Sam Litvin

Time to End Bibi’s Eternal Gaza War

Serpentine of security barrier as seen from air.

Four hundred missiles were sent at Israel in two days. Reprehensible, maddening but unlike Israelis and Jews on social media, I refuse to blame Hamas. Not because Hamas and Islamic Jihad are blameless, they are terrorists and deserve the consequences of war. I refuse to blame them because that is to absolve our leadership of their part in refusing to fix the simmering war that has been going for over a decade.

Bibi has been in power for 20 years (not consecutively). I lived in Israel for 2 years and since I arrived, we have rocket barrages across the country every 6 months and non-stop fire and war around periphery. Since I arrived, Bibi convinced US to withdraw from the Iran treaty and while Russia helped Iran skirt American sanctions (which America is happy to let Russia do), Iran also returned to enriching Uranium and building bases across Syria. Thanks to Bibi, the agreement created by Obama to stall development of Nuclear Weapons is now null and void and Bibi’s “better deal” is as naked as the king.

We blame the attacks on Gaza and Hamas, we blame the nuclear weapons on Iran, with Bibi, everyone is always to blame, except Bibi. The media is out to get him, the judges are out to get him, the arabs are out to get us, the police are out to get him. Everyone is out to harm us and somehow, Bibi cannot fix it. And yet, Bibi claims that he is the only one we can trust, the only one who can keep us safe, when he hasn’t been honest with Israelis or allies nor has he stopped the rockets from shelling our homes.

How did Israel become so blind and timid and naive? How is it possible that a country is routinely bombed and the Prime Minister keeps his post? Would any other country would allow this. I cannot imagine that any other country would have the PM to stay on in the face of this kind of endless failure and nonstop war. And yet, Israeli political system, through corruption or systemic issue, allows Bibi to be re-elected again and again. 

There are many possible reasons for this. Perhaps it is because Israelis remember much worse days of constant bombings, which Ariel Sharon and Ehud Barak fixed via security barrier,  as opposed to Bibi, full of tough words, excuses and complete lack of action. Perhaps the good economy allows people to not think of the attacks and focus on work. Or maybe the massively expensive Iron Dome makes us feel like it is ok, keep shooting, we will just spend billions on high tech bandaids. Whatever the reason is for the status quo, I for one, refuse to continue to put the blame on Hamas and on Iran.

I refuse because there is more to politics than inaction and blame and expensive high tech gadgets.  I refuse because we Israelis have never been helpless before, we have always been able to get things done when we wanted to. If we are the same Israelis who forced the British out, beat back the Arab armies and ended the waves of suicide bombs, then it is not because we can’t figure out a way to stop attacks from Gaza and Hamas, but because our leadership won’t.

We could have gotten the world to create a better deal with Iran, instead we fought the deal Obama created. We could have figured out a way to stem the flow of arms and weapons to Gaza or create some kind of economic development or some kind of negotiation to create and end to this endless war.  Instead, Bibi has used the attacks against us to wage small scale reprisal attacks that do little more than keep Israel in fear, and Gaza in poverty and constant war, and we let him. We let him blame everyone, we let him not fulfill his duty and responsibility to do something. And I for one, as long as he is still the PM doling out Ministries to unelected politicians like Bennet, refuse to let him off the hook.

Children are now in the army who have grown up in bomb shelters.  They do not remember that  Barak and Sharon  also faced terror and did something about it, so it is time for Bibi to do something, or leave and let someone else act for once like an Israeli. I refuse to continue to blame Hamas because if we were able to solve the wars with Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, if we managed to stop the suicide bombers, then we in Israel can solve anything we want to solve.

Fix it or leave it Mr. Netanyahu, no more excuses. 

About the Author
Sam Livin was born in Soviet Union and grew up in San Diego. In 2012, he travelled the world photographing Jewish communities publishing a book called "Your Story Our Sipur." Today he continues to write about Israel and Judaism as he lives and studies business and ecology in Tel Aviv.
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