A volcano of terror has erupted in Jerusalem, stoning attacks are rife throughout the West Bank and Israelis are dying in greater numbers from one week to the next. Israel is filled with talk of a new intifada.
For a while it looked like a military wing of Fatah was responsible for the killing of Eitam and Naama Henkin, a married couple killed in front of their children. The Hamas cell responsible has since been picked up, one of them from his hospital bed by undercover IDF commandos. If it really had been Fatah who had killed the Henkin’s it would have been a game changer. It would mean a full fledged, armed intifada was under way.
Justice Minister Ayalet Shaked has been tasked with making it easier to throw Palestinians in prison indefinitely and without charge, to make it easier to blow up terrorist’s homes and easier to shoot people throwing stones. These kinds of measures aren’t strategic, they won’t change the situation in the long run, they are a band aid being applied to an open wound. Ironically after eviscerating Abbas at the UN and inciting Israelis against him for years Bibi now finds himself in the position of needing Abbas more than ever before. It is the security forces of the PA who are the ones making sure suicide bombers aren’t being despatched against Israel and he knows it.
Netanyahu spent years pretending that Oslo, the process that gave Israelis and Palestinians their best and only hope of living together in peace, was the worst catastrophe Israelis ever experienced. Now it’s his own failed policies that are responsible for the terror threatening to engulf Israelis and Palestinians.
The Likud have had six years to implement their policies and gain results but it’s difficult to see any gains for Israel since they took the reins, only a deteriorating situation. Considering the amount of civil unrest both in Israel proper and in the West Bank and Gaza we’ve seen over the last six years one can only come to the conclusion that the man elected on the promise that he’ll bring Israelis security has brought us nothing but more of the violence he was elected to stop.
This is the man who never gave us a vision of a better world, he only sold us hatred and fear, a reality he continues to perpetuate rather than releasing us from. He can’t blame anyone else for this situation. He can’t blame the leftists and he can’t blame the Americans, he can’t blame Breaking the Silence or any other non governmental organisation. He certainly can’t blame Oslo. He can’t even blame Abbas. Though he’s likely to try.
If Abbas continues to force a lid on the situation it will die down but it won’t go away. The situation is called Palestine. It isn’t going anywhere. Palestinians want Palestine, they don’t want Israel. Our government is ideologically committed to imposing Israel upon them at every possible turn. As long as we have a government that chooses to pretend it can ignore the Palestinian desire for national self determination we will continue to face a West Bank that is a pressure cooker always threatening to explode in a fireball encompassing us both.
No one will believe our cries for peace as long as we continue build beyond the green line and we’ll never be able to protect our citizens over the green line where they will always be most vulnerable to attack. It’s a losing idea from every direction and everyone who has experience working against terror, from former heads of the Shin Bet, Mossad and IDF have said so and will keep saying so.
It is right that Israel fights terror, it is right that Israel goes after terrorists. It is wrong to think that it is, as Minister Haim Katz puts it “a sign of weakness” to stop building in the West Bank. It is wrong to think that Israel will be able to survive as an island, a country that can pretend the rest of the world exists only as a place to be stared at in silence by a Prime Minister who is certain all politics is local and is perpetually fuelled by a righteous indignation that doesn’t mean anything to anyone.
Tonight Jerusalem is mourning, the West Bank is on fire, rocks have been thrown even in Jaffa and the blame sits not with Oslo, Rabin or the left. The blame sits squarely on the shoulders of the Prime Minister and six years of failure.
You can’t tell a people their fate is nothing but life in a prison and expect that they’ll just take it. Fighting Palestinian terror is one thing, fighting the idea of Palestine is something else. At some point we’re going to have to make a choice; an Israel without the West Bank or no Israel at all.
So what’s it going to be?