Israeli Indulgence Is Getting Out of Hand

If not for the sake of the Jews then for our sake, for the sake of the 'non-Jews'; and for the sake of our children, stop provoking the neighbors.

Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat
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Destroyed buildings in Gaza City. Two million Gazans are trapped and when the Gazans complain with missiles that are intercepted while still in the air, the Israelis start to complain.
Destroyed buildings in Gaza City. Two million Gazans are trapped and when the Gazans complain with missiles that are intercepted while still in the air, the Israelis start to complain.Credit: AFP
Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat

We’ve returned to the south. Thanks to the latest lull, the golden south has returned to the country’s borders, otherwise we might not have been able to see the blooming of the anemones, as Benny Gantz promised the residents of the south. But really, it’s a little hard to understand all this excitement over the results of the latest “confrontation” when the soldiers of the other army aren’t visible on our television screens, not to mention the tanks, planes and ships that it doesn’t have. Sorry, we forgot to mention the three mighty motorcycles that were discovered at the entrance to some tunnel. Is this how a state that believes it’s destined for greatness behaves?

For despite the enormous sorrow for every person who was killed in the war, the Israeli losses were still minimal. What will happen if the next confrontation, heaven forbid, takes place against Iran? The previous defense minister, Ehud Barak, estimated that “only” 500 civilians would be killed in this conflict. And what will happen if a conflict erupts with Hezbollah, which hasn’t been subject to an Israeli blockade and has no shortage of resources?

And we’re not only talking about loss of life, but about vast economic damage. If after this “mini-war” the army is asking for an additional NIS 18 billion when it only had to fly in and out of Gaza, what will happen when we’re talking lots of international flights in the range of Tehran-Tel Aviv? Prepare for an austerity regime.

And so, friends, if you don’t have financial wherewithal to sustain an occupation and a blockade and diplomatic stagnation then please, go ahead and shut down the occupation, close the checkpoints and remedy the injustice that is being done to the Palestinians. Otherwise, God only knows what will happen here. Because this indulgence of the Israeli public is getting out of hand. They want to establish an empire but they don’t want to pay the price; two million Gazans are trapped and when the Gazans complain with missiles that are intercepted while still in the air, the Israelis start to complain. Another three million are imprisoned in the West Bank, in somewhat better conditions, and when these inmates appeal to the United Nations Israelis scream for help, and one particular genius, wearing a mournful expression, wails about “diplomatic terror.”

But these are the rules of the game. If you want to play the neighborhood bully who lashes out left and right, who burns and kills and kidnaps, then you can’t suddenly play the sensitive fellow who sets up a mourners’ tent every time some scrap falls in his yard. As the saying goes – those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Or to use Barak’s picturesque language: Those who live in a villa shouldn’t provoke the surrounding jungle.

The problem is that, against our will, we Arab citizens are getting hit hard. We’re against the occupation and against the blockade, so why should we pay the price? So therefore, distinguished leaders of this country, if not for the sake of the Jews then for our sake, for the sake of the “non-Jews” and for the sake of our children, stop provoking the neighbors. By the way, I’m certain our Jewish brethren will also benefit from this. And it’s our pleasure – after all, we’re here to serve.

Now, of course, people will roll their eyes and say that even if Israel does withdraw, the Palestinians won’t leave it alone. So why do the Palestinians in Israel behave otherwise? Simply because despite the discrimination, they feel that there is a strong basis here for their development.

The Israeli leaders’ problem is that they don’t understand that if the Palestinians get to live in humane conditions, what will interest them will be giving their children a better future; and on the other hand if the Finns – whom Barak once expressed a desire to live among – were to be imprisoned in the Gaza camp, we could expect a wave of blond, blue-eyed folks to pop out of a tunnel eventually.

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