Calling Armchair Generals

It is no secret: the ‘peace process’ between the Jewish People and the largely Muslim Arabs living in the Land of Israel is dead in the water.

[Some would say “stalled”; but if we are being honest with ourselves, as hard as that is to do – we would have to admit that there never really has been any progress towards peace in our region. Not in the past 200 years since Jews began returning in large numbers to this land.

And certainly not since 1948, when the State of Israel declared independence as the official homeland of the Jewish People, launching a combined Arab attack against Jewish settlements, from within and without the country. (We managed to win that first war, which our enemies declared would result in extermination of any presence of Jews in the Land of Israel.)]

Was There Ever a Peace Process?

Prevailing Muslim thinking sees the very existence of a Jewish State of Israel in the Muslim Middle East is a slap in the face of Islamic faith. According to a widespread interpretation of Muslim theology, any land that was at any time controlled by Muslims – such as the Land of Israel, for instance – cannot be governed by people of any other faith, and therefore must be conquered by all means necessary to bring it back under Islamic rule. But let us pretend that all the talk of peace between the Arabs and Jews of Israel really DID have a chance.]

Just the Facts, Ma’am

Here are the current, relevant facts:

There are more than 4,000 Arab residents of Judea and Samaria who are in Israeli prisons, for security offenses ranging from planning terrorist attacks against soldiers and citizens, to drive-by shootings at Israeli cars, to deadly rock-throwing attacks, to manufacturing and smuggling explosives and weapons for use against Israeli targets in Israel and abroad.

In recent weeks, some security prisoners have begun hunger strikes demanding that Israel conduct mass prisoner releases.

On Saturday, a 39 year-old prisoner in Israel’s maximum-security prison in Megiddo died in custody. Israel claims that he had a heart attack; CPR resuscitation efforts by prison authorities were unsuccessful. Israeli doctors, with family members and physicians from the Palestinian Authority, conducted an autopsy on Sunday. The results were inconclusive.

Israeli security personnel expect widespread rioting before, during and after the prisoner’s funeral, scheduled for later today, in a village near the city of Hebron south of Jerusalem.

In yesterday’s interview on official Israeli Army Radio, a high-level Arab official explained the position of the Palestinian Authority: the PA does not have the strength, or even the WILL at this point, to control any ensuing riots and related violence against Israel and her citizens.

Suggestions, Anyone?

So dear readers, imagine for a moment that you are the chief of the Israeli Police the Israeli Army, charged with ensuring the bodily security of Israeli citizens throughout Israel; or head of the Israeli defense forces, a general responsible for national security; or even Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel Prime Minister who carries the ultimate responsibility for all decisions affecting Israeli military and civilian security.

What would you do? What are the options in front of the Israeli leadership?

About the Author
Yisrael Rosenberg is a former New Englander who made aliyah 30 years ago. He lives with his wife and four children in Jerusalem.