Real Talk: Being Honest About The Situation in Israel

(Note: I’ve created a new tag for this, because unlike pretty much everything else I plan to write on this website, I’m not going to tie in to writing, or genre fiction in general. This is just something that needs to be said. This is not meant to be an authoritativ treatise on the subject, just me venting a bit, because it’s past time.)

Yesterday there was yet another terror attack here is Israel. An Arab (“palestinian”) man drove a truck into a group of soldiers who had just exited a bus to tour Jerusalem, the eternal, indivisible capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Four were killed; three female soldiers and one male soldier, ranging from age 20 to 22, and one more soldier is currently in a coma. Kids, essentially. Kids, who in most other countries would have been in the middle of their college careers. But not here. Here, people usually start college later, because of mandatory army service or national service. This policy was built into the fabric of Israeli society from the beginning, because there were too few of us in comparison to the enemies surrounding this tiny country, and so every able-bodied man had to serve, while women would do a shorter stint of national service (over time, however, most army positions have been opened to women as well, and many do choose to serve despite not having to.) This noticeably changes the life pace of people, as now undergraduate studies aren’t completed until one’s mid 20s, with higher degrees obviously finishing later as well. Despite this, surveys have shown that even if the draft was not longer mandatory, many, many young people would choose to serve. I myself, having moved here at age 26, am not required to serve, but I will G-d willing be volunteering for a year and a half of service, because I want to contribute to this society, this new stage of Jewish history.  So sometime later this year, I might well be part of a group of new soldiers on a tour much like the victims of yesterday’s attack.

What this means is that at any given time, young soldiers, very often still in training, can be seen all over the place, in uniform, and often in large groups as they do things like tours as part of their training. Very easy to spot, and very tempting targets for creatures like the one who drove a truck into them. In response to this attack, I’ve been hearing the same tired platitudes of how “terrorism will never break us,” or how “action will be taken.” And seeing the active reaction being sending troops into the terrorist’s neighborhood to prevent a mourning tent being set up (this all after Arabs in Israel spent the day of the attack giving out candies in celebration), I just get angrier at the useless half-steps. Then we hear all the prayers for those murdered, about how wonderful they were, and how we have to support their families. Sure, of course, but I’m not the only one sick and tired of seeing such meaningless and weak displays every few weeks or so. I’m tired of it, tired of seeing people murdered in these attacks, then eulogized, and then all-but forgotten as we move on and no meaningful changes are made.

And really, the changes that need to be made are not all that difficult to understand, or even accomplish, really. Politically incorrect, yes, but frankly I couldn’t care less at this point. The problem is the Arabs in Israel, the so-called “palestinians.” Yes, obviously, not all. That shouldn’t need saying, but these days it seems mandatory. Obviously not every one of them isn’t a terrorist, and while most (about 70%) do support terrorist action against Jews in Israel, there are those that do not, though they unfortunately cannot say as much without putting themselves at great risk.

But the fact is that Israel has a hostile population living within it, and the government, for years, has not done anything meaningful to address this real problem. Yes, security has been upgraded, with guards at major transit hubs and malls, and scanners at every mall, as well as other major public locations, and checkpoints have been set up at places where once crosses from to Judea and Samaria (called the West Bank by some) to”Israel proper.” Cars are checked, and search if needed, and soldiers will walk through buses, profiling people and on occasion asking for ID as well as some questions of individuals. (This I have experienced first-hand, and I’ve been profiled in this manner on several occasions.) I understand it, and it’s not a major hassle, but is it really a way to live? We shouldn’t have to worry about being questioned on a bus ride, worried that we might have trouble at the mall if one has a swiss army knife in their pocket. Moreover, we shouldn’t have to live in a country where you are literally taking your life in your hands if you go to certain areas. That’s simply crazy.

The solution is simple, and it is not my idea, and it is something that makes many people, including a great deal of those who generally consider themselves right-wing politically when it comes to Israel. Rabbi Meir Kahane made it quite clear decades ago. They must go. I shouldn’t need to state that I am not talking about mass forced deportation, but that is what people will accuse anyone stating what I just did of advocating. When the Jewish people first came to this land thousands of years ago, following G-d’s command, they gave the people then in the land (who have no relation to the Arabs of today) three choices. They could leave peacefully, with all of their belongings, they could live as a resident non-citizen, and have to adopt the Seven Noachide Laws (essentially basic morality), or they could fight. Today, as I see it, there are four options that can be offered to the Arabs living in the land of Israel (I am here talking about those who are not citizens, AKA those living in Judea and Samaria, The Israeli Arabs who are already citizens are a separate category.) They can emigrate, with all of their belonging (unlike the many thousands of Jews who had to flee Arab countries after Israel’s establishment), and we will even give a fair amount of monetary support to each family unit emigrating. (And it should be noted that in surveys done in the past, a fair amount would willingly agree to leave under those conditions.) They can remain in Israel, as non-citizen residents with full human right but no political ones–with the ability to apply for citizenship like any other prospective immigrant. If they are approved, and pledge loyalty to the state, they would become full citizens like anyone else, with voting rights, etc. And lastly, they may choose to fight us. But this wouldn’t be like the weak, half-responses such as when we retaliate to rocket fire from Gaza. This would be unleashing the full might of the IDF, after ensuring that those who do not wish to fight are moved to safety. This a perfectly fair, and humane, solution. Will it be done? Who knows? With the right leadership, possibly.

I don’t want to go on with this, which has essentially become a rant, much longer, just as I do not want to find myself posting about politics, be they Israel-related or not, on this website often. However, after yet another incident in which young Jews were murdered here in Israel, I needed to write something. I just couldn’t keep quiet, and little Facebook or Twitter posts would not suffice to air some of my frustration and thoughts.

Next time, back to geeky stuff, I promise.


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