Proper Political Response to the Kidnapping

Ben Packer,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Ben Packer
Originally from Petersburg, Virginia, Ben Packer moved to Israel in 1999, where he served in the IDF's Givati Brigade in the Gaza Strip. Ben served as a Rabbi on campus at Univ. of North Carolina and at Duke Univ. Ben now serves as Director of the Jerusalem Heritage House ( and Co-Director of Young Jewish Conservatives ( He lives in the Old City of Jerusalem with his wife and 6 children....

The Israeli security and intelligence forces are working around the clock to try and find and rescue the recently abducted teenagers. Decent people everywhere pray and hope for their complete and immediate success. The military has received its mission and will certainly not rest until it is completed.

At the same time, it’s the political leadership’s responsibility to respond to this brazen terrorist attack in a bold fashion, in order to dissuade other enemies of the Jewish People from embarking on a similar path of terror. It is not enough to rescue the boys (G-d willing, it will be soon!) and capture/kill the terrorists. The terrorists undoubtedly already accept the overwhelmingly possibility that they will lose their lives as a result of their despicable actions. Additionally, they most surely have concluded that many of their comrades will most likely be captured or killed as well. At this point, it is inevitable. Despite this, they have chosen terror as a means to a political end. It is the job of our political leadership to show them what a terribly poor strategic (as well as moral) decision this was and that the use of terror has broad and lasting negative ramifications for their “cause”.

The Israeli-Arab conflict is one of religion and land, specifically land with strong religious significance. The Israeli Government must respond in a way that punishes our enemies and their overall agenda, not simply the arresting and/or killing of specific combatants in the conflict (which of course should also be done). Below are 5 examples of very appropriate unilateral, long-term (hopefully permanent) actions that the Israeli Government can and should take to clearly demonstrate that kidnapping and other acts of terror do not pay!

1) The immediate liberation and establishment of a permanent Israeli presence at Kever Yosef (Joseph’s tomb) in Shechem

2) The construction of a permanent roof on the Jewish prayer section in Maarat HaMachpela (The Tomb of the Patriarchs) in Hevron – as was planned, but never constructed

3) Allowing immediate entrance and right to inhabit to the Jewish owners of Beit Machpela in Hevron

4) The eviction of Arab squatters from the Yemenite Synagogue in the Yemenite Village of the City of David in Jerusalem and the restoration of the Synagogue

5) The legalization of Jewish Prayer on the Temple Mount

This is by no means an exclusive list and there are undoubtedly many other options that should be considered and implemented as well. The main point is that political responses are necessary and it is solely the responsibility of the Israeli Government. As citizens it is our obligation to strongly encourage them to fulfill their responsibility faithfully. Now is the time for both political and military action – both are crucial to our success.

Ben Packer

Old City, Jerusalem