Searching for Signs of Intelligent Life Among Israel’s Leaders
Israeli leaders are overfond of vowing that Israel’s enemies will “pay a price.”
Is Israel a retailer? Are Israel’s enemies a bunch of inveterate shoplifters?
The same Israeli leaders repetitively announce that there will be a “response” to the various terrorists for their various attacks.
Are Israel’s enemies a bunch of telemarketers or prank callers, or spammers sending unsolicited email?
When Israel half-heartedly confronts its foes, Israeli leaders publicly long for the return of “quiet.”
Are Israel’s enemies a bunch of noisy brats causing a ruckus?
Israel’s enemies are terrorists and terror sponsors. They exist to murder and mass murder. They’ll strike unless struck first.
So what is Israel waiting for? Why are Israeli governments satisfied with exacting a “price” or providing a “response” to terrorists so as to restore “quiet”…instead of proactively, concertedly, eradicating them from the face of the earth?
This is no great mystery: The reason is because of a fundamental leadership dearth. The conventional calculus prevailing at the highest levels in the Israeli government is one in which containment and management are the order of the day. Why go to the trouble of solving the problem when the problem can be contained? Why bother leading when you can get away with merely managing?
Regrettably, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proven to be a classic manager. He favors the status quo, whether it is in regard to the Temple Mount, Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, or dealing decisively with the terrorists. By now it should be crystal clear that Bibi makes an adept foreign minister (or finance minister) and a detrimental prime minister. He is content to remain a middling gerent instead of guiding the Jewish state into a new era of strength and confidence. He should therefore make way for someone willing to display leadership and common sense, someone who will take on Israel’s greatest challenges head-on. Israeli leaders wearing one eye-patch are functional; those who govern as if they are wearing two eye patches only ensure that a stagnant nation goes nowhere fast.
(Somewhere in the Knesset right now, a Jewish Diogenes is mumbling to himself, wandering the dim halls with a bright lantern in desperate search of a bold, determined, once-in-a-generation leader. Happy hunting, friend.)
Every day that the terrorists are permitted to plan, prepare, and attack at whim undermines the value of life in the Jewish state. As it stands, Israelis – even armed IDF soldiers, hamstrung by their flaccid non-leaders – nowadays walk around with invisible bull’s-eyes like sitting ducks, like fish in a barrel, until the terrorists shoot and slay at their pleasure, only pausing to resupply then reload.
For this the Jewish People needs a state? For this diasporic Jews will make aliyah to the homeland? This is a Promised Land?
Friendly reminder: If the State of Israel was an individual, it would at this point qualify for a senior’s discount. Pushing 67, Israel’s youth is over; the incunabula of statehood, the birth pangs, are inarguably bygones. Ergo, the Jewish state has got to comport itself like a wizened veteran, not a greenhorn, and valiantly advance beyond the stultifying, static inertia of the status quo.
Periodically countering the terrorists is sometimes referred to in Israel as “mowing the lawn.” Yet terrorists have an uncanny way of mimicking weeds, growing back instantaneously after the grass is cut. Terrorists do not need to pay prices or receive responses, they need to be uprooted (apparently, no incumbent Israeli leader is even remotely familiar with gardening).
Isn’t it high time the State of Israel put on its Big Boy pants? Isn’t it time Israel put away the lawnmower and instead gripped an incisive spade in each hand?