In Israel, Heroic Is He Who Cocks His Weapon

It's only a matter of time and luck before a Jew is riddled with bullets just because he looks like an Arab.

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An Israeli man buys a gun in a weapon shop near the West Bank Jewish settlement of Givat Zeev, Oct. 11, 2015.Credit: AP

Every nation has its rabble, and every rabble has its hour. Now its hour has come. For now every Cossack from Lehava and La Familia is free to roam the streets of Jerusalem in search of prey.

My friend Abel al-Halim Zoabi, whose two sons served with distinction in the police, has forbidden them to go down to Afula, lest they fall victim to a lynching at the hands of their neighbors. And the workers from the territories who are currently doing the remodeling work on our apartment building asked us if it’s safe here, in this area. What could we tell them?

In the face of the “wave of terrorism,” Benjamin Netanyahu decided to raise the “wave of heroism.” “Civilians are at the front, and with their courage, we will triumph,” he said.

After all the decisions accompanied by lots of fanfare haven’t helped, the burden of self-defense is being placed on the ordinary citizen who happens to get caught at the scene. This is how the changing of the guard works now – the ministers with their security details go off-duty and the reluctant heroes have to go on-duty.

Why does this manipulation sound so familiar? Ah, yes, now I remember: It’s just another variation on the “strong home front” theme. When the situation is terrible and the government is at a total loss, they start to sing the praises of the public’s “resilience.” Maybe, so the thinking seems to go, if we shower them with enough flattery, the people won’t notice that they’ve been abandoned in their distress. And the prime minister who is being wagged about by events suddenly comes off as the chief of the volunteers.

Netanyahu’s predecessor, Ehud Olmert, behaved the same way during the Second Lebanon War. We lived there, in the battered north, at the time. People fled for their lives, leaving behind the weaker ones who lacked the wherewithal to run away. I saw how helpless they were, how betrayed by their government. But in the shelters they heard on the radio that “the home front is strong,” and from every brief visit the ministers emerged strengthened.

Now, too, Bibi is gaining strength on the back of his subjects. He’ll be “strong versus Hamas” some other time. No, you are not alone, you heroes of his glory. Even as you walk on Hagay Street, Bibi is with you: He will soon outlaw the Islamic Movement, foolish Bougie will offer his seal of approval and silly Yair won’t keep quiet either.

The Northern Branch is truly awful, I have my own reasons to despise its provocateur leader; I know him. Nevertheless, isn’t Ra’ad Salah doing the same kind of thing that Netanyahu did? Isn’t warning that “Al-Aqsa is in danger” parallel to warning that “Arabs are streaming to the polls”? Lies take on a life of their own. We can easily identify the speaker, but we can’t discern the difference. One won the election and the other the campaign.

Outlawing something doesn’t mean you’ve removed it from the system. Kach was declared an “illegal organization” years ago. So what? Haven’t successors sprung up to take its place? Are there no more Kahanists in the ranks of Likud, Habayit Hayehudi and Yisrael Beitenu? Is “Kahane Lives” dead, or is it still alive in Yitzhar and the Jewish community in Hebron, “skipping over the mountains in Judea, leaping on the hilltops in Samaria” and kicking every Arab?

The gun that makes an appearance now, in the first act, won’t wait all the way until the third act. It will be fired immediately, for that is the order of the hour. Anyone who always dreamed of “taking down” an Arab son-of-a-bitch – this is his big opportunity. No need to worry about any military or police internal affairs investigation. All in accordance with Jewish sharia laws.

Police officers in Jerusalem have already been struck by friendly fire, a Jew already stabbed another Jew in Kiryat Ata, and the last stray bullet has yet to be fired. Heroic is he who cocks his weapon. It’s only a matter of time and luck before a Jew is riddled with bullets just because he looks like an Arab and acts and smells like Furat Nassar, rather than like Yigal Amir or Yishai Schlissel. It will happen because we’re incredibly, sickeningly similar. The face of the rabble is always like that of the trained attack dog – that same look of murder in the eyes and the same foaming at the mouth. The symptoms of rabies make them indistinguishable from one another.

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