It’s been two and a half weeks since the murder of a member of my family, my son-in-law’s brother, Eli Kay HY”D. Since then the response of the Bennett government has been bupkis, zilch, and nada. You remember Bennett was “right of Bibi” and was going to form a government “to the right of Bibi”. They even named the party, “Yamina” meaning “to the right”.
Bennett gave no big denunciation of the attack. He made no policy announcements. He did not propose legislation or call for any investigation. He didn’t even come to the shiva. He did make a tweet – as in one tweet. I even double-checked by asking on the Yamina English Facebook group and, yep, that’s it.
We did fine without Bennett, and obviously he doesn’t need us – even the members of the family who voted for him. But much more importantly, there was no introspection in the wake of this tragedy of what could have been done differently that might prevent the next attack and that is criminal.
You see, the attacker was an employee of Israel. He taught Islam in a public school, paid for by the Municipality of Jerusalem and under the auspices of the Ministry of Education. The entire time, the security services knew he belonged to Hamas. He made no secret of it. He had a Facebook page supporting terror and specific terrorists (but since he wasn’t a Trump supporter, he wasn’t on Facebook’s watch list). He went freely to the Temple Mount every day and gave public sermons from there, as translated by MEMRI.
Perhaps, just perhaps, we should stop paying members of Hamas, just as we scold the Palestinian Authority to do?
Perhaps, just perhaps, we should have metal detectors on the Temple Mount to prevent terrorists from taking submachine guns there – as the terrorist did in this case, when he lay in wait there for a Jew to come by – just as we do for Jews visiting the Western Wall (Kotel)?
“Of course not!” Yamina and its coalition scream through their silence. What are a few dead Jews when we have more important issues to deal with?
“After all,” they would tell you, “We may not be stopping Hamas members from being paid as civil servants, but we passed a budget so no Hamas teacher will go without pay.”
“After all,” they would tell you, “We’re not stopping Muslims from entering the Temple Mount with submachine guns, because that might violate their religious sensitivities, but we did stop the omicron variant by cancelling the permission of South African Jews to enter Israel mid-flight and then deporting them on the Sabbath (including those coming to the Kay shiva).”
“After all,” they would tell you, “We may have no checks on terrorist teachers, but we do make any Jew wishing to make aliyah from America get an FBI check. We even made it so that if it ‘expires’ because it takes us too long to process the paperwork, we make them get it again!”
“After all,” they would tell you, “We may have the Muslim Brotherhood in the ruling coalition, but we don’t have Bibi or any charedim [ultra-Orthodox]. Because, if there’s one thing the War of Independence taught us, it’s that it’s better to be ruled by Muslims than Jews we don’t like.”
“So,” they would conclude, “Look at all the progress, because, well, priorities.”
I’d like to give a special shout-out to MK Itamar Ben-Gvir of the opposition Otzma Yehudit Party for reportedly authoring a bill to get rid of terrorist-supporting teachers. I have not seen the bill, but it’s a positive, and appreciated step.