Dayenu… when enough is enough

I am angry. Very angry. In fact, I am boiling with anger. In recent weeks the Palestinians have declared an open war against us. But we have not responded to their declaration of war in kind. Every day our soldiers are murdered, our children and parents stabbed on their way to prayers at the Western Wall. Our defense of our military and civilians has been lacking in strength.

Sukkot is one of our three annual pilgrimage festivals during which we visit Jerusalem and bring our offerings. Not sacrifices, but prayers. Tragically it is we who have become the sacrifices. I am angry that I cannot make my way to the Kotel without fear of being stabbed by a young Arab terrorist. I am angry that I cannot walk freely in the Old City without four eyes searching in all directions to look for an Arab who might be approaching me with a concealed weapon of death.

I am angry that we, the people of Israel, have not revolted against our leadership, have not gone on hunger strikes in front of the Prime Minister’s residence or the Knesset to demonstrate for more severe action not just to curb these terrorist activities but to put an end to them.

Once again, I revert back to measures that were successfully employed by the British during the days of the Mandate. A general curfew should be imposed in the Old City of Jerusalem. No one under the age of thirty should be allowed on the streets from nine in the evening until six in the morning. Those caught in violation of the curfew should be shot on sight. Arab shops in the Old City should be required to close during those hours. The lack of tourists being able to visit their shops can put a dent into the Arab economy which may compel them to help end the plague of death in the Old City.

Similar curfews should be imposed in Ramallah, Nablus and other Palestinian cities and villages in the West Bank to curtail the violence and wanton slayings of innocent civilians.

I am angry that in my own country I have to fear walking the streets of my capital city. American Jewish youth had once organized a Jewish Defense League to protect Jews from being attacked. They were armed only with baseball bats to strike the heads of would be attackers and assailants. Why can’t we recruit our youth to join in the patrols of the streets and alleys of the maze of Jerusalem’s passages?

I cannot carry a small knife for my defense when going through the metal detectors at the Jaffa or Dung gates. So I have to deposit my weapon in the home of a friend who lives in the Jewish Quarter and retrieve it from there when I walk through the streets of danger. The Palestinian war against us must be met by a Jewish war against them. Laws and words have not been effective. If Jewish blood has been spilled, so must Arab blood. “Ayin tachat ayin” is a Biblical reminder of what we need to do.

The prophet cried out “shalom shalom v’ain shalom”… peace, peace but there is no peace. No words ring out more truly than those. We talk about peace, we pray for peace, we hope for peace, we long for peace, but there is no peace. And there will never be peace until our government changes its policies, admits its failures, and initiates at once measures to end the Palestinian war against us.

Our beautiful country has been turned into a bloody battlefield. And I am angry. When a family drives with its young children and is attacked by bullets which kill them, when a youngster is stabbed as he walks to the Kotel, when a father of seven children runs to the defense of a stabbed soldier and he himself is stabbed to death, I say “Dayenu”… it is enough. Enforce a curfew. Demolish homes of perpetrators. Shoot to kill those in violation of the laws. Show no restraint, no hesitation, no fear. The enemies among us must be destroyed. Our human sacrifices demand it. They cry out from their graves begging us to avenge their deaths.

Every Jew in Israel should be able to walk the streets and drive the roads, highways and byways of our beloved homeland without fear of being struck by a rock, stabbed by a knife, or shot by a bullet.
Dayenu…. It is enough of fear, destruction and death. It is more than enough. Dayenu !

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.