The Question of Netanyahu’s Vision
One observes some contradictions when watching Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On the one hand, as the leader of a nationalist government and Chairman of the right-of-center Likud Party, he is completely dedicated to Israel’s security. Yet, after months of conflict with the Palestinian Arabs and Hamas – and international condemnation – terrorists still fire rockets at the State of Israel. On the eve of a proposed cease-fire, which Netanyahu advocated accepting, the underground tunnels were discovered. Now, we see Netanyahu dispatching negotiators to Egypt, where discussions take place with a team that included representatives of terrorist organizations.
With countless cease-fires broken by the Palestinians, the war and attacks upon Israel continue, there seems to be little vision here. Does Netanyahu seek to over-throw Hamas? Does he want to strengthen the Palestinian Authority? Retake Gaza? What is the plan?
The clear plan comes from Hamas – who continue to relentlessly attack the State of Israel. They stay true to their charter. Does the Prime Minister stay true to the citizens of Israel by condemning Israeli security cabinet members who simply want an end to terrorist attacks upon Israel?
This week, Channel 2 reported that Economy Minister Naftali Bennett was yelled at during a cabinet meeting by the Prime Minister for speaking out against the Gaza operation. Bennett was yelled at for demanding an end to negotiations with terrorist organizations in Cairo, and has previously attacked the idea of “calm for cash” whereby the repeated ceasefires allow Hamas to rearm.
Bennett’s stated: “This situation, in which we are biting our nails in nervous anticipation of a reply from a murderous terrorist organization, should be stopped.” This disposition clearly reflects the desire of the Israeli people. He should be commended. Similarly, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said:
I hope that now it’s clear to everyone that the policy of “quiet will be met by quiet” means that Hamas is the initiator and the one deciding when, where and how it will fire on Israeli residents.
He noted, “It happened yesterday, it’s happening today, and it could happen on September 1 and also Rosh Hashanah evening.” It is right – not wrong — for government ministers to demand an end to terror and quiet for the peace of Israel.
What exactly is the Prime Minister’s vision? Security is not being accomplished as rockets keep flying. There’s certainly not peace. Surely, the people of Israel are not asking for too much to demand that Israel lives without the constant fear of attacks. Jews worldwide understand that Netanyahu is under tremendous pressure – and they count on him to protect the Jewish State.
On could argue that Netanyahu must, at this moment, channel his inner Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who wisely noted many years ago,
We were not created in order to teach morals and manners to our enemies. Let them learn these things for themselves before they establish relations with us. We want to hit back at anybody who harms us. Whoever does not repay a blow by a blow is also incapable of repaying a good deed in kind. Only something who can hate his enemies can be a faithful friend to those who love him.
The people of Israel demand the crushing of Hamas. Let the citizens of Israel have peace and quiet.
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