Obviously we want to get our three boys home, obviously we need to do everything we can to make this happen and obviously it’s going to happen again.
Our policies that lure the cream of our populace into living in areas under military occupation make kidnapping incredibly easy for our enemies. The only thing surprising about kidnapping is that it doesn’t happen more often.
We insist that Palestinians are simultaneously out for our blood and that we need to live among them. This ridiculous standard has created a situation where it’s impossible to prevent kidnappings like this one. Three of our kids are now missing. We have rounded up 80 of the usual suspects, locked down Hebron and flooded the West Bank with our most elite units. Maybe we’ll find these boys soon, maybe we won’t. But until we figure out what to do with the West Bank once and for all we’re going to find that this is a scenario that repeats itself over and over again.
This is the innate contradiction in our actions. On the one hand we argue that Palestinians are our mortal enemy and on the other the government sends Israelis to go live in the very areas where those Palestinians who want to kill them will find it easiest to do so. Quite frankly it’s bizarre.
As our troops crash into home after home during the sweeps we’re conducting, as roadblocks are setup all over the place and as we frantically try and find our boys Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the flourishing Al Qaeda elements are celebrating. But they’re not (just) celebrating because of the kidnapping, they’re celebrating because our efforts to find these boys are pushing more and more Palestinians right into their hands.
Ask yourself how many Palestinians were behind this kidnapping? Was it 10? Was it 1,000? Was it 10,000? Right now there are tens of thousands of Palestinians who had nothing to do with the kidnapping who are suffering as a result. Ask yourself how many future kidnappers we have created through our efforts to find the present ones? Ask yourself if, by attacking Hamas now we have strengthened them further by sending masses of people straight into their arms?
Now ask yourself how long it’s going to be until more settlements are built because of this kidnapping. This nonsensical ideology that says that if the West Bank is dangerous the answer is to send even more Israelis to live there. Only two days after the kidnapping the Prime Minister has already managed to argue that it is both the fault of Hamas and the PA. He might want to consider asking the PA for help rather than alienating them further.
This isn’t going to end with these three boys. It’s time to recognize that this is the inevitable result of a government policy that calls on our people to live among the Palestinians and then cries crocodile tears when the inevitable happens. We need to remove outlying settlements, establish our borders and allow the military to operate in the West Bank without having to concern themselves with settlers and looking after them. Rather than sending our citizens into the West Bank we need to stop them from going in there at all.
We need to find these kids, to bring them home. And then to recognize where home actually is…and where it isn’t.