What is happening is not to be believed; certainly not to be tolerated. And so there is no response more appropriate than anger. With it, of course, pain – for those who are suffering.
This is a picture of Shira and Amichai Ish-Ran on their wedding day. How joyous they were. Just as I am certain they were filled with joy about her subsequent pregnancy and the prospect of starting their family.
Shira and Amichai were hit in that drive-by terror attack outside of Ofra last week. He is recovering from the three bullets that got him. And she – thank Heaven – is also making progress. Brought to the hospital in critical condition, after a bullet went through her, she has now regained some consciousness and is improving.
Her baby boy was delivered by C-section at 30 weeks, and he is struggling to hold on to life.
Please pray for Shira Yael bat Liora and her newborn son, and for Amichai.
Today, for the first time since they were taken to the hospital, Shira and Amichai saw each other. He entered her room with flowers, and held her hand. There were tears, and, of course, there was joy. She cannot speak because of tubes in her throat.
It was when I learned that, in her sedated state, Shira was not fully aware that her baby had been delivered and was having a hard time that I cried.
And I knew with clarity that we here in Israel simply cannot permit these situations to persist. Matters have got to change.
How? There is a great deal that must be addressed: , far more than I can do justice to here, but the point is that this issue must be tackled decisively and with a new resolve.
The barest beginning, I think, is with measures that are tougher, so that every potential terrorist understands the repercussions, not just for himself, but for his entire family, should he attack. So many terrorists’ houses have not been taken down, so many terrorists in prison have far greater than the minimum standard of amenities recognized by human rights laws. What is wrong with us?
In present circumstances it is difficult if not impossible to hermetically seal the Jewish areas of Judaea and Samaria from infiltration by Palestinian Arabs, but a great deal of thought is required regarding ways to improve the current situation. To more stringently restrict the latitude of Palestinian Arabs to move about on roads in the area, perhaps.
To the inevitable cries of infringement of human rights, I offer one response: The first human right is the right to life.
For reasons of security alone (in addition to the legal and moral reasons) it is being suggested that this may be the time to apply sovereignty over the land. We would then have a great deal more control.
It will not happen now because doing this would require great political courage, but I dearly wish we would.
In search of the terrorists involved in the drive-by shooting, IDF forces went into Ramallah. They did not do this on a whim: if they were there it is because they had intelligence on the matter. But Abbas was “furious” at the intrusion and said he would complain to international bodies because Israel was exacerbating the situation.
This inciting, Jew-hating low-life has no right to say anything about the situation. If we had sovereignty, he would know more clearly that this was the case.
And note, please, that while he criticized Israel, he did not condemn the attack.
At a bare minimum, we should work vigorously to strengthen and expand Jewish development in Judaea and Samaria. For ideological reasons, I have never been a fan of the idea that building in Judaea and Samaria should be done as reprisal for terror. For we have a right to build, period.
But today my perspective is different. Every terrorist who attacks should know without question that there will be an expansion of Jewish development in response to his acts of evil.
This is what Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (cutting the ribbon ) said today while inaugurating the Adam Interchange and a new traffic light near Beit El. This expands upon what I’ve written above (emphasis added):
“In light of all the attacks and in light of this despicable attack – and of course we wish health to all the wounded and the baby who’s struggling for his life – we’re allowing the settlement to develop and multiply, this should be the task of the State of Israel: To double the settlement, to settle Ofra, to regulate all the settlements after decades.
“We’re promoting a strategic plan on a very wide range with light rail routes at high-risk areas and traffic lights to make Judea and Samaria part of the Israeli norm of a developed and connected country.”
(Note: When Minister Katz speaks of regulating settlements he is referring to a new Regulation Law that can compel Arabs who have made claims to land in Jewish communities in Judaea and Samaria to accept 125% of its market value or comparable land elsewhere. That is, Arabs will not be able to create a situation that requires Jews to leave their homes.)
Last Thursday, a US-sponsored resolution in the UN General Assembly – entitled “Activities of Hamas and Other Militant Groups in Gaza,” which would have condemned Hamas “for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk” – failed to pass in spite of vigorous lobbying by the US.
This was because a decision was made by the UN to require a super-majority of two-thirds rather than a simple majority. Had a simple majority sufficed, it would have passed. The vote was 87 in favor, 57 opposed, with 26 abstentions.
The prior vote to require a super-majority passed 75 – 72. Had two nations that voted for this voted against, it all would have been different.
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon referred to what happened as a
“hijack by a political move of procedure….For those member states that rejected this resolution, you should be ashamed of yourselves… Wait [until] you will have to deal with terrorism in your own countries. Your silence in the face of evil reveals your true colors.”
With it all, Danon pointed out that the 87 votes in favor of the anti-Hamas resolution was record breaking.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who will be leaving her post at the end of the year, was her usual marvelous self while promoting this resolution.
“There is nothing more anti-Semitic,” she charged, than refusing to condemn terrorism when it is targeting the Jewish state.
It will likely shock few of my readers that Hamas subsequently praised the Ofra attack. Said a spokesman:
“The heroic Ofra operation is an affirmation of our people’s choice and legitimacy in resisting the Zionist occupation and its settlers.”
There is little that needs to be said about a group that considers shooting a pregnant woman an “heroic operation.”
And then we have this:
Nigeria and Zambia, which both voted against the UN Hamas resolution, on Sunday sent representatives to Israel to participate in a four-day seminar on improving food production. Israeli expertise can be of enormous assistance to African nations, and this seminar is a step towards establishment of the Israeli-African Agricultural Innovation Center. That growing Israeli-African connection has been a centerpiece of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s diplomatic efforts.
But of 54 African states, only six voted for the resolution condemning Hamas, while 28 (more than half) voted against it and the rest abstained or were absent. None of the eight countries that came for this seminar were among those who voted for the resolution.
For heaven’s sake, this resolution was not a rejection of the “two state solution,” it was a rejection of terrorism, and African states struggle with considerable terrorism, albeit not from Hamas.
A question is now raised regarding the wisdom of providing Israeli assistance to nations that are privately appreciative of our assistance but still prepared to knife us, or decline to support us, diplomatically.
Our prime minister, I am certain, would say we are making headway and it is a process. But it begins to wear very thin.
The EU has just released findings from a poll, the largest ever of its kind worldwide, regarding antisemitism. Results are shocking:
Of the 16,000 Jews from 12 European countries who participated on-line, nearly 90 percent feel that antisemitism has increased in their home countries over the past five years, and almost 30% say they have been harassed at least once in the past year.
In France, 95% of the Jews see antisemitism as a “very big” or “fairly big” problem. Britain, Germany and Sweden saw the sharpest increases in those feeling his way.
Antisemitism is endemic in Europe and it never goes away, even if its manifestation fluctuates. There is in my mind absolutely no question about the fact that the influx of Muslim immigrants into western Europe has exacerbated the situation.
And there is something else about which I have no question: Israel must be strong as never before, for those fleeing that European antisemitism will look to us here.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has instructed Diaspora Minister Bennett to develop a plan for assisting more French Jews to make aliyah.