Jewish residents in the heartland of the homeland – Judea & Samaria – deserve more than the State of Israel has accorded them. As self-respecting Jews and committed Zionists, they are idealists without illusions, for their ideals remain even after illusions have faded away. Their persons, properties, homes, schools, businesses, communities, roads, and highways should be protected from infiltrating terrorists, cowards creeping forth under cover of night.
But the Israel Defense Forces and the Israeli government have let them down time and time again.
The incumbent gerant, Netanyahu the Negligent, is a splendid foreign minister but a lame prime minister. He calls for Israel’s enemies and the terrorists’ paymasters to condemn the very acts of murder and mass murder that the latter sponsor. Not only is this patently idiotic, but it presupposes that, were the desired condemnation forthcoming, it would be sincere and actually make some sort of difference to anyone.
It would make no difference, for instance, to Raziel Shevah (from Havat Gilad), Yosef Salomon (from Halamish), Dafna Meir (from Otniel), Naftali Frenkel (from Nof Ayalon), Gilad Shaer (from Talmon), Eyal Yifrah (from Elad), and the countless others who were cruelly murdered for being Jewish in the Jewish homeland and state.
They died like fodder, though they were human beings. They were our brothers and sisters, our parents and children, and they were stolen from us by bloodthirsty barbarians whose culture inculcates hatred and subsidizes homicide. All of this on our watch, with our government in place, with our armed forces at the ready.
Are we not our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers? Does their blood not cry out to us from the ground??
What to do is the pressing issue. We will not drown all of their firstborn males, for we are not ancient Egyptians. We cannot extirpate the enemy population wholesale, for we are not Nazis. We do not expel the entire enemy population, for we are not medieval Spaniards (or Frenchmen, Germans, Brits, Portuguese, Italians, etc.). We do not flatten their towns and villages in pursuit of terrorists and as collective punishment, for we are not Sri Lankans. We are Jews who bequeathed the values of justice and ethics to the world, and we must exemplify them. Purity of arms is a worthy standard to uphold.
But doing nothing – or the same thing over and over again – is just not an acceptable option.
At present we employ a finely honed scalpel instead of a blunt mallet, but this humane approach has proven ineffective because we usually use our instruments responsively, not proactively, and the method itself only locks us into a spiral of reprisals.
There is no sea change; there is no paradigm shift. And we are starkly reminded of this dark truth, all too often, when our blood spills anew.
Counterterrorism – The 4-Point Plan
So what is the answer?
Surely part of the answer is to go after a) the funders of terrorists (Mahmoud Abbas and the PA); b) the weapons suppliers of terrorists (see previous); c) the cadre of trainers of terrorists (ditto); and d) the active encouragers of terrorists (the muftis, imams, sheikhs, Arab media stations, Arab textbook publishers, etc.). If there is a chain of culpability, there ought to be a chain of accountability.
The second part of the answer is to continue to responsibly and methodically arm and train all eligible Israeli civilians with handguns for self-defense, something that began in recent years during the spate of knifing and car-ramming terrorists attacks. This initiative should continue until there is no longer any such thing as a helpless Israeli civilian reliant upon the police or IDF to rescue him or her from imminent and certain death.
The third element of the answer is for the state to treat terrorism as an act of war, not a crime, and to address it accordingly. Terrorists are enemy soldiers engaging in combat, and must be treated as the land-based kamikazes that they are, namely with lethal force. Any Israeli, uniformed or otherwise, who witnesses a terrorist act should endeavor to deliver summary justice to the terrorist(s) and be nationally lauded for doing so. When it comes to terrorists, shoot-to-kill must be the aim.
The fourth aspect of the answer is for Israel’s uniformed defenders to be allowed – indeed, urged – to act proactively and offensively against the terrorist gangs perched on and within Israel’s borders. Any nation that permits armies of murderers to continually arm, train, plot, and execute terrorist acts at whim with impunity is a nation whose common sense deficit poses an existential threat to itself. No other nation on earth would allow itself to be suffocated by a terrorist stranglehold, and no other nation does.
Until such a decisive counterterrorism plan is implemented in Israel, the lives and lifeways of Jews throughout the Land of Israel remain gravely vulnerable…and Israel’s foes know it well.