What Others Are Saying

In today’s Hebrew and English editions of YISRAEL HAYOM, the widely-read daily newspaper, there were two articles written by prominent journalists pertaining to the riots and killings throughout our country in these frightful days. I was particularly interested in both of them because they wrote of things which I had also written and which had been met with some disapproval.

Boaz Bismuth refers to the riots of 1929. He reminded us that in August 1929 the mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini preached a sermon in which he said “anyone who kills a Jew will be promised a place in the world to come”. A result of that fiery sermon “led to the riots of 1929 in which 133 Jews were slaughtered while the British cavalry looked on, indifferent”.

Bismuth compared the 1929 riots in Jerusalem and in Hebron to the riots which we are sadly seeing now on a daily basis. The difference, he wrote, is that now the British are gone and we have the Israeli army to protect us….not to stand by as idle onlookers but to actively pursue those who seek to kill us.

A second, and for me a very important article, was written by Avi Dichter, former head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s famed Security Services. He titled his article “Deport the Inciters”. His words are very similar to thoughts I had expressed in previous articles. The difference is that Avi Dichter speaks and writes with authority and his remarks are usually taken seriously.

He wrote that “Israel must spare no time in carrying out deportations. The attacks were carried out by Arab residents of Jerusalem who were issued blue identity cards. Such cards granted them permanent residency even though they were not citizens…. They could claim various benefits from the National Insurance Institute (including unemployment insurance)….. they were also covered by Israel’s universal health care system and enjoyed other social benefits…. We must spare no time in hunting down the terrorists’ enablers in Jerusalem… “

He continues on the possibility of deportation. Mentioning that no other country would accept them, he writes “ they can be deported to the Palestinian Authority. On top of deportation, Israel should revoke their permanent residency status. As temporary residents they will no longer receive the above-mentioned social benefits….”

It is important for us to hear what others are saying. Not to hear only the frantic voices of gossipers and would-be politicians of whom there are so many among us, but to give some attention to the thoughts and recommendations of seasoned leaders, outstanding journalists, and especially to the voices of our Security Services personnel.

I too had put forward the idea of deporting the inciters, the attackers, the murderers from Jerusalem, in particular, and of removing from them the benefits which all Israelis are privileged to have and to enjoy.

In our Bible, the prophet Amos responded to criticism from the High Priest Amatzia in these simple but powerful words. “Lo navi anochi v’lo ben navi”… I am not a prophet nor the son of a prophet.
Amos was speaking only as a Jew from the southern kingdom of Judea who was concerned with the dangers emanating from the northern kingdom of Israel. Prophecy came to an end centuries ago but prophetic voices are still being heard.

All of us are in danger. Many respond to violence with violence. It achieves nothing. The killing of one terrorist by a Jew only gives rise to more terrorists to avenge a death. Where does it end?

Avi Dichter began his article by referring to the bombing of the Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem in 2001. My wife and daughter had been only one block away when they heard the explosions.

As a punishment, Israel closed down Orient House in which offices of the Palestinian Authority were located and its occupants were deported. If then, why not now?

Deportation is far more humane (and effective) than the shooting of fleeing terrorist attackers. Sometimes it is important to listen to what other people are saying…. other educated people who truly know what needs to be done.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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