OpinionColumn

Israel’s government has no plan, offers no hope

If the government can end the wave of terrorism, it must do so; if it can't, it should let someone else try.

Family and friends attend the funeral of Batsheva Nigri, who was murdered in a terrorist shooting near Hebron on Aug. 21, 2023, in the Gush Etzion Regional Cemetery in Kfar Etzion. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
Family and friends attend the funeral of Batsheva Nigri, who was murdered in a terrorist shooting near Hebron on Aug. 21, 2023, in the Gush Etzion Regional Cemetery in Kfar Etzion. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
Ariel Kahana
Ariel Kahana is a diplomatic correspondent for Israel Hayom.

Things cannot go on like this. Well, they can, but it would be beyond the pale. 

We must not tolerate a situation in which Jews are killed all over the country as if this was some incurable disease or natural phenomenon that cannot be prevented. It’s not that the settlers can’t stand it anymore—they have shown resilience in the past, and during tougher times. They know full well why they are not giving up their hold on the areas of the Land of Israel: They’re doing it for the sake of the entire nation.

Nor are Israelis in general going to be deterred by the current wave of terrorist attacks. But what we cannot accept is having the government do almost nothing in response. People are being slaughtered one after another, but the government—which just a year ago blamed the Bennett-Lapid government for the deaths of Jews by terrorists—is simply shrugging it off. 

There is no plan; there are no options laid on the table; there are no emergency measures—all we have had so far are ridiculous promises by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the “killers will be caught just like we caught those that came before them.” As if that is what is going to prevent the next attack.

Israeli security forces have been hunting terrorists every day without needing a top-down government directive. That is what they are tasked to do; they never think about abandoning this mission. This makes Netanyahu’s statements fall flat.

Netanyahu, please stop this charade. 

The prime minister’s job is to pursue a policy that would end this bloodbath, but there appears to be no such plan. Attack follows attack in  Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Judea and Samaria—only to have the government do nothing. Ministers and lawmakers employ combative rhetoric and laconic expressions of sorrow, but shirk their duty—that is, they won’t act.

No explicit steps were taken, and the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet was only convened finally on Tuesday, but no emergency plan was announced. There is no diplomatic horizon, and no major military steps have been taken, apart from a few actions to bolster the settlements, which is not necessarily the same as bolstering security.

In other words, the government’s conduct is very much like that of its predecessor, in every aspect. It has nothing to offer, hope or otherwise. Its policies are no better than those of the Bennett-Lapid-Gantz government. In fact, they are worse. 

The terrorist gangs are freely roaming around Jenin and Nablus; even the Fatah group has joined them. But Israel’s government has stayed silent. Or to be more precise, it has “continued to bolster the Palestinian Authority,” as the government decided a month ago, despite being dubbed the “most right-wing ever.” As if the P.A. will provide Israel with a remedy for terrorism. 

It’s worth noting that the government comprises the same people who blamed the previous government for passivity that allowed the terrorist wave of 2022 to erupt. Now they are blaming Iran—not very convincingly. Restoring security and governability was the theme they ran on, but eight months into the government’s term in office, things are not any better—in fact, they have worsened. 

It is time to draw conclusions: The government and the IDF bear responsibility for letting this situation continue. If the government can end the killings, it must do so; if it can’t, it should let others try instead. It’s not as if it has delivered on many other things with great success. 

The same should apply to the IDF chief of staff and commander of IDF Central Command. Of course, they are doing their utmost to handle the situation, but if a general fails in battle, he can be relieved and have someone else take over. This is not unheard of.

This is not an attack, but a call to action. But one thing is certain: It can’t go on like this.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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