Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Passivity turned the tables

by Nadav Shragai

What a passive country. We were passive about the "price-tag" attacks and the attempted arson of mosques -- and we ended up with a young Arab burned to death. We were passive about 100 attempts to kidnap Jews -- and we ended up with the abduction and murder of three teenaged boys. We have been passive about Arab violence for years, as well as the attacks of Jews throughout the streets of Jerusalem (on the Temple Mount, on Mount Scopus, on the Mount of Olives, in the City of David, in the Old City), and here we are, facing a sort of Jerusalemite intifada and the de facto division of the city. We were passive about the sovereign and governmental vacuum in east Jerusalem, and today we are faced with anarchy -- from both sides.

And now, we continue to be passive. The Arabs of the State of Israel are running wild, residents of the country's south are sitting in bomb shelters -- and what remains above all else is the policy of passivity. Wrong. Misleading. Misplaced. We are confused: Opinions, even marginal ones, and words, even difficult ones -- we can accept. Violence -- however mild -- must not be accepted. Passivity conveys weakness and helplessness. It is the opposite of deterrence. Passivity allows Hamas and its derivatives to continue firing rockets and missiles over Sderot, Ashkelon, Ofakim and Beersheba. Passivity asks for quiet at any price, while laying the foundation for the next escalation. Passivity may not quite be the policy of Peace Now, but it is certainly the policy of "Quiet Now."

We continue to accept the present at the expense of the future, paying a price that will only keep on growing. In the south, passivity continues to allow terror and hate to systematically accrue power in Hamastan to our south, and to create more and more long-range missiles, which at the end of the day will fall on Tel Aviv and its neighbors. Passivity allows the enemy to continue building "Underground Gaza" -- the underground tunnel system where murderers hide, where death lurks in the form of lethal weapons. Passivity also weakens the Israeli homefront, planting the seeds of depression and demoralization. 

Now, we are also accepting the hatred and the violence of the residents of the Triangle region and the evil and the hatred of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel. We are accepting the ongoing disruption of daily life in the south. The hundreds suffering from panic and anxiety, the world's hypocritical indifference and weakness, and our great friend the United States that has lost its way. 

Did we elect a passive government? Have the Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Police turned into the state's forces of passivity? There are many tools to use in the political and military toolbox before the invasion of Gaza. The toolbox includes, among other options, sanctions against the Palestinian population, which is dependant upon us for its electricity, water, gas, food and money. 

Passivity, you should know, is what turned the tables here. It gradually changed the homefront to a front that arms itself against all odds, when it is the IDF that should be fighting on the front, to ensure that our homefront does not become a battlefield. That is their job. That is what they were created for. That is what they were trained for. 

Passivity breeds passivity. Today, we are paying the price of past passivity, and tomorrow, we will pay the price of today's passivity. If we do not come to our senses, the price will only go up.

Nadav Shragai


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