AFTER THE BOMBINGS
By: Hank Levy
All we are saying is give peace a chance. I'm sure we can all hum a few bars, but it doesn't provide much protection when the bombs start to go off. That is the reality that we all must deal with. After the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, the yearning for a peaceful new era was a wish in most of our hearts...and it still is. Yet, with each new terror attack mounted by the Hamas suicide brigades, we began to understand that wishing was not enough. And relying on Arafat's Palestinian Authority to deal with the planners and perpetrators and protectors of destruction is a scenario for self deception.
The Israeli people are looking to their government to protect them. The Israeli government cannot shift this responsibility to any other party. They must do now that they have done since there first was a State of Israel and that is to look only to themselves for their sense of security.
If taking every measure necessary to protect their people causes some to fear for the continuation of the "peace process", then perhaps they have forgotten the meaning of the word "peace".
If the life and safety of Israeli citizens are merely given lip service by the government, then why in heaven's name would Arafat care to do more. The current out of control situation makes it crystal clear that Palestinians will not police themselves either before or after dastardly deeds are done.
Israel must know it can have no place for its people without security and safety. It can also hardly request tourists to travel there unless they can be assured the utmost is being done for their protection.
Israel's concessions have made it vulnerable. The price it paid has been high. Expecting the Palestinian Authority to pay the equally high price of eradicating those terrorists waiting to inflict more death upon Israelis is like waiting for Elijah to appear at the Passover Seder and take a sip of wine from the cup prepared for him. We want it to happen, but past performance indicates it probably won't.
Israel must not fear to use all its strength to protect itself. If the Palestinians want to have their own land, they will accept this whether or not they approve of it. Tourists who want to show support for Israel will continue to visit because they will know that no limits will be placed on their safety. And then, and only then, can meaningful discussions proceed aimed at peaceful co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians.
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