Paula R. Stern

Jabotinsky and the Jerusalem Light Rail

Earlier today…last week, last month, last year…I wrote about the light rail being stoned…here’s a picture of what it looks like.

Note that this is right before the Shuafat station (I recognize the building in the background)…right as the light rail train goes THROUGH this Arab neighborhood allowing passengers from there to get to and from work, to and from shopping, to and from medical treatments at several of our hospitals.

Not a day goes by that I don’t see Arabs on the train. Twice I have been on the train when it was attacked at another predominantly Arab station (once the attack was with tear gas).

Note the size of those rocks in the hands of these Arab men as they prepare to attack…note that it is likely that the window you see in front of you is about to be smashed. It is unlikely that anyone in the train will be hurt because, in anticipation of this violence, the train was made to be quite secure. But money will be wasted, people will be frightened, time will be lost – a fortune in broken glass and damaged windows has already been spent. There isn’t a single train I have been on in months that does not show signs of attacks on at least one (and usually several or even most) on the windows and doors.

My feeling is that for every day the train is stoned, it should not stop in these areas for TWO days. Yes, they will continue to stone the train…or maybe, just maybe, the many Arabs who use the train every day and are not stoning it, will get up and stop these men from attacking because when they don’t show up for work, they won’t be paid; when they miss an appointment, they’ll have to wait for a new one. Only when they stop this from happening in their neighborhoods should the service resume.

This was the philosophy of Ze’ev Jabotinsky…and it worked. The concept was very simple. Put the people in the nearest village in charge of being responsible for the services or resources that are given to them or that run close to their village. If the services are abused and the people do nothing to protect them…the people of that village are responsible for the damage.

This was done…and amazingly enough, as expected, the area was protected once they realized the consequences of harboring criminals and terrorists in their midst.

If the people of Shuafat want the train to go through their neighborhood…and stop so that they can get on it, they are responsible for protecting it — the tracks, the station, and the trains that pass through.

If they won’t take responsibility — either reroute the train away from their neighborhood…or remove the stop and let the train go through without stopping — at least it will be a moving target instead of a sitting duck..

About the Author
Paula R. Stern is CEO of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company in Israel. Her personal blog, A Soldier's Mother, has been running for more than 5 years. She lives in Maale Adumim with her husband and children, a dog, too many birds, and a desire to write her thoughts and dream of a trip to Italy, Scotland, and beyond.