Sovereignty cannot end at the edge of Arab neighborhoods and towns. If Israel wishes to ensure quiet, law and order must be enforced everywhere.
The lethal terrorist attack last night showed how easy it is to attack Jews. Those innocent kids are still roaming free in the streets of al-Quds and even congregating for bad purposes along main roads. The days when you had to hunt after evildoers has long past. Today, in the era of “containment”, all you need is will. The rest – means, opportunity and potential victims – will be provided by Allah.
But credit to Allah aside, the government of Israel deserves much of the credit for the present situation. Anyone who followed events in the field could tell that the policy f the police will not work for long. The abortive effort to hold the rioters at the edges of Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, the extensive efforts to protect main roads and Jewish towns make the next stage of escalation entirely inevitable. The IDF teaches that “the line of contact will always be breached”, but it seems the police doesn’t think this is more than a slogan put on some boring power point presentation.
And make no mistake, the line was breached: the rioters from Shuafat and Beit Hanina were stopped at the edge of French Hill, but they have long since understood how the system works, and have changed methods – live fire into Pisgat Zeev, stone throwing on passing cars, and now using cars themselves as a deliberate deadly weapon.
“Let them stew in their own juices” is how Moshe Dayan explained why the IDF avoided operating within the Gaza Strip during the terrorist attacks of the early 1970s. Well, they stewed alright: innocent charity organizations became terror hothouses, and the youth of the disco decade transformed into a rocket-armed regional power setting the global agenda.
This may not be taught in conflict resolution departments, but this is how it works in the real world: whoever shows a daily, regular presence determines affairs. If it’s not us, it will be someone else.
The only way to restore security is a robust sovereign and consistent presence in Arab neighborhoods and towns. Not by hiding behind pillboxes and armored vehicles, but with constant and stubborn policing, day after day. Law enforcement is a dirty job, and professional have to do it. Crimes, murders (including “honor killings”), illegal arms and all the sundry “internal” Arab affairs need to start being our business, not something to be dealt with “in house”. If we don’t, we simply won’t last here.
This requires a lot of effort, it’s not politically correct and there may be casualties. But if we don’t want to wake up with ISIS as a next door neighbor, we’re going to have to act preemptively to keep it out.
English translation by Avi Woolf.