The Israeli Government is Itself the Cause of the Wave of Terror
By Rabbi Avrohom Shmuel Lewin
Director of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace
A smart Jew once remarked: “Why do we bury a corpse in the ground? Because he can’t protest it…”
The surest sign that something is alive is that it has an innate sense of self-preservation, that it protects itself when attacked. But when we “acquiesce” to the situation, when we allow our enemies to “let off steam,” and when we “turn the other cheek,” G-d forbid, there is no reason to expect anything other than the bleakest outcome – the indiscriminate murder of innocent Jews.
These past few weeks have seen the cold-blooded murder of Jews throughout the country, may G-d avenge their blood. As always, the government spokesmen immediately declare: “We will not accept this!” “We will wipe out terror!” “We will give the army a free hand to fight against terrorists!” Yet, two or three days later, everything “calms down,” and things return to “normal.” Suddenly, Prime Minister Bennet finds time to offer to intervene in the Russian-Ukraine conflict, which, of course, only gets him attacked from all sides.
And what happens between one attack and the next?
Do the attempts to spill Jewish blood stop?
Has incitement to terror in the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian schools come to an end?
Have the Arabs stopped throwing stones? Have they stopped rioting in the towns and villages?
Or is the opposite true? Day by day they grow stronger and more aggressive, and the motivation to attack soldiers and kill Jews only increases. Members of Parliament – even within the standing government itself – sing praises to suicidal terrorists, whom they designate as “freedom fighters,” and argue for the Arabs “the right of insurrection” against the “oppressing nation.”
And what does the pathetic Israeli government do in the face of this growing wave of terror, which threatens to reach previously unseen proportions? It sits quietly on the side, continuing its banal and obsequious meetings with the “head of the viper” – Abu Mazen and the leaders of the Palestinian Authority, it continues pouring financial support into the Arab educational system, which only indoctrinates its pupils to hate and kill Jews, it “allows them” to humiliate and attack young soldiers on the front lines of the confrontation, it callously proclaims the “understanding” that “because of Ramadan, we expect an increase in rioting and acts of terror” – as if such actions were acceptable, and it restricts the freedom of movement of Jews in their own land, in order to allow the Arabs to fulfill their “commandments” – to riot and attack innocent citizens.
Terrorism is not fought by pursuing armed terrorist cells. If you have reached that point, you have already lost the war. Terrorism is fought by cutting it off in its inception. When every intent, attempt, and act of incitement is met with a strong hand and fierce opposition. When you sow fear and dread into the heart of the enemy, when you show him that he has no right to exist, when every rock thrown, every riot, every incitement in their mosques is met with a military response no less intense than were it a suicide bombing in the heart of Tel Aviv. We need to respond in a way that will not hurt only the angry, Arab youth, but will inflict pain on the Arab leaders, from senior Palestinian Authority officials to those who sit in the Knesset of Israel.
We, the members of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace predicated, from the very beginning of the Bennet-Lapid-Abas government, that this unholy union would endanger the lives of Jews, and that everything possible must be done to overthrow it, due to the life-threatening danger that it presents each moment of its existence. Some individuals criticized our approach – even people considered to be part of the “right-wing struggle.” Perhaps we were judging too quickly, they suggested. “Why don’t you give the government time to prove itself? Maybe it will fight terrorism, maintain the integrity of the country, and encourage construction in Judea and Samaria?”
We answered them simply – it doesn’t matter what they will do. The very establishment of a government in which the extreme left has partnered with United Arab List, who “recognize the ‘rights’ of the Palestinian people in his country” – is itself an open invitation to terrorists to harm the Jews. It strengthens the hand of the enemy and bestows legitimacy upon the Palestinian narrative, which has no interest or plan other than the wholesale murder of Jews throughout the country, G-d save us.
The current situation has revealed that our government is weak and submissive. All those supposed members on the “right” – the Minister of Justice, Gideon Sa’ar; the Finance Minister, Avigdor Lieberman; the Minister of Construction, Zev Elkin; the Minister of Communications, Yoaz Hendel; the Minister of the Interior, Ayelet Shaked, and above all, of course, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett – willfully ignore the ground that is burning beneath their feet. At best, they issue weak and ineffective pronouncements, and let Gantz and Lapid run the country as they see fit and hold negotiations with Abu Mazen, which entails nothing more than offering further concessions to our enemies, who are the de facto heads of the entire terrorist organization.
Yet, we cry out repeatedly – open your eyes before it is too late! The Land of Israel and the Security of its residents is deteriorating with each passing day! Do not wait for the next attack, G-d forbid! Resign immediately and bring an end to this dangerous government, before it destroys us!
Cosmetic changes are not enough. We must uproot the very foundations of this illegitimate approach. The only effective way to fight terrorism is that prescribed by our Torah, which allows even the Shabbat to be desecrated in the threat of attack. Even if the enemy seeks to conquer only “straw and stubble” – not to mention our entire country – we must respond forcefully, without hesitation. We must be firm in our declaration: There will be no “two state solution.” There are no “Palestinian rights.” There is no understanding and no acquiescence. This is the only way to merit the promise of the Torah, “And I will give peace to the land, and I will make you lie down without fear, and I will walk you upright.”