The entire country has become a front line. Civilians – men, women and children – are being killed and maimed by rocket fire in our country’s streets and homes. At this grave hour, Israel must respond with full force, determination and resolve to the terrorism and to terror leaders, but even more importantly, it must return to the source of the problem that has led us to this harsh reality. That is where we must provide a resolute and appropriate Zionist response and also finally put an end to the terrorist threat against us.
The impotence of the police, the acquiescence to the Arab sector, a lenient justice system in the face of terror and vacillating political leadership are all serious problems, but they are only the symptoms of a far more significant and widespread phenomenon. What has truly led us into this intolerable reality of missiles being fired at Israel’s cities and the violent and terrorist uprising of Israel’s Arab citizens, who are carrying out lynchings, pogroms and riots in the style of 1929, is the absence of governance and the weakness of sovereignty.
The absence of governance and sovereignty has led to capitulation in the face of Muslim demands regarding the Temple Mount and Nablus Gate, igniting the unrest and inflaming the mobs, allowing them to believe that they will be able to further chip away at Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem if they only continue their rampage.
The absence of governance and sovereignty in the Shimon Hatzaddik neighborhood has led to all-out war with Jews who have purchased legally Jewish-owned homes in their own capital city.
The absence of governance and sovereignty where Israel’s Arabs are concerned has led to Arab citizens arming themselves without any government control or enforcement. These guns and ammunition, acquired to be used in clashes between Arab crime clans, are now being wielded against Israel’s Jewish citizens and security forces.
The absence of governance and sovereignty is what allowed the terrorist leaders in the Gaza Strip to believe that inflaming the atmosphere would lead to a further political withdrawal on the part of Israel on their way to Israel’s complete destruction.
The absence of governance and sovereignty has led leaders from all over the world to apply increasing pressure on Israel to withdraw, capitulate and give up, as if Israel is the one to blame for its enemies rising up to annihilate its citizens.
For too many years, Israel’s leaders have elected to turn a blind eye to the rapid aggravation of the situation that has led us to this point. Take as an example the illegal Arab take-over of state lands in Judea and Samaria. The desire to secure yet another period of imaginary and false peace and quiet has blinded the leaders, who are afraid to confront the truth and reality, along with the complexity required to provide a fitting and Zionist response.
In face of this absence of governance and sovereignty, Israel must respond with an offensive of sovereignty and do it now.
It must enforce its sovereignty on the Temple Mount, the place where everything begins. Foreign political interference cannot be part of our foothold over the holy site, the source of our historical right to the land of Israel.
Israel’s leadership must take significant steps to enforce the law where the rioters are concerned, and if necessary, to bar Muslims from entering the Temple Mount until order is restored. At the same time, genuine and justified freedom of worship must be permitted, that of Jews who seek to pray on the mount.
As part of the offensive to restore sovereignty and governance that are so crucially needed at this time, legislation should be enacted that makes eminently clear the price that rioters must pay for their actions, that allows for the revocation of citizenship and expulsion of terrorists who participate in violent activities, pogroms and lynch mobs as we have seen in the past few days. This legislation must make Israel’s legal system more effective, firmer and less tolerant in the face of actions aimed at undermining the Jewish-Israeli identity of the State of Israel.
The revolving door policy so typical of the arrests of Israeli Arabs must end.
The governance offensive must include infiltration by all Israel’s intelligence services into the ranks of the Arab arms dealers to cut off the tentacles of this dangerous trade exploding all around us.
The sovereignty and governance offensive must include the application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. This is both because it is a just and moral political act that will restore our birthright, and also because it removes the question mark still hovering over the future of Judea and Samaria that encourages leaders and perpetrators of terror to continue on their evil path. This will also make it clear that not only will we restore the situation to its former state in response to the escalating terror, but that we are willing to advance further significant steps on our way to implementing and actualizing the Zionist vision and dream.
Israel’s leaders must come to their senses: This is the time for a practical and effective sovereignty offensive. The people of Israel have faced up to and withstood complex challenges, only to grow stronger through them. This will be the case with the challenge of sovereignty and governance too. "The eternal nation does not fear a long road.."
Resolute national leadership can accomplish these historic and game-changing steps. To that end, what is needed now is a national emergency government that does not have to rely on the votes of those who support and encourage terror, one whose leaders are fully cognizant of the magnitude of the hour. This is your historic moment. The people of Israel look to you for leadership of stature, united in the desire to take action and succeed. You have both the privilege and duty to be such leaders.
Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar are the co-chairs of the Sovereignty Movement