Were that I had only good news to report. But painfully this is not the case. And in a situation such as we are facing now, the good news, which does exist, must wait.
There seems no end to this:
In the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem today (Sunday) a flatbed truck rammed into members of the IDF who had alighted from a bus. Four young soldiers, all in their 20s, three women and a man, were killed. Sixteen others were wounded to varying degrees, some seriously.
After the first ramming, the terrorist went into reverse in order to return and ram the soldiers again; some ended up under the truck and had to be rescued.
The soldiers, members of the IDF’s officer’s training course, were participating in the army’s “Culture Sundays” program, in which troops are taken to important historical and national sites. They were at the Promenade, the Tayelet, a walkway with magnificent views of the Old City and the City of David below.
The terrorist, a resident of eastern Jerusalem’s Jabel Mukaber neighborhood, was shot dead at the scene. The truck had an Israeli license plate and he had an Israeli driver’s license.
We do not become inured to such incidents, nor – Heaven forbid – should we. That would mean a loss of our humanity.
But what I see as clear as anything is that we cannot back off in fear. It falls to us (and I speak as a resident of Jerusalem) to indeed head forward with full determination to speak out for who we are and what our rights are, especially during this time of political transition and historical anniversaries (about which more below). Those who wish us dead would not be content in any event unless we all leaped into the sea.
There is a bitter irony inherent in this situation that must not escape us. For this incident has happened as our nation is embroiled in tensions over the military court finding that Sgt. Elor Azariya is guilty of manslaughter for shooting dead a wounded terrorist. I had wanted to write about Azariya today, but will defer in some part to Caroline Glick, who wrote a very powerful article on the subject:
Here we are, discussing whether it is “legal” according to IDF rules and “moral” to shoot dead a terrorist who had been taken down. And worrying about what the world will think of us if our soldiers are too prone to shooting terrorists – thereby putting our soldiers at a disadvantage.
The first person to shoot at the terrorist today was a civilian, tour guide Ethan Rond, because the soldiers hesitated. “Purity of arms” it is called: great moral care as to when to shoot. This had been inculcated into the soldiers, especially at present.
I call it insanity. And I grieve for our nation.
“The IDF announced that it is investigating why so many soldiers fled the scene of the terror attack in Jerusalem Sunday afternoon and did not try to eliminate or apprehend the terrorist.”
Moshe Feiglin wrote an opinion piece declaring that Azariya was the only moral one on the scene that day, because terrorists should be killed.
There is a valid case to be made for this – no, a strong case. What is certain is that – even beyond the issue of whether terrorists deserve to live – they must be afraid of us, and now they are not.
They celebrated today’s terrorist atrocity in Gaza, which is to be expected. But there are reports that Arabs on the scene also applauded. Make note of this, please, when you read about efforts to negotiate “peace.”
In pain, and in celebration, we must head forward. And so here I pick up on what I had intended to write before the attack:
Less than two weeks to go and counting…
Until Donald Trump is sworn in on January 20th, there will be unease about what else Obama might yet pull. But my best guess is that he’s done. Not because he’s suddenly developed a soft spot for Israel, but because his last gambit at the UN was not well received. Obama cares about his legacy, such as he imagines it to be. And indication that he plans nothing more is coming from such White House advisors as Ben Rhodes.
Of course, we do have that insane “peace conference”’ in Paris on the 15th, a mere five days before Obama leaves office.
But let’s hold tight.
Last Tuesday, former Governor Mike Huckabee spoke at a Knesset session arranged by MK Miki Zohar (Likud – pictured immediately below).
Governor Huckabee was brought to Israel by the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce.
I was there in the conference room where he spoke and was delighted. A number of right-wing/nationalist MKs gathered to welcome him: Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi); Shuli Moalem-Refaeli (Habayit Heyudi); Yehuda Glick (Likud); etc. etc. Each spoke about our rights to the land, and it was lovely to hear.
Governor Huckabee’s talk provided both inspiration and solid, tough advice.
He tore apart both Kerry’s speech, and the UN resolution. And he spoke with great conviction about our rights to our land.
“There is a saying: Do it big or go home,”
“You need to do it big, and you are already home.”
See here for both a link to his full statement and pictures of the gathering:
And there is other encouraging news, as well:
As most of my readers are undoubtedly aware, we are approaching the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, when we liberated Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem. A good part of the world, ignoring or distorting international law, and embracing the Palestinian Arab narrative, has consistently referred to Israel as an “occupier” of these areas.
Now, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely has declared her intention of marking this year as a time of celebration: a time for highlighting the legal and moral rights to the Land of Israel and combatting the notion that Israeli is in these areas “illegally.”
“I want the State of Israel to be proud of the fact that 50 years after the Six Day War, we achieved such amazing milestones in so many areas,” she told The Times of Israel. “This should be a year not only of showcasing the beauty of our history and our past, but also a year of looking toward the future.”
Hotovely envisions a huge permanent exhibition, utilizing virtual reality technologies, that would be entitled something like “Coming Home.” It would celebrate the Jews as the indigenous people of the Land:
“We’re often seen as a country without roots, a new country that represents an ancient people but whose roots in this land are very short. The idea is to bring us back to the bigger picture. There is a terribly beautiful story of a nation that all these years remained connected to this land and we want to tell it with innovative visual means and open it for the greater public….
“What is occupation? Who did we occupy [Judaea and Samaria] from? It was not under Palestinian sovereignty. It is in no way possible to say it is a occupation in the regular sense of one country occupying another country.” (Emphasis added)
Unfortunately, at present the funds for this exhibit are not yet available, but hopefully will be in due course.
Coincidentally, November 2017 also marks the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration – which recognized all of Palestine from the river to the sea as a Jewish homeland and served as the basis for the Mandate, which followed.
Mahmoud Abbas has already declared this year of the Balfour Declaration as a year for publicizing the “wrong” it did to the “Palestinian people.” And so Israel officially, and all of us who care about Israel’s rights unofficially, have our work cut out for us in publicizing the truth.
Become pro-active: Put information on your Facebook pages, write letters to the editor.
Journalist Yisrael Medad has proposed substituting “land redemption activity” for “settlement activity” wherever possible. He’s on the right track: we must use terminology that reflects the reality, while rejecting those expressions – such as “occupation” – that give credence to the Palestinian Arab narrative. They have been very clever in inserting these pejorative terms into the dialogue, and it’s past due for us to undo this. Not “settlements” – which has taken on a negative connotation – but “Jewish communities” or “Jewish towns and cities.” “Residents of the Jewish communities of Judaea and Samaria,” not “settlers.”
It irritates me more than a little that much is also being made of the fact this this year marks the 70th anniversary of UN Resolution 181, which called for the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state. Kerry referred to this in his horrendous speech.
And so, it also must be emphasized at every turn that:
1) This was a General Assembly resolution, which was just a recommendation and carries no weight in international law, and
2) The Arabs rejected it, thereby rendering it null and void in any event.
All else that I had hoped to address today will wait until a future posting. We have some interesting times ahead.