by Moti Karpel
Published by Makor Rishon in Hebrew; published by Women in Green in English
We must now correct the mistake that we made at the end of the Six Day War: Only application of Israeli sovereignty in Yosh*will solve the “Palestinian problem”
There is a reason for the Israeli government’s inability to call the current wave of terror by its real name, or by any name. Calling something by its name imbues it with meaning, man’s definition of what, in his eyes, is the purpose of the thing and what he wants from it. But the Israeli government has only one wish regarding this wave of terror – that it should pass. The government hasn’t the faintest idea what it wants from the terror, how to use it as leverage toward our goals or how to cope with it at all.
It would be a great mistake to call the wave of terror a “third intifada”. If we accept the enemy’s definition of the battle and leave him to determine its essence and its goals, why, it is a rout from the start. And it is an admission that from our point of view the battle is gratuitous and meaningless, that we do not understand its background, its reasoning and its meaning, and that those who have fallen, have died in vain.
The name for the increasingly large and frequent waves of terror – and among them, the current one– must be clear and cogent to all of us: The Seventh Day War. This is their real meaning.
The Arab waves of terror are not random – they are a lesson from history, and nations pay a price for lessons of history. Since we did not understand with our heads, we will learn with our feet, the hard way.
Our original sin is the Israeli society’s inability to apply the sovereignty of the State of Israel over the territories of Judea and Samaria the day after the Six Day War. If only we had done so then, the Arab residents would have accepted it as natural and would have acquiesced to our dominion in the Land. But the problems of identity and ideology that we “imported” with our return from exile prevented us from doing this. The vacuum that was created – the vague, temporary and unstable situation of “neither swallowing nor spitting out” – was destined to be filled with the pretension of Palestinian nationhood and their unfounded aspiration for an independent state, which encouraged rebellion against us and caused frustration and needless suffering on both sides. This is the general idea: we have no problems with Arabs, only with ourselves.
Today, in the present reality that we have created with our own hands, the time has come to recognize the need to end the Six Day War once and for all: this is the War of the Seventh Day.
The majority of the Israeli public has learned three insights from the past forty years: the first is that dividing the land and establishing a Palestinian state would bring on a sort of national suicide. Second, the Arabs do not want a state of their own – they want our state. Third, that which drives Arab terror is not despair, but rather the hope**.
The Israeli response to the Arab terror offensive must first of all be political, not military. It should send the message that we have learned our lesson, that we are determined to correct the error at its foundation. The response must be application of Israeli sovereignty - at least according to Naftali Bennett’s minimal plan, the territories of Area C first – as a step toward Israeli territorial resolution. Only such an act will make it clear to the Arabs and to the world that the People of Israel is determined in its decision that a Palestinian state will not be established – a necessary condition for the destruction of illusions, pretensions and vain hopes, which are the swamp which terror feeds on.
The military arm of the response should be only secondary. It should complement the political part, to support it and to secure it – enlist all of the forces and mainly all of the required determination to destroy the Arab attempt to harm our sovereignty.
Of course, this is a difficult route and we will sustain casualties. But this time they will not be the meaningless victims of another dead-end military round. Resolution and meaning: this time it will be a decisive war – proactive, rational, and realistic, with defined goals and a clear political scope.
Now is the time. The Arab world is busy with its problems and is neutralized. It, the world in general, as well as most of the Arab population in Judea and Samaria will respond at first in the expected way: condemnations, boycotts, political pressure and so forth. But when the routine formalities are over, at least within their own hearts, they will all thank us for our resolution.
There will, of course, be those who will continue the terror and even intensify it. These – from those who carry flags and banners, the stone throwers and upwards – will have one decree: expulsion. On the other side of our border in the Golan Heights, there is no proven sovereignty today, and there is no problem to organize an array of transports to go there. Don’t worry, it should not be too extensive – after 100-200 expulsions the matter will calm down.
Everyone, and especially most of the Arab population in Judea and Samaria, will thank us ultimately that we were finally kind enough to be responsible people, that we finally have rid the world of the “Palestinian problem”.
*Yosh – the Hebrew acronym for Judea and Samaria
**The Hope (Hatikva) is the name of Israel’s national anthem
Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav
Source: First published by Makor Rishon in Hebrew; then published by Women in Green in English
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.