I have been given a new adjective added to my name by a neighbor. She calls me a “kitzoni”, an extremist. Though I don’t consider myself to be one, nevertheless I wear the adjective with pride. I am a right-winger, a member of the Likud party. I was raised in the tradition of revisionist Zionism, a member of Betar youth, a devoted follower of Trumpeldor, Jabotinsky in particular, and the late Prime Minister Begin.
I remember when the socialist era in Israel came to an end with the victorious election of Menachem Begin. As I was rejoicing in his election to be our first non-socialist Prime Minister, someone remarked to me that his election was a tragedy for Israel. That “so called” tragedy brought peace with Egypt and later with Jordan. We had a strong and moral leader who did not hesitate to pounce on our enemies while embracing our friends. He brought security to Israel for the first time in decades.
If we had heeded the call of Jabotinsky for a state on both banks of the Jordan, we would be living in tranquility today. Now it is too far gone to reclaim the western bank in accordance with the terms of the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations approval at the 1922 San Remo Conference.
We are at peace with Jordan. It is a cool peace but nevertheless both nations have refrained from returning to a state of war.
In the past few weeks our country has been at war with Palestinian Arabs in east Jerusalem, with those on the West Bank, and painfully with our own Israeli Arab citizens who have taken up arms and resorted to violence against the state in which they hold citizenship.
The mayor of Jerusalem recommended that those Jews who are licensed to carry guns should carry them and use them if they feel they are being attacked by Arabs. Today, our Minister of the Interior, Silvan Shalom, suggested that Israelis who are licensed to carry guns may use them in the face of an imminent attack.
We need to do much more than that. Higiya zman… the time has come for us to do what we have hesitated or refrained from doing in the past.
Members of our Knesset from the Joint Arab List, like Zouabi and Tibi, should be publicly condemned for inciting Arab rioting against Jews on Temple Mount and elsewhere in the country.
Arabs who are arrested for rock throwing, fire bombing, suicide attacks should be immediately apprehended, arrested and imprisoned for the maximum sentencing.
Curfews should be enforced and those violators of it should be arrested.
Instead of building more homes in our settlements, we should demolish and destroy the homes of those who rise up to harm us.
Higiya zman… the time has come. How long must we show weakness in our relations with Palestinian Arabs? In 1948 we extended to them a hand of peace, offering them equality in our independent State of Israel. They responded by refusing the hand of peace and turned instead to the hand which held weapons of destruction against us.
Higiya zman… the time has come for stronger actions and new laws and brave judges who will uphold the laws.
How much longer must we read in our daily newspapers or hear on our nightly television news broadcasts the numbers of Israelis who were attacked, stabbed, shot, killed? How many more wives must be bereft of young husbands? How many more defenders of our nation must fall by the hand of an enemy? How many more innocent babies and children must be left orphans?
There is no partner on the Palestinian side. While Abu Mazen states that he opposes violence but supports peaceful protests, why has he remained silent and not condemned the deaths of innocent Jews? He accepts the nonsense and the preposterous Arab claim that the Jews wish to destroy the mosques on the Temple Mount in order to rebuild our Temple. No sane Jew would consider such a vile act, albeit there are a few lunatics among us who dream of it.
Can we no longer enjoy our café hafuch on a sidewalk café on Dizengoff without turning to the left and to the right to be sure that we can drink the coffee in peace?
In the name of peace-loving Israelis,I urge that our laws be strengthened, giving more power to the authorities to enforce them, and to instill fear into the hearts of our enemies, and more hope and tranquility into the hearts of the Jews of Israel.
A “kitzoni”? NO. But an ohev shalom and a rodef shalom.. a lover of peace and a pursuer of peace.. YES.
Higiya zman.. the time has come.