Aliza Lavie

Keeping our cool in crisis

With Israel facing a daunting security challenge, now is the time to dispense with emotional rhetoric

In recent days we have run into a multi-dimensional situation that requires an immediate, decisive response to prevent further deterioration. It appears that the evil wind blowing in the region in recent years is now knocking on our door. In any case, we must be prepared for the possibility that in addition to the enemy that is close by and familiar, we may face, possibly in the near future, jihadist groups operating in our region and taking control. Such groups are possessed of an extremist Islamic fervor that has swept many into its ranks, and we mustn’t delude ourselves into thinking that its passion and its consequences will pass us by.

At this complex and sensitive time, the time has come for us to abandon worn out cliches such as “restraint is power” on the one hand, and “let the IDF prevail” on the other. We must take steps based on comprehensive strategy whose goal is to preserve Israel’s full power of deterrence. To this end, we must understand that the various events taking place are not a coincidence, and that these events interact with one another and feed on each other. I hope recognition of the severity of the risk we face will be reflected in the national solidarity that is the bedrock in any confrontation we must confront.

The solution to the current crisis, along with reducing the risk of a general deterioration or other crises, requires the immediate use of Israeli force. This is the way to prevent continued rocket fire across our border.

This complex confrontation must be handled with intelligence and wisdom while taking measures toward the strategic goal of preserving national power and deterrence. Not only do various calls for collective punishment violate the ethical norms of the Jewish people, they also lack the most important element of all: rationality and intelligence. Emotional actions taken out of hate and anger will not achieve the necessary objectives. At the same time, we must not give in to the common rhetoric that commitment to a measured response and not shooting from the hip means taking no action. On the contrary, our reality demonstrates that failure to act can have dire consequences. It cannot be assumed that non-action will preserve the status-quo. Wise intervention includes preventive measures, and not only reaction to the other side’s initiative.

It is our responsibility as a nation to apply the full extent of the law in order to rid our camp of its perverse marginal elements. Morality is not a legal cloak imposed by force, but a values system that is ​​embedded in our national DNA and requires the entire nation to act in accordance with its longstanding requirements.

Top priority must be given to the investigation of the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir and and to bringing his murderers to justice.

I send strength and hugs to the residents of the South and, of course, the IDF soldiers and commanders, regular and reserve — air, sea and land and security forces — everyone. We rely on you to restore the quiet and to bring our home back to a state of peace.

About the Author
Dr. Aliza Lavie served as a member of the Knesset for Yesh Atid between 2013 and 2019, serving as chair of the Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality. She is a senior lecturer at the School of Communication at Bar-Ilan University.