Spending Thanksgiving in Long Island made me proud to be a former New Yorker. Despite the distance, the level of concern and regard for the suffering the people of Israel are enduring, heartwarming - and a mind opener. No self-blame, no irrational Jewish morality that blames the Jewish victims, no twisted logic that never holds the Palestinian Arabs accountable for their murderous behavior while blaming Netanyahu and the current government of Israel instead. No demand that Israel continue to abide by the rules of the “Oslo peace process” and allow Israelis to be sitting ducks waiting innocently for the next stabbing or road terror.
The overwhelming majority of the people with whom I spoke understood without any doubt, hesitation or need to apologize, that the current terror wave is just another stark reminder that the incessant demands by the Israeli left and their American supporters that Israel make more concessions to "give peace a chance" are utter nonsense.
From both religious and secular people, I heard voices unified in their demand that Israel get tough and do what is necessary to end the terror wave. I don't know where the leftist liberal Jews we read about were hiding, but it wasn't there.
Netanyahu and the government he leads elicit hope rather than blame. The Palestinian Arabs and their ideology of accepting nothing else than the demise of Israel are seen correctly as the fuel that has ignited the insatiable urge to go out and stab, shoot and run over any Jew they can get near. Once again, the Palestinian Arabs have shown their inability to let go of the pan-Islamic shackles that have prevented their political emancipation over the past century. All of this is as clear as daylight for my many hosts here in Long Island yet remains far removed from the collective understanding of so many Israelis who choose to blame Netanyahu.
This being said, Israel and her supporters throughout the world are still left wondering how the Netanyahu government will end the wave of terror. If on one hand the government acts to make it more difficult for the Palestinian Arabs to kill Jews by limiting their access to roads and Jewish communities, the government will be widely accused of apartheid-like oppression. If the government does nothing as President Obama has continued to urge, or takes measures in order to “build confidence,” they will not only will have rewarded the Palestinian Arabs for murder but will make it easier for the wave of terror to continue and escalate.
So the dilemma remains: Can the Netanyahu government ignore all of these wider considerations and simply squeeze the Palestinian Arabs until they cry uncle?
According to this kind of logic, the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip should have been eradicated after the first missile was fired on Israel years ago, yet two wars later, Israel has chosen to enable Hamas to continue existing as a political and territorial governing entity.
Should Israel choose to, it can overrun and regain control of the Gaza Strip in less than 72 hours, so the issue is not one of military strength and capability. This kind of scenario could result in hundreds of Palestinian Arabs killed and wounded, but that would not be the main consideration if it was deemed necessary for the normalization of Israeli life. There seem to be other wider strategic considerations at work that might explain what is perceived by many supporters and foes alike as weakness and political hesitancy, both in Gaza and Judea and Samaria.
The answer to these competing perspectives is more obvious than it would seem. Over the years as the Palestinian Authority (PA) has become a basket welfare state basing its very existence on handouts from the State Department and the European Union. It did not establish any real public services or infrastructure for the Palestinian Arabs that were supposed to be the primary beneficiaries of this outside budgetary funding.
Instead, Israel provides employment for hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arab workers; electricity, water, and other vital services are all provided by Israel. Israel and the Palestinian Arabs have become more intertwined and interdependent than ever before. And Israel’s industrial and residential expansion creeps eastward beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines changing the demographic reality in Judea and Samaria, with Jews expecting to reach one million residents by the end of the decade. During this period, the Palestinian Authority will lose any semblance of legitimacy in the eyes of the very people that they are representing. Filling the political void will be Hamas and the Islamist ideology which fueled the current terror wave. An absolute majority of terrorists have come from East Jerusalem and the Hevron area, both hotbeds of Hamas, with the PA having little if any influence on these Arab residents except for adding incitement.
Sooner, rather than later, the terror wave will come to an end, signaling the end of the Palestinian Authority. With Hamas replacing Abbas and his corrupt bureaucracy, not one word of condemnation will be uttered by Obama, or the Europeans. Hamas will not be hampered by any human rights organizations as they execute and throw PA officials and supporters off the 15th floor, as they enthusiastically did the last time around in Gaza - without any international response.
With Hamas at the helm, Israel will be able to respond forcibly as a sovereign state should and put an end to the nascent Palestinian Arab terror state The great majority of Israeli’s and their American supporters will have no qualms about destroying the terror infrastructure of Hamas. The silent majority of Palestinian Arabs will weigh in with Israel and opt to strengthen this interdependency.
Netanyahu is a statesman of historic proportion who knows full well that the current terror wave, despite the high price in loss of life - and even though every Jewish life is a high price - will enable Israel to emerge stronger, united, and invincible in the eyes of its adversaries in the Middle East. For this, Netanyahu should be vindicated and not blamed; we all owe him our gratitude.
The writer, a 25-year veteran of the I.D.F., served as a field mental health officer and Commander of the Central Psychiatric Military Clinic for Reserve Soldiers at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring from active duty, he provides consultancy services to NGO’s implementing Psycho trauma and Psychoeducation programs to communities in the North and South of Israel. Today, Ron is a strategic advisor at the Office of the Chief Foreign Envoy of Judea and Samaria.