During a special Knesset session Wednesday called to deal with complaints by reserve soldiers that the army is failing to effectively respond to Arab terror, MKs accused the government of “surrendering to Arab terror.”
MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud-Beyteinu) warned that failing to respond to ongoing Arab terror attacks would only encourage more terror. “Whoever turns his back on his roots and allows the Arab enemy to effectively take control of the territory will find himself unable to deal with that enemy,” Feiglin said during the Knesset discussion. Failing to tackle terror at home, said Feiglin, did not bode well for how Israel would deal with Iran later on.
Other MKS demanded action as well. MK Nissim Ze'ev (Shas) warned that terror on the roads, including rock throwing and firebombs, was forcing many Israelis to avoid driving in order to avoid terror attacks. Ze'ev said that it was untenable for soldiers to stand back and let rioters throw rocks and bombs at them and at civilians without responding. MK Yisrael Eichler (UTJ) said that the army's weakness was harming its image as an army that could effectively deal with terror. Failing to deal with the terror, he said, whetted the appetites of Arabs who hoped to see Israel destroyed one day.
MK Yoni Chetboun (Bayit Yehudi) said that a law was needed imposing Israeli sovereignty on Judea and Samaria. Without such a law, he said, the army would always be afraid to take definitive action, for fear of being hauled before the UN and other international bodies for “aggression.” MK Orit Struk (Bayit Yehudi) said that the problem stemmed from Israel's ongoing leniency to captured terrorists, such as releasing dozens or hundreds at a time as “gestures” to the PA.
Responding for the government, deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon said that he understood the frustrations, and that the army had been informed that it had the government's full support to take a “heavy hand” against Arab rioters.