselves with precision weapons only to be used in cases of extreme emergency; the radical left wants to burn the country to the ground in a manner that Middle Eastern terrorists delightfully emulate.

Biden’s Department of Homeland Security has already warned us of an upcoming summer of violence (kind of like Biden’s predicted “winter of death”). The violence will allegedly come from “domestic violent extremists” who are blinded by “conspiracy theories” and furious about such crises as the catastrophe at the southern border. (Notice that Biden’s DHS doesn’t see the border crisis itself as a national threat; American citizens who are angry about it are the real concern.)

As we near the midterm elections and the Democrats in Congress scramble to enact wholly unconstitutional legislation restricting firearm ownership — with an unacceptable number of Republicans supporting these bills  — Americans all across the nation hunker down to see what exactly this summer of violence will entail.

And while Biden and the Democrats (as well as their RINO allies) seek to strip conservative Americans of their ability to protect themselves, it is an indisputable reality that the hateful and catastrophic weapon of choice of the radical left — arson — will be left wholly intact, to the delight of antifa, BLM and similar groups.

Just like the Palestinian Arab terrorists in the West Bank, the unquenchable hatred of the radical left will find a way to hurt, maim, kill and destroy.

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Ben Kerido is an American-Israeli special forces operator and former U.S. Department of Defense contractor focusing on psychological warfare training and now serving in the Israel Defense Force reserves. He and his wife Sarai live in Jerusalem and are writers for Intrepid Tower Publishing and hosts of the "From Israel with Love" podcast. They are also the authors of five books, including "The American Holocaust: Early Tomorrow Morning," an Orwell-style thriller and satirical parody of the American and Middle Eastern political and military arenas.