I believe

I know exactly what you want me to say because I feel all the same things you do. I hear the devil whispering in my ear, same as I see him whispering in yours.

You want me to say that we’ve got to be a strong, powerful people. That when it comes to terror the Arabs have got to be made to understand that they don’t get to take the lives of our people and get away with it, that they don’t get to make us afraid and walk away.

You want to know that I understand that there is no amount of negotiation that will be acceptable to them, that there’s nothing we can do to make them accept our country but that they better believe there’s a helluva lot we can do to let them know that we understand the language of power. The only language they understand.

I know you want me to comprehend the fact that to the Palestinians there is NO part of Israel that isn’t a settlement and to know that as far as they’re concerned the only negotiated settlement that’s acceptable is one where Israel no longer exists. That every time a Jewish life is taken Palestinians need to understand that we will make all of their lives miserable.

That only then, with clear and undeniable representations of our power will the message finally sink in that we are here for the long term and that it’s time they took whatever they can get while we’re nice enough to be offering them anything at all.

I know that you want me to tell you that when they attack one of us they attack all of us. That our people are an ancient Middle Eastern nation as capable of killing our enemies with M-16s under King Bibi as we were with Spears under King David.

But I know that we have taken this approach for six decades and it still hasn’t borne fruit. It doesn’t work, deterrence hasn’t deterred our enemies it has created more of them.

If this conflict has an end, it isn’t going to come through us refusing to allow the families of terrorists to bury them. It won’t come because we destroy the homes they grew up in and make their families destitute. It won’t come from the use of blunt force for its own sake.

When we suffer dead and wounded in the most barbaric way it means that someone killed our people in barbaric ways. It doesn’t mean that everyone of the same ethnicity as the perpetrators of the crimes bears equal responsibility or that they should be punished collectively. It doesn’t mean that every person who considers him or herself a Palestinian is to blame.

When we feel the pain caused to us by those who set out to terrorise us we need to recognise that pain for what it is, not lash out against as many people as possible in a vain hope of changing the damage done after the fact.

I believe that we counter terrorists by countering terrorists, not by alienating an entire populace while lashing out.

I believe that we can create a country that can be the light unto the nations not a country that is a pariah amongst them.

I believe that we can be a Western nation, one that other nations are climbing all over themselves to invest in, to praise and to support but I know that can’t happen while we both court European investment and dole out punishments like an Eastern European dictatorship.

Decision time has been and gone. The years of peace, of easy security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority are gone now. But I still believe that we can create a future that holds more than the promise of war without end forever more.

I believe we owe it to ourselves.

About the Author
Marc Goldberg is the author of Beyond the Green Line, a story his service in the IDF fighting through the al Aqsa Intifada