False Bravado Aside, Israel Is Helpless in the Face of Palestinian Resistance

The pundits say Israel should act more vigorously - as if that will make the situation better.

Kobi Niv
Kobi Niv
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A Palestinian posing as a journalist runs after a wounded Israeli soldier to continue stabbing him before being shot dead near West Bank city of Hebron, October 16, 2015.
A Palestinian posing as a journalist runs after a wounded Israeli soldier to continue stabbing him before being shot dead near the West Bank city of Hebron, October 16, 2015.Credit: Reuters
Kobi Niv
Kobi Niv

Every time there’s a security crisis, and there’s always a security crisis, thousands of studios fill up with an endless parade of pundits, washed-out has-beens and secondhand wannabes. And they all, first and foremost, always know with complete certainty what the government and its various agencies aren’t doing right.

Not only that, but they also know with military precision what is right and necessary and obligatory to do this instant. And as a rule, they were all there, deep inside, at the core of the decision-making and the heart of the action. And who understands and knows and recognizes the field and the capabilities and the mentality and the intergalactic geopolitics as well as they do?

And for some reason, nobody in those studios ever asks them, “But Mr. Garmoshka (a military term of endearment), after all, you were there; you were a cabinet minister, you were an army general, you were G. in the Shin Bet security service; so why, when you were there, didn’t you do everything you now say is right and necessary and obligatory to do, eh?”

So they continue to prattle, and always, in every security crisis, they propose the same thing they’ve already proposed in the 1,228 previous crises – to do more, much more, more something with much more something. To act more vigorously, for instance, and with much more decisiveness. To demolish more homes, and with much greater intensity. Or in short, they say, “less talk and more action.”

Some of them even come with a “detailed plan of action” with a dozen bullet points, like the 12 Tribes of Israel (if they happen to be speaking on the Heritage Channel), or the number of eggs in a carton (if it’s a morning program). This plan states that we must act 1) aggressively, 2) decisively and 3) unhesitatingly. And some also propose, with resolute decisiveness, that we need to move from something to something. For instance, from defense to offense, from weakness to toughness, from slowness to speed, from words to missiles, from geraniums to gladioli (oh no, that’s the expert in gardening, not guarding. Please switch to Galit Gutman’s studio), and so forth.

But the truth is that they, we, the government, all of us, are simply helpless, and have been for decades, in the face of stubborn Palestinian resistance, which takes a different form each time, to the very fact of our increasingly brutal rule over them.

And all because, due to all kinds of excuses (for instance, that they’re the ones who don’t want it), we don’t want a diplomatic solution, one comprised of negotiations, of agreements. And a military solution, no matter how much more energy and decisiveness and resolution it’s implemented with, simply does not work and will not work, and it doesn’t and can’t provide any solution, even if 1,000 pundits recite it in chorus. Because everything we’re broadcasting, both in the studios and in reality, is helplessness – energetic, determined, resolute, decisive and forceful, but still helplessness. Complete and utter.

And if it goes on like this – and there’s no sign of anything else on the horizon – then at the end of the process we will all lead and be led astray into the ultimate forceful magic solution, the ostensibly determined, unequivocal, final and decisive one, just as our master, teacher and rabbi from Lehava, Benzi Gopstein (for everything shall be according to his word), has already demanded: “Without expelling the non-Jews and dispossessing them of this land, we won’t succeed in settling the land.”

So come on, guys, give it some gas. Let’s step up the helplessness.

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