Jaffa waterfront is one of Israel’s showpieces. It is a location popular with Tel Aviv hipsters and leaders of study groups seeking to show the best of co-existence between Jews and Arabs. It was, therefore, hugely symbolic that this was the scene of stabbing carnage this month as the US vice president Joe Biden met with former president Shimon Peres, Israel’s father-statesman politician, less than a mile away.
Even more poignant was the fact that one of those killed in the attack was Taylor Force, a 28-year-old America MBA student and West Point graduate who served in the US military in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Jaffa attack attracted widespread attention (particularly in the American press) because of the main victim of stabbing and the presence of Biden close by. It was one of the few occasions when a vicious Palestinian insurrection has in recent months attracted any more than cursory media attention.
The current uprising, known as the ‘knife intifada’, has its origins over an alleged Israeli plot to take control of the Temple Mount. Unlike Ariel Sharon’s provocative walk in 2000, this time there has been no apparent trigger. Instead, the violence seems to have been provoked by rumours and faux anger on social media.