The kidnapping of the three Israeli boys this past week has delivered a shock to the Israeli populace: Hamas and terror are still abound in the West Bank. Now that this fact is completely out in the open, it is time for all sides to stop talking the talk and walk the walk.
The Palestinian Authority
Abbas and his cohort have been preaching the effectiveness of his union with Hamas as well as the governing strength of his regime in Judea, Samaria, and now Gaza. He has been telling every head of state who would listen that the Palestinian people are ready for peace. There are three options here: he is out of touch with his people; he is lying to the world; or he is representing no one but himself. Each of these possibilities is equally grave from Israel’s standpoint. If he is out of touch with his people or if he is representing only himself, a Hamas takeover is nearly inevitable. That is why, now, Abbas must start walking the walk. If he ever seeks to have true rule over the Palestinian areas, he must become in touch with his people and pull through the peace loving moderate that he proclaims to the world. He must denounce the kidnappings and work tirelessly to find these boys back. After all, if three young Palestinian boys were kidnapped by right-wing Israeli extremists, not only would Netanyahu and Ya’alon use every fiber of their beings to find the children and bring the criminals to justice, but there would also be an intifada against Israeli citizens. If Abbas is lying to the world, he is as good as lost to Hamas and the Islamist regime. Then he must come out of his cowardly cloak of “peace negotiations” and publicly embrace the truth of his radical agenda.
The Leftist International and Israeli Communities
Their man is in the hot seat now. Three innocent teens were kidnapped by Palestinian extremists and their man is saying and doing nothing. They must now crank up the heat. If Abbas is to be trusted in any sort of peace negotiations, he will have to decry this act of terror as well as put all resources towards finding the innocent and delivering the guilty justice. The US, EU, Israeli Left, and others might well consider retracting aid to the Palestinian Authority if nothing is done. There can be no progress towards peace if both Israelis and Palestinians are not secure. Therefore the only way towards peace is by putting an even bigger flame under Abbas’s chair.
The Israeli Right
The Israeli Right, the group to whom I ideologically cleave, needs to step up its game. Every day, Likud, Yisrael Beyteinu, and Habayit Hayehudi MKs challenge the peace process and declare that if there are any acts of terror Israel will come down with steel-clad wrath. As much as Israel is punishing extremists for this tragic occurrence (Israel has arrested one hundred fifty radical activists, including the speaker of the Palestinian parliament, since the beginning of the search), the actions are not strong enough. There is not strong enough push back against this new joint government so many of Israel’s right wing leaders berated. Often times, people say that it is tactless to politicize tragedies. However we aren’t playing high school president here–people’s lives and families are on the line. We must take what we can at any point and disable this menace to Israeli society before it becomes permanent. It is time for the right to call on Mr. Abbas and tell him to either do something or Israeli troops will be on the ground searching every last corner of the West Bank until the extremists are gone.
Ultimately, this horrendous tragedy teaches us a lesson: the jihadists are not afraid to act; we are. We will never be able to keep our country safe if we refuse to act out of hope of peaceful negotiations while they line up for a chance to detonate themselves and Israeli civilians in a Jerusalem cafe. It simply doesn’t work for us and it works for them–two things that are utterly unacceptable. It’s time we re-prioritize and put our safety above that of our belligerents.