Aharon Gottlieb
Don't lose sight of the bigger picture.

The Intifada has never ended

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It is time to face the truth and admit that the Intifada has never ended and needs to be addressed once and for all by the Israeli government. I pay here no tribute to the abhorrent uprisings that took place commencing in 1987 and are also still ongoing. The real Intifada started much earlier, before the State of Israel was formally established. This is a more complex and inclusive definition that takes into account events against the Jewish presence in the land of Israel going back to the first years of the 20th century of the common era. Events that resulted in the formation of HaShomer, Haganah, Lehi and other organizations that, in way or another, made Jewish life viable in the Yishuv.

Israel is currently being attacked by the same enemy on several fronts, ranging from terrorist infiltrations, UAVs (drones), incendiary kites and the weekly guerrilla-method chaos in the south to the concerted attacks in Judea and Samaria, and the Iranian presence right on the porch of anyone living in the north. This week, we mourn the loss of a teenager, Rina Shnerb z”l. We also saw an off-duty soldier nearly strangled. Last week, we mourned the loss of Dvir Sorek z”l, with Palestinians handing out candy in the streets and setting off fireworks, as they also did to celebrate 9/11. Considering what has been in the news lately, it seems that cases have only been growing. This is of course not taking into what goes unreported for a number of reasons.

In 2016, the Shin Bet thwarted 344 organized Palestinian attacks. This figure increased to 400 thwarted Palestinian attacks in 2017, as well as 1,100 Palestinian lone wolf attacks. It further increased in 2018 to 480 thwarted Palestinian attacks and 590 Palestinian lone wolf attacks. Is it not insane that, to live a minimally orderly life, Israelis must have a security agency that reports figures based solely on Palestinian attacks?

The horizon is not free from haze. The current Likud government is unlikely to do anything that could attract bad foreign or national press before the September elections. A politician such as Smotrich would most likely not know how to wear his own Bozo pajamas. In turn, a center-left government after September 17 potentially means a rather feeble country, in which the prime minister does not bother to know the names of victims, the second man is only known for throwing tantrums and the Joint List feels confident to join the balagan. Not all is lost, though. There are important lessons for whoever wins the race.

The number one task for any government is to acknowledge the current state of affairs – the real current state of affairs. It sounds simple, but calling the enemy by its true name is not easy. Even though political correctness does not usually prevail in Israeli society, it seems to do in many sectors when it comes to Palestinians. It is not a matter of political view, it is a simple matter of considering the figures. The enemy includes Palestinian leadership, but it is larger than that. It is full-blown antisemitism. Israeli Arabs are not targeted in any attacks, only Israeli Jews. Of course, if one considers the ethics and standards of Palestinian terrorists, an Israeli Arab may even be a collateral damage, what do they care about life. In practice, the targets are always Jews.

Any new government also needs to ensure that Israel has secure borders. And I mean more secure borders. It is absurd to imagine that someone is able to gain access to Israeli territory only to plant a mine or similar device that subsequently kills a teenager who is doing something healthy, such as trekking and hiking, after a long and hard week. As an Israeli citizen, I do not want to be locked at home. What needs to be done needs to be done and all possibilities need to be considered, from more check points to terminating the entry work permits given to Palestinians. Israel cannot be held responsible for any resulting issues when it is solely protecting its citizens. Let butchers such as Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud Abbas be accountable.

A new government needs to be more intelligent in its foreign relations. All terrorist attacks in Israel need to be internationalized and international response needs to be demanded in each single case. Israel needs to make good use of its channels in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and involve in its hardship every single western country that survives on Israeli intelligence. If Macron can spend his time tweeting stupidities, such as the Amazon being the lungs of the planet – it is not, oceans produce some 80% of oxygen and consume more than 25% of carbon dioxide of the planet –,  he and other world leaders should have time to send condolences to the State of Israel and the relevant families in each attack. Why on earth are world leaders not doing this right now? Do countries who rely on our intelligence only know how to denounce us?

The Israeli people is resilient. The fact that it has survived and fought an Intifada initiated before the Jewish State even existed does not mean that Israelis are less deserving of support. The problem is not the Jew that finally stands for himself, but rather terrorists who stand up for nothing all the time.

About the Author
Aharon Gottlieb is a lawyer by profession. He has a special interest in the interwoven areas of national and international security, intelligence, defense and foreign policy. He writes about life in Israel and current events that are relevant to Israel and the Jewish people. In early 2018, Aharon immigrated to Israel, which has added further meaning to his life.
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