Dear Mr. Netanyahu, How Long Can This Go On?

Dear Mr. Netanyahu,

I write to you as a concerned citizen of Israel.

When the current wave of stabbing and vehicular attacks began in September, many wrongly blamed you not just for allegedly bringing it about but for your seeming inability to instantly stem it.

Hearing such complaints, I urged people to be patient with you. In these awful circumstances, we cannot expect instant solutions and to hold you responsible for not preventing attacks is both unfair and indicative of a lack of political comprehension. You therefore implored us to remain patient and strong, as we have done so before in our collective history.

However, almost four months on, we are witnessing an escalation of attacks despite the measures thus far employed. The policy of cumulative reaction, frustrating but necessary, has proven itself to be inadequate.

Home demolitions, augmenting security forces on Jerusalem’s streets, placing temporary walls around various Arab neighborhoods, retracting work permits from terrorists’ families and, most recently, erecting barriers around bus stops may well have prevented more attacks each day. Nevertheless, the current climate of terror has not yet been resolved and cannot continue.

Israelis cannot be told any longer to remain calm but vigilant, to marshal their innate national spirit of hope to accompany them through the daily chores of life. To accept that a bus stop is now a danger zone is symptomatic of a foundering policy. No longer should Israelis be expected to confront the daily specter of murder, for combating terror should not be measured by a nation’s ability to indefinitely endure it in the absence of effective counter measures.

Partial success of a policy will not suffice and the good fortune of surviving an attack does not negate the fact that it occurred and continues to do so. On the contrary, when lives are being lost partial success constitutes a failure.

I ask you therefore, not capitulate to the notion that the status quo of cat and mouse cannot be changed and that the resolve of the terrorists may dissipate in time. You cannot persevere with strategies which scarcely yield results. Nor can you rely on the Israeli people to weather the deadly storm as knives are plunged into their children’s hearts and necks. You cannot expect the people of Israel to tolerate this anymore.

This cannot go on.

We look to you, Mr. Netanayhu, to protect us, to lead us, to use more than merely your voice and charisma to allay our fears and to remove the pall of terror which hangs over our heads. The time has surely come to take bolder deterrence measures, which, should they prove insufficient, must be replaced by even bolder measures until the people of Israel can live in freedom and security on their own streets.

The Hope” of the Jewish people lies in our ability to calve out our own freedom rather than in our enemies’ ability to show mercy.

I remain convinced that you are currently the only statesman worthy of the seat of Israeli leadership. My faith in you remains steadfast but it is neither unconditional nor impervious to logic. It is not too late to shift course.

I, a regular citizen of Israel, urge you to act, now, in a manner befitting of the Prime Minister of Israel. Should you do so and triumph over the unbridled hate which drives our enemies, your people will stand by you and, what is more, you will surely secure you place in history as a worthy guardian over the nation of of Israel.

Yours Respectfully,

A concerned citizen

About the Author
Alexander Apfel holds a BA and MA in Modern History. He is an IDF reservist in the armored corps.