by Bernice Lipkin

As Israelis absorb the horror of the murders of the Hebron Yeshiva boys, they have drawn close together. Recognition of their kinship as a single family has blossomed. The response to learning the boys are not alive has not been rioting or violence. The mood of the country is outwardly quiet. It has become a time of reflection on what unites Jews as a people. Young and old, proudly secular and unswervingly religious, simple people and those who consider themselves sophisticated, villagers and members of the world community — they have come together in Tel-Aviv, at the Kotel, in large groups and small around the country, to pray for the safety of the boys, to mourn their deaths.

For individuals, it's been an acknowledgment and an affirmation of a common identity. A bonding. Its effect on governmental policy, in contrast, is ambiguous at best. Cynics can be forgiven for suggesting that the government's hustle and bustle, its huffing and puffing, is cosmetic. Israeli Arabs are increasingly more assertive, more demanding, more arrogant. But the inertia of the Government is profound. It continues to mouth obsolete notions that peace is attainable - we just have to try a little harder to find the right approach. And when they are honest, the politicians admit to being more afraid of Arabs rioting than Jews crying.

Yet this could be an interval to reassess the effectiveness of the Jewish state's response to Arab violence these past years. That resurgent Islam has grown in confidence and has attempted more and more acts of unbelievable evil is too in-the-face to ignore. Now is a good time to ask whether Israel's policies need reformulating to handle the spreading chaos.

What is an appropriate response to the ever more harrowing attacks on Jews?

SHEDDING THE USELESS PRETENSE THAT THINGS WILL GET BETTER in time between Jews and Arabs would be a good start. Admitting that even dedicated liberals want wide separation from that carnage-loving people, the local Arabs in the Territories, is important. Acknowledge that the desire for separation won't be satisfied by giving these Arabs a state of their own a foot away from Jerusalem or a hand's breadth from Tel-Aviv. Putting up a fence of separation won't work when a terrorist can enter Israel comfortably in a car driven by a radicalized Israeli Arab citizen. Or when aiders and abetters of terror live and work in Israel.

The tactic the politicians use is to isolate the bad guys as Hamasniks, calling all the other local Arabs good guys. Soon the media will chime in with the news this was a spontaneous lone-wolf or small-group attack on the teen-aged boys. But it doesn't really matter whether this was another attack carefully planned by Hamas, or an undertaking independently organized by members of official terrorist groups, or a lone-wolf expedition by civilians. They are all imbued by the same ideology. They see nothing wrong in slaughtering innocent Jews. In fact, they find it enjoyable. Too bad the media neglected to tell the locals NOT to three-finger their delight when Naftali, Gilad, and Eyal were kidnapped. And they should never have been shown exulting when the boys were slaughtered. Big mistake. But my money is on the world media to undo the damage. They have shown themselves to be up to the job of belittling and discrediting Israeli emotions and actions.

3fingered joy
On the Temple Mount, Palestinian Arab children and their teachers, all of whom are Israeli citizens, celebrate the abduction of three Jewish teenagers by holding up their three fingers in what has become the viral sign of joy at the kidnapping. (Seraphic Secret. From

Recognize that there can be no peace with people who are taught while they gulp their mother's milk to hate and despise Jews. Stop pretending that Hamas is bad terrorists and Fatah is good terrorists, when there is not a drop of difference in what they want to do to Jews.

Many if not most Israelis have Arab friends. They hope that such these small clots of friendship will coalesce into large-group clumps of amity. They forget that the individual's desires don't matter in a society run by clan heads and clerics and political thugs. In important matters, the Arab populace does what it told. In point of fact and contrary to the hopes of those who believe Muslims will learn tolerance from seeing it practiced by Jews, it doesn't take much effort to school the ordinary Arab to hate Jews. Unless the polls are lying, the Arab population is in general committed to destroying Israel, even as they benefit from Israeli education and medical care and Israel's acceptance of different life styles.

The Arabs in the Territories and Gaza are even more overtly hostile. Were Hamas to become bomb- and knife-aversive, were they to start making sincere offers of peaceful coexistence, some more hellish group would quickly win the allegiance of the local Arabs in Gaza and the Territories. Think of how many of them, as in Israel itself, rejoice in the deaths of Jews, particularly when Jewish babies and children are slaughtered. Recall how many celebrate by giving out sweets and dancing in delight whenever an innocent Jew is murdered. Count how many in the latest ordeal raised three fingers of a hand to symbolize solidarity with the kidnapping and massacring of the boys from Hebron.

HOW THEN TO RESPOND TO ENEMY ATTACKS? Kill the terrorist leadership? Sure. Openly. Not precisely. But sloppily in the Arab way. Pin-point elimination of terrorist leaders is much admired. It is sooo civilized, so protective of "innocent" Arab families. But it has a major defect. It doesn't strike fear in the people who sustain and admire and nourish the terrorists. It affects only a few personally. Were Israel to start rebuffing and eliminating its enemy openly, it would get flak from the media. But, then, what does it do — other than make suicidal gestures like freeing jailed terrorists — that doesn't get flak?

In line with the need to answer attacks openly, it would be intelligent to recognize that a minimalist response to murder isn't the way to stop bad press. The way to stop bad world press is to answer straight-forwardly and specifically why you did what you did in words that are simple, strong, honest and factual. And do it right away, not days or even years later. It should be done by those who understand how to do proper press releases and collateral human interest stories — art forms Israel has yet to master.

Israel's usual wait time before punishing violence is obscene. The interval can be so long — as when Israel finally went into Gaza in strength in December 2008 to stop the Arabs from firing rockets — that assertions by the Arab's of dark Israeli motives become credible. Put another way, if, for eight years, the Israeli government didn't seem to mind that their citizens were being terrorized by rocket attacks, why did they strike at all?

On July 1, 2014, the IAF set a new speed record, entering the Gaza Strip to stop the missiles the Arabs have been firing from there for a couple of days. Or maybe it was to show anger at the latest slaughter of Jews. It's not clear. Presumably some missile-launching sites were hit but I saw no headlines on Israelis killing anyone. Now, that should make Israelis feel proud of how civilized they are! Of course, since humans shoot missiles, because missiles don't shoot themselves, Hamas can initiate attacks anytime it wants, reassured that it will suffer few consequences. The Israeli Government then has to decide whether to respond and take media flak or not respond and take missile flak. In neither case is the Israeli population well-served.

Most things that need to be done can be done openly, from small matters to big ones. A good guide is what Rudy Giuliani did when he was mayor of New York. He decreed zero tolerance and aggressive follow-up for minor activities that made for the tacky environment in which more serious crimes thrive. Graffiti writing, littering and panhandling were no longer ignored by the police. And the crime rate plummeted. Israel could adopt a similar attitude. Announce that the smallest stone thrown by the smallest Arab child will not be tolerated. Jail Arabs who throw lit cigarettes into dry orchards or rip out newly-planted trees. Punish those who verbally harass Jews passing by, and that includes those who heckle and throw stones at Jews who come to the Temple Mount. If an Arab stones a car, make it a family affair. If an Arab stabs a Jew, deport his village. Clan leaders catch on fast.

The conditioned answer by the pro-Pals is 'Horrors! Collective punishment.' But how else do you treat a bunch of people magnetically linked by a love of death and slaughter? How else do you respond to a community, where the preponderance of its members gloat over the dripping blood of a Jew? How else do you treat a collective that collectively wants to destroy anyone who is a Jew? It is not helpful to pretend that Arab vandals and murderers and rock throwers are not embraced by the Arab community. When the bodies of Naftali, Gilad and Eyal were discovered near an Arab village, the villagers were not horrified. They felt no shame. They didn't apologize for what was obviously done by Arabs. Instead, they attacked the ambulance that came to remove the bodies. Should we dismiss this because it was only rocks, not knives or guns, white paint not red blood?

stoned ambulance
Ambulance transporting boys' bodies was attacked by the Arabs (

AND THEN THERE'S PUBLIC RELATIONS, WHERE ISRAEL TOTALLY FLUNKS. Putting aside the antipathy towards Jews that seems to exist even in Jewish journalists working for mainstream papers — they are sensitive to every minority except the Jew and maybe the redneck — the piranah press gobbles up the Arab narrative because it is easy for them to digest. Israelis give them the sterling of indisputable logic, they spray their arguments with the gold of factual evidence, they pour shiny molten truth in the crevices of detailed chronologies. It is much too detailed for a shiftless press and an ignorant public. And it's much too infrequently stated. How much more satisfying is the simple and oft-repeated assertion of the Arab, "It is our land. The Jews are occupying it. They are colonizing it. As the Nazis were to the Jews, so are the Jews to us." Simple. Self-contained. Easy to grasp. Easy to memorize and repeat.

To make matters worse, Israeli officials have helped them. After the Oslo Accord and for years thereafter, this was particularly blatant. Israeli spokemen on TV acted as if their fondest wish was for a Palestinian Arab state. Such self-immolation has become much less frequent, but the Government still refuses to drum into the world's common store of knowledge that the Jews are occupying their own land in Samaria and Judea and the Golan and were doing so in Gaza. Even the Levy report, which is limited to making clear why Jewish settlements in the Territories are legal, is not advertised by the Israeli government. Setting out the whole story is never done by the Government or its outlets. Yet it is the case that in the San Remo conferences in the 1920s, the international community legally allocated Mandated Palestine to the Jews, just as other mandates, authorized by the same League of Nations, carved many of the current Arab states out of the rest of the Ottoman holdings.

Dore Gold, impartial and objective, described the Territories as "disputed land." Disputed land is for a neutral to say. Spoken by a members of one of the parties in the dispute, it is an act of folly. Israelis start a negotiation loudly proclaiming their eagerness to hand over some of their tiny and hard-won land for the sake of peace. How stupid of them. Deep down, we know that people don't give away their own land, only other people's land. So why would anyone believe it when the Jews say the land is theirs? Especially when the Arabs say it's all their land and they aren't about to give up an inch. Without prior information, who would you believe: the Arab who proclaims he won't give away an inch of his land or the Jew who is eager to share?

ALWAYS WHEN A TRAGEDY HAPPENS — and it is happening again — Israelis complain the world should understand what is obvious to them. The world must...blah blah blah. The world should ... blah blah blah. Why doesn't the world realize ... blah blah blah?

Israelis are good at condolences. They are expert at being hurt. They know how to ache. Yet as with the cloying taste of cheap ice cream, words of compromise come slicking out of their mouths almost immediately, negating their declared injuries. They really do need to rid themselves of conditioned victimhood. Let the Arabs who have been faking it learn the real thing.

Israel's misery is real. This photo of friends of the Yeshiva youth is unfortunately all too genuine.

friends crying

But grandstanding grief as a bid for understanding doesn't work. Israelis might as well stop offering up their misery and tears as earnest for their desire for peace. It only underlines that they don't understand how the Arabs think, how their attempts at compromise are seen as a weakness to be exploited. They can not plumb the depths of beastliness and contempt in the Palestinian Arab. They aren't equipped for it. But they can stop complaining that the world isn't fair, that Arabs lie. Sure they do. Unfortunately, Jewish plaints usually lead just to the satisfactory thought that Jews are more civilized than Arabs. Acknowledging that the media are indifferent to Jewish pain and that Arabs lie with skill should instead be a starting point in determining what Israel should do to benefit itself.

Jews might as well stop telling the world it has to understand our suffering. Why should they? Clearly, we must enjoy suffering. We're willing to do so much of it.

Jews aren't good at expressing deep sorrow. They usually look uncomfortable. An Arab mother emoting over the explosive death of one of her many sons wins the contest every time. Sure, let your feelings show even if none of this will stop the swinish press from oinking at us. But also do what's required so it won't be necessary to cry next time.

Actually, there is a way to make the world take seriously Israel's hurt. It's simple: above a minimum level of displayed outrage that they easily discount, the media and politicos take their cues from the Jewish public. Even the fake-Jewish NGO's like B'Tselem and J-street do so. When Jews complain of the unfairness of equating the deaths of Arab murderers and Jewish murderees, the world shrugs it off or blames it all on the Jewish collective — the underdog Arabs can't possibly be to blame. But when the Jews of Israel are cut so deeply that they don't waste time showing off their wounds, when they are indifferent to the verbal probes of the media testing their seriousness, when they are resolute in doing what should be done, the world listens.

Israel has been at this junction before. In 1967, they took back the eastern part of Jerusalem. All Israel saw all of Jerusalem as one, indivisible, redeemed at last. The world murmured, "Forget pressuring them about Jerusalem. The Jews won't give it up." Some years later, fools like Uri Dromi, Rabin's spokesman, hinted they might share Jerusalem. Then others generously thought how nice it would be to give up control of parts of the Holy City in the interests of democracy. Straight-faced Arab liars backed by the media claimed houses in Jerusalem that still displayed the plaques placed there by their Jewish owners, before they were driven out during the Jordanian invasion of 1948. The media jumped into the appeasement pool as swiftly as flowing water pours into a crack. And now — just a few short years after some were advocating Jerusalem be the capitol of two states — we are at the point where the once-obsequious Arabs insist the Jews don't belong in Jerusalem at all. They claim the Jews have no attachment to the land or to Jerusalem. They do this with sincerity in their voices and in simple words. And the world says, "Amen."

Besides being under attack from the outside, successive Israeli governments have weakened the confidence of the IDF, so they often come to harm because they take undue time to decide whether the situation warrants a shooting response. Though the message has become harder to sell, Israelis are still being taught that peace can be obtained if the Jews try harder, give more, ask for less. The police and the judiciary side with the Arab in civil cases. The subliminal lesson being taught is that it is selfish if not evil for Jews to think their lives are worth as much as Arabs lives.

Maybe Israelis should seriously ask themselves:

the clan elder hooked to his hookah pipe, living on Israeli welfare and encouraging his grandchildren to hone murderous skills — is he our friend? The Arab mother who exults in the rewards-laden martyrdom of her children — can we appeal to her sympathy? The toddler wearing a toy explosive belt and crouching on his knees holding a toy gun, will he grow up willing to tolerate people that don't accept that Islam must dominate uber alles? How does befriending those that plot our death lead to peace?

Can we make human those that despise us? How long can we pretend their religion isn't complicit when it explicitly encourages behavior that puts them on the level of the primitive savage? Should we continue to pretend we have peace partners when in the same breathe we talk about the firewalls we need to erect to prevent the Arabs pushing further into our land.

Should we be wasting our time trying to domesticate the coyote? Maybe we should look for solutions that have a chance of working.

I BELIEVE THAT FOR THE NEXT SHORT WHILE WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY OF A NEW BEGINNING. I believe we Jews, in Israel and in the Diaspora, have a choice: a new beginning or a meaningless repeat of an earlier mistake. HaShem has given us another chance to rectify a major blunder committed by the Israeli government a dozen years ago when Arab terrorists bombed a hotel in Netanya where a couple of hundred people sat at a Passover seder. This was not a military target. This was a group of Jews fulfilling a religious commandment, many of them Holocaust survivors. Think back. The world waited for Sharon to bomb the terrorists' strongholds in the Territories to smithereens. It was expected. It was, in a sense, pre-authorized. It was hard for the most hardened Jew-hater to build up a head of steamy indignation against punishing these murderers and others who were committing separate acts of terror in what became known as the Second Intifada. It didn't need the boldness of a Sharon to send out bombers. The world was with us. But the bold warrior, the man who would be brave enough a few years later to make refugees of ten thousand of his fellow Jews, didn't go full blast to stop the ongoing terrorism — 2002 was the year of 131 separate terrorist attacks with the loss of 500 lives. Instead, using tanks and infantry, he limited the attack as much as possible, targetting the men specifically responsible for the Hotel massacre. An attack on the Intifada was so obviously the right thing to do. But Sharon didn't carry it through. And the world soon rationalized Israel's bizarre behavior: the Jews must be feeling guilty towards the Arabs. They had condemned themselves.

Let's be clear about this. However wonderful the concept of two disparate people living side-by-side as peaceful neighbors, there is no partition of land or resources between the Arabs and Jews in Israel and the territories that will create peaceful relations. There is no way to make civilized Jews out of Arabs, whose anchor is a philosophy where ravaging and destroying people and property are excellent ways to serve Islam.

In the centuries in which the Jews were not in control of their homeland, the land became a backwater. In modern times, politically a part of the Syrian province of the Ottoman Empire, it was barely able to sustain an ethnically mixed population of Arabs, Jews, Christians of various denominations, Circassians, Turks, half a hundred ethnic groups in all. Estimates suggest perhaps a quarter to half a million people lived there in the early to mid-nineteenth century. What is probably an unrealistically high estimate puts the population of Palestine at about 350,000 in 1850. Jews came in large numbers to redeem their homeland starting in the late nineteenth century. Arabs followed for the new economic opportunities. It is a fact that most of the Arabs in what is now Israel and the Territories, as well as those living in refugee "camps" in the Arab world, are the descendants of Arabs that didn't start coming into the area until the early 20th century. And the number of those calling themselves Palestinians has been much enriched by natives living near UNRWA camps. Free education, medicine and food can be a big attraction.

Annexing Samaria and Judea as a whole or in chunks may seem an obvious corrective to allowing Fatah and Hamas dictate our future. Taking back our holy sites needs no argument. But I fear that at this point, these measures won't be sufficient to solve the problem of preventing the Arabs from trying to take over Israel as well as the Territories. Things are too much out of hand. And the Arabs in Israel and the Territories are behaving as textbook Arabs do when they become a sufficiently large part of the host's country's population (see homepage, January-February 2014 Issue). They demand perks, conveniences, more power, and when they feel strong enough they take over. Smoothly, because there is no group left with suffficient strength to oppose them, or violently, if need be. But they take over and create yet another Islamic country.

Let me highlight this observation because it is very real and very scary: When Muslims come into an alien land in large numbers, initially they are cooperative and participatory. As their population grows, they become more demanding. They remodel the environment for their own convenience and intentionally marginalize the native population (Read many examples in RK Ohri's book, The Long March of Islam, serialized in Think-Israel, starting here.). In Israel, the percentage is already sufficiently high that teen-aged louts can block Jews from the Temple Mount. Boys a few years out of diapers throw rocks at passing motorists with impunity.

So, although I'd like to say: let us ignore the increase in Arab violence and let us act with civility to encourage reciprocity, I can't. Here I go along with what the Torah commanded the Jews do when they came to the land given them by HaShem. From Numbers Chapter 33

NUMBERS 33:50-56

50-53."The Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying: Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy all their temples, destroy their molten idols, and demolish their high places. You shall clear out the Land and settle in it, for I have given you the Land to occupy it.

54. You shall give the Land as an inheritance to your families by lot; to the large, you shall give a larger inheritance and to the small you shall give a smaller inheritance; wherever the lot falls shall be his; according to the tribes of your fathers, you shall inherit.

55-56. But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the Land from before you, then those whom you leave over will be as spikes in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they will harass you in the land in which you settle. And it will be that what I had intended to do to them, I will do to you."

To a community that usually finds it easier to blame itself than its enemy, and to their political leaders, who practice accommodation and appeasement, these passages may seem harsh. They certainly don't support the notion that kindness and concessions will dissolve the hatred of an avowed enemy that plots the destruction of your people and your culture while living in your midst.

In modern times, transferring the local Arabs out of Israel and the Territories need not mean hardship for the Arabs. In fact it could improve their condition considerably. If the world wants to provide a homeland for the local Arabs and those UNRWA-nurtured "refugees" who live in concrete "tents" that look remarkably like apartment houses, why not. Just don't locate them in or near Israel. Or for that matter, don't put them near any population center. It's a mild defect in the Arab character that whenever they are near a legitimate government, they can't help trying to horn in, trying to take over the government, starting a protection racket. Their record in Jordan and Lebanon suggest they can't resist trying to exploit the natives. But considering that the Arabs control 99.99% of the Middle East, it shouldn't be too hard to find them a large area, fairly isolated, where they can pursue their heart's desire. They may decide to continue their zest for murder and mayhem. Or they may decide to invite their European Union and liberal American church admirers to help them in the painstaking development of the infrastructure a legitimate state needs. Their choice. No one cares, so long as they keep it within their borders.

We at Think-Israel have written one such proposal of an independent Arab state within the Arab cultural and physical borders. (See here.) There are many more scattered in the literature, many in Think-Israel.

Whatever is decided, I hope it is the result of clear and realistic thinking.

If Jewish children are not safe going to school and back, they are not safe in their safe rooms. The very fact that we need safe rooms itself says much. Jewish children need the confidence to go everywhere in their land, to learn to associate the treasured facets of the Torah with the land that belongs to the Jews. Creativity won't come from mentally cowering in fear. New but authentically Jewish thinking won't come from trying to meet the demands of the Jew-hating EU or the Muslim-dominated UN.

How shall we walk in our land?
Upright and proud. Or fearful,
tripping over stones, unseen
because our eyes are elsewhere, zigzagging, seeking out
where next a savage animal will lash out.

How shall we walk the land?

Bernice Lipkin is managing editor of Think-Israel.

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