Op-Ed: The Future of Israel
Marc ProwisorMarc Prowisor, the former head of security for the Shilo region, is the Director of Security Projects for One Israel Fund.
The adventures in Israel never cease. The story goes that, upon seeing a fox running out of the Beit HaMikdash,
Despite this terrible omen, it is yet a sign of better times to come.
Rabbi Akiva started laughing. In short, he explained to his students that despite this terrible omen, it is yet a sign of better times to come. The question remains: What to do until those times arrive, and should we make an effort to bring them quicker and on a more positive note?
A while back, Shimon Peres repeated his statement that Jews wishing to remain in Yehuda and Shomron (Judea and Samaria) are welcome to adopt Palestinian Authority citizenship. This in sync with the infusion of more Arab soldiers in the guise of policemen into Hevron and other areas. Again in sync with the latest act of taking more weapons out of the hands of active soldiers throughout the communities of Yehuda and Shomron.
Let’s look at some of these facts:
1) Weapons were given to Arabs and taken away from Jews.
2) Terrorists were released and Jewish activists arrested.
3) Defense budgets were cut to Jewish communities in Yehuda and Shomron, and there was an increase in funding to the Palestinian Authority.
4) There were acts to boost Arab nationalism in Israel, while the attempted actions to de-Judaize the state increase.
Something is definitely wrong with this picture.
There is at least one reason to smile at the mention of this news. As in the parable with Rabbi Akiva above, this is a sign of better times, providing we act to make it so.
I would have liked to say that the only enemy to the Jewish State of Israel are various Arab nations, but this is not so. We always hear the talk from the politicians of the concept of two states, one Jewish, one Arab, living side by side in peace. Didn’t we hear this in 1947? We hear that once the Jews are out of Yehuda and Shomron, there will be peace.
Like in Gaza?
Unfortunately, some of the loudest advocates of these not-to-be-repeated mistakes are often from our own people.
How can we smile while all this is going on and what can we do in the face of this reality?
There are a few facts that are constantly overlooked when discussing the land and the people of Yehuda and Shomron. We constantly hear of the demographic threat to Israel because of the birth rate of the Arabs residing in Israel, but we don’t hear how the birth rate of the Jews throughout Yehuda and Shomron is actually the highest in the country. We will soon see the face of Israel changing; this is already taking place.
The military in Israel has always been a source of pride for Israel and the Jewish people. Today, we see all of the elite units not just peppered, but flowing with the residents of the yeshuvim (Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria). In all units, at all levels, these young people have become the new pride of the country. It is no longer difficult to find a minyan in officers' courses or at the top recon units.
Agriculture has returned to Yehuda and Shomron. This historically abundant place of olives and vineyards has been reborn to its former glory, but this time by the hands of Jews. Award-winning wines and olive oils are not uncommon and seeing kippot in the field is always an inspiring sight.
Industry is growing by leaps and bounds. In all fields of business, up to the executive levels, from the sciences to hi-tech, we see the presence of this new face of Israel.
The population grows everyday, and the yeshuvim are filling up with every new neighborhood created. Yes, we are building, because we are growing and will continue to grow. Those who demonstrate against this growth and hold hands with our enemies are shrinking and will continue to do so. Their shouts are their last efforts against the will of a people, and they will diminish soon.
No wonder our enemies wish to hide this from the majority of our people, for we would only gain more strength from it. That is exactly what those who are against us want to avoid.
On the other hand, I often take security officials from around the world through Yehuda and Shomron. We discuss counter-terror tactics, suicide terrorism and the true reality on the ground, not what is reported. They are always amazed how Israel hasn’t destroyed the Palestinian Authority and Hamas; this coming from people who are not our supporters. One of my favorite places to take them is the lookout from Maale Levona. I point out Ben-Gurion Airport and how close it is. Among some of the topics we discuss is how, if the “two-state plan” comes into effect, Ben-Gurion Airport will be in mortar and Kassam rocket range. Shut down the airport, shut down the economy and bring devastation to the country. Mistakes are easy to make, recovering from them is another story.
We find ourselves standing on a cusp in time. Change is not a possibility, but an inevitability. It is within our power to bring the change about sooner rather than later, and we can influence the direction in which we will go. Time is critical and that is why we must make that extra effort now.
A cornered and threatened animal may become more dangerous and is often still capable of inflicting a devastating blow. We see the Left in Israel taking desperate steps against those who believe in a strong and Jewish Israel. It is for this reason we must remain vigilant and strong. By increasing the strength of the communities in Yehuda and Shomron, we strengthen our people - all of our people. We return to them some of the values that we were brought up with - strength, self-respect, honor, duty and more. Being a proud and strong Jew is a privilege, and not something to apologize for.
We can plainly see the direction that the world wishes to force on us (mind you, by using our own people). The tactics being discussed are to disarm the Jews, arm the Arabs, inflict pain on the Jewish residents of Yehuda and Shomron though economic and security means, take away the heartland from the Jewish people, and weaken them once again.
I say: No! We can, and will, fight back and we will remain strong. We do this by being involved in the security of
We must continue with more determination and effort than before.
these communities, taking part in the various projects going on, by investing in businesses throughout the area and boosting the economy. Achdut ("unity") is the answer. Partnerships are the answer, in all aspects of life. We are not fools who moved into a bad neighborhood; we are the future, and together we hold the solution.
We must continue with more determination and effort than before. The future of Israel lies in what happens in Yehuda and Shomron. By continuing to strengthen these communities and people, we secure ourselves, as a people, a brighter future. As more and more people flock to our heartland daily, we see that together we hold the key. Whereas the Jewish people and country of Israel are affected and influenced by Yehuda and Shomron, so are Yehuda and Shomron affected and influenced by all of us and our continued efforts.