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Israel forgot herself

PM Netanyahu and his government were blindsided, having left the country vulnerable to a shabby, terrorist militia of fundamentalist fanatics
Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a consultation amid Hamas rocket fire at Israel and IDF counterstrikes, May 11, 2021 (Amos Ben Gersom / GPO)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a consultation amid Hamas rocket fire at Israel and IDF counterstrikes, May 11, 2021 (Amos Ben Gersom / GPO)

The surprise attack from Gaza on Israel’s civilian population is not spontaneous but a well-planned and coordinated offensive, combining terror from the air in the form of 450 missiles (including Graz missiles with a range of 120 miles), with organized riots led by terrorist elements from within the Arab-Israeli community.

So far, the missiles have successfully struck targets in southern and central Israel, including Holon, Rishon Lezion, Givatayim and towns and kibbutzim closer to Gaza’s border. Over 120 missiles were aimed at Tel Aviv alone. Dozens have been injured, some gravely. Others have died. The attack is a staggering failure on the part of Israeli intelligence, not to speak of acting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who, by refusing to step down, has deadlocked the government in a hopeless cycle of doomed elections.

Ensconced in a quagmire of internal politics, while publicly gloating over Israel’s brilliant handling of the Covid crisis, Netanyahu has skated on peace accords made possible by Jared Kushner with Arab states that were never at war with Israel to begin with. In all the clamoring distraction and jockeying to retain power, Netanyahu and his government, and the military too, were blindsided by the vicious all-out Hamas attack, an attack of unprecedented scale.

Israel forgot herself. And in one thunderclap moment, her extreme vulnerability was laid bare by a shabby, terrorist militia of fundamentalist fanatics. Synagogues in Lod were set ablaze. The mayor called it a “Lod Kristallnacht,” alluding to the infamous Night of Broken Glass when Nazis throughout Germany rioted against Jewish homes and businesses, torched synagogues and took Jewish lives. At this moment, Jewish homes and synagogues are ablaze in Lod and in other places throughout Israel. Jewish lives have been forfeited, among them an elderly woman and her caretaker, slain by a missile that fell on and destroyed her home. Among the gravely injured Israelis are a five-year-old girl.

It is time for Netanyahu to step down, for the sake of the Jewish State; to relinquish control and to permit others to assemble in such a way as to create a balanced, vigilant government devoted not to maintaining power but to the safety and preservation of Israel and her people.

About the Author
Alan Kaufman is an American-Israeli novelist and memoirist. His latest novel, The Berlin Woman, has just been published by Mandel Vilar Press. His other books include the novels Matches (Little Brown) the memoirs Jew Boy (Cornell University Press) and Drunken Angel (Viva Editions).
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