View From The Hills: Is resilience the answer?

By
May 8, 2013 21:02

The power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity

4 minute read.



Terror victim Evyatar Borovsky

Evyatar Borovsky 370. (photo credit: Nir Elias/Reuters)

Resilience:

1. The power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.

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2. Ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy. – (dictionary.com)

Since the signing of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinian Authority 20 years ago, over 1,500 Israelis have been murdered in terror attacks with thousands more wounded. In fact it’s rare in a county this small not to know somebody – or at least not to know somebody who knows somebody, whose life hasn’t been directly impacted or shattered by terrorism in one form or another.

Palestinian terror struck yet again recently, when Yitzhar resident and father of five young children 31-year-old Evyatar Borovsky was murdered while trying to hitch a ride at the Tapuah Junction in Shomron. Shomron Council officials say Borovsky was attacked Tuesday morning, April 30 – stabbed twice in the back by Salam Azal, an Arab resident of the village of Shuka, near Tulkarm, who was a known terrorist recently released from Israeli prison.

After stabbing Borovsky for no other reason than being Jewish, Azal stole his victim’s pistol and attempted to finish the job.

While nearby Border Police rushed to the scene and were able to disarm Azal by shooting him and wounding him moderately, paramedics were unable to save Borovsky’s life.

Shortly after his death was announced, another Jewish hitchhiker who was an eyewitness to the attack recited the Shema prayer and closed the victim’s eyes, as other soldiers and security officials began arriving.

While technically this was the first murderous terror attack in Judea and Samaria in nearly two years, it should not be downplayed, since attempts by terrorists to harm and kill Jewish civilians and soldiers – whether by throwing rocks, firebombs, through stabbings or by shootings have picked up steam and are a nearly daily occurrence.

But Israeli society has proven to be resilient in the face of two decades of terror.

When buses were blowing up regularly in suicide attacks in our major cities, just minutes after the dead and wounded were transferred away from the scene and the blood was cleaned off the streets and sidewalks, and the burnt-out shell of the targeted vehicle was towed away, commuters were right back at the very same bus stop ready to get on board the next scheduled line.

On one hand such resilience should be applauded. It sends a message to the terrorists that while you may bend us, we will not break. On the other hand, I would argue that returning to our lives as if everything is back to normal is perhaps a misguided response.

How many more times do we have to be attacked, and how many more Israelis need to be buried, in order to confirm the fact that we are a resilient bunch? For those who are directly impacted, either the survivors of an attack or those who have lost loved ones in tragedies such as terror or war, personal resilience might be the only way to cope on a day-to-day basis.

But for the rest of our society, on a national level, I believe it’s time for a psychological paradigm shift away from “resilience” unless it is accompanied first by true and meaningful change.

In other words, instead of having the attitude that “once the street is clear, I’m going to get back on that bus,” maybe the attitude should be, “I will only get on that bus again, (or hitch a ride, etc.) once my government proves to me that it is safe to do so. Until there is true change, maybe I won’t carry on as if everything is normal.”

Imagine if tomorrow, the entire country, or even a large percentage of the working population, decided to stay home, as a protest against terror and in solidarity with this week’s victim.

Think what a powerful message that would send to our elected leadership – that unless terrorism is wiped out once and for all, we are going to shut down and stay home.

No stock market, no transportation, no food services, just like the labor strikes we are used to in this country, but this one in each and every sector. I’m pretty sure such drastic action would get the attention of those in charge and force them to implement meaningful policies to gain back the confidence and support of the general populace.

In all fairness, during these past 20 years we have become experts at limiting casualties – building the security barrier, putting up checkpoints, turning Sderot and surrounding communities into one big bomb shelter, carrying out pinpoint strikes on terror targets, even implementing sizeable (but limited) military campaigns – but this week’s deadly attack, and the fact that other attempts occur time and time again, show that we have been simply putting “band-aids” over our problems and have not been implementing meaningful solutions.

I suggest that we stop having to overcome adversity and show our resilience, but instead avoid being the victims in the first place.

The writer is a media expert, freelance journalist, and host of Reality Bytes Radio, on www.israelnationalradio.com.


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