Last week, a new hazard sign was introduced on the roads in Samaria between Ma’ale Shomron and Alfe Menashe. The sign was designed and implemented by residents of the area in an attempt to warn visitors as well as their own neighbors of the dangers of traveling their roads. The sign illustrates the constant danger the settlers have been facing. A typical day could include a Molotov cocktail or rocks being hurled at car windshields by Arab neighbors as they attempt to make their way home.
We have grown accustomed to Molotov cocktails and rocks thrown at windshields. Rockets falling near kindergartens have become the norm. Is this really the quality of life we deserve? Can we really expect nothing more?
Consider this. You wake up one morning with a dull stabbing pain in your tooth. You have a busy day ahead so you decide to ignore it. After all, it could just go away. You ignore the pain for a week, then a month. As time passes you grow accustomed to the discomfort. It becomes your norm. You adapt to the pain. Perhaps you chew on the other side of your mouth or you avoid eating altogether to elude the pain but you can only ignore it for so long. The pain is a symptom and a warning that something is wrong and needs your attention. Likely, the pain will become so severe it will become unbearable. What we fail to recognize is that while we ignore the pain, the infection spreads. The longer we fail to heed the warning our body is sending, the more the infection will fester and continue to grow, becoming more and more difficult to treat and remedy.
In Gaza, as we ignored thousands of rockets falling on our citizens in the south, Hamas grew their weapons cache as well as their confidence and finally made their move. Rockets on Tel Aviv, something we never thought possible, was the drastic event that finally taught the citizens living in the center of the country what it means to live under the constant threat of rocket fire. Our government was finally forced to take that trip to the dentist. Operation Pillar of Defense, tepid and short lived though it was at last an actual response from our elected officials.
What will it take to wake them up in Samaria? How many cars will be run off the road? How many more windshields will be broken? How much longer will we allow our fellow Jews to live in constant fear and danger? How much more tragedy can we be forced to face before our people rally together and force our government to open their eyes?
Alas, we have become indifferent and lazy. We have come to accept the unacceptable because we don’t see any other way out. The lack of outrage over these new road signs is appalling. We, as citizens of this country, have the responsibility to care and take notice. If our government won’t take action, we must force them to take action. We must rally behind our fellow citizens and encourage our government to fulfill it’s highest purpose and ensure the safety of its people.
Never again must be more than just a slogan. As Elie Wiesel said, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”
As a new government is being formed, perhaps more than just egos and seat counts should be discussed. Perhaps the time has come to develop a working strategy to protect EVERY citizen of our great nation.