The attack in Be’er Sheva yesterday is in fact a "situation change". Less because of the results, and more because of its location, the perpetrator and the public’s perception. Until then, with a few exceptions (Kiryat Gat, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv), almost all the attacks were "there" - Jerusalem and beyond the Green Line. The public is refraining from taking risks and traveling places deemed "dangerous". Security forces are aware that considerable pressure on the East Jerusalem Arab neighborhoods, where most of the terrorists originate from, will disrupt additional attacks or at least will distract the stabbers to act against the security forces and not attack civilians.
Yesterday’s attack changed the picture. Yesterday’s attack took place "here" in Israel. Yesterday’s attacker was an Israeli citizen from the Bedouin community. We must be wary of collective stigmatization, but the results of the attack are clear: no one will escape suspicion nor the finger of blame.
The lack of personal security and collective suspicion requires security forces to intensify their efforts. As of this morning more and more cities will demand, and rightfully so, significantly reinforced forces to protect their citizens. It is probable that the IDF will be required to contribute more forces to this effort which has thus far fallen primarily on the police and the Israel border forces. The alternative is using security guards, some of whom are not sufficiently skilled. Due to the current atmosphere, these guards are likely to make critical mistakes, as happened yesterday when an Eritrean foreign national was suspected of being a terrorist, was shot by a security guard and then fatally injured by angry residents.
As difficult as it is to criticize those trying to thwart the attack, the police must lead a thorough investigation into the violation of the foreign national - during and following the event. It must be determined whether the shooting was justified and how the citizens were able to attack him later.
The sense of rage is justified, but must be controlled. There is no place for it, certainly not when the target is an innocent victim. It would be wise for the heads of state to deal with the matter in public; it is a question of ethics, it cannot to be taken lightly.
At a time when the US State Department spokesman captured two falsehoods, one that Israel has changed the status quo on the Temple Mount and the other that we used extensive force while in pursuit of terrorists, self-control and discipline is a must.
Israel’s fight against terrorism is not the same as the 50 days of fighting in Gaza, but the spirit that characterized the decision of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon, Minister of Defense and Chief of Staff Benny Gantz then, must repeat itself: strength, but with restraint.
As the investigation deepens we will be able to determine not only what happened last night but whether the level of terrorism has taken a step upwards; whether it is still being initiated by individuals or if it is now part of Hamas's terrorist preparations and a part of the Palestinian Authority. Will it remain in the scope of knives and cars or turn into a war with guns, or worse?
It is necessary to carefully and wisely determine additional goals. For example, should Israel view those who provoke and incite its destruction - apart from those who criticize - terrorists deserving of attack? Every decision must be taken seriously, and when implemented must be performed with determination and not be deterred by obstacles.
Make no mistake: the difference between success and failure is but a hair's breadth. Motivation is still high on the other side and attacks like yesterday only further encourage others to emulate its success.
Therefore, it is difficult to find someone on the Israeli side willing to assess how and when things might calm down. It will be related to military pressure exerted by Israel, but primarily in the political and international arena.
The cold shoulder given to Israel around the world can be viewed on the Palestinian street as a green light to continue the violence. This is a dangerous situation which demands our friends, especially the United States, to come down from the fence.
May the Lord give strength to His people,
and may God bless His people with peace.
Please login to leave a comment