Peres visits school in South_311.
(photo credit: Mark Neiman)
This past weekend, a bar mitzva boy in Beersheba received a rude welcome to
adulthood. Sometime after midnight on Friday evening, just hours before the
young man was due to ascend the podium to read from the Torah, an air-raid siren
“Tzeva Adom” (the equivalent of “Code Red”), it declared,
signaling that Palestinian terrorists had launched projectiles from Gaza toward
My twin sons, who were attending the celebratory
weekend, were fast asleep along with the rest of the guests. A youth ran into
their room and attempted to rouse them, shouting that an attack was on its
Thinking it was just a prank, they did what teens around the world
are so adept at doing: They rolled over and went back to sleep.
later, the mother of the bar mitzva boy burst in and told everyone to get to the
hotel’s protected area forthwith.
One of my sons did just that, while the
other just kept on snoozing – sleeping through his first rocket strike. Mazal
tov! But this is no laughing matter. From Beersheba all the way up to Gedera,
hundreds of thousands of Israelis were forced to seek shelter as Palestinian
terrorists fired more than 120 rockets and mortar rounds in a 48-hour period,
indiscriminately targeting civilians.
The weekend bombardment followed
Thursday’s deliberate attack on an Israeli school bus, when Palestinians
launched an anti-tank missile at the vehicle, critically wounding a 16-year-old
All told, since January 1, terrorists in Gaza have fired 269
rockets, mortars and shells at Jewish towns and villages in the South. That
comes out to nearly three projectiles per day, every day, since the start of
This is simply insufferable, and it is time for Israel to take all
necessary measures to stop it.
THE PRIMARY goal of the terrorists is to
murder and maim innocent Israelis, and to sow fear and disarray among the
public. We need to take the fight to them and stop allowing the terrorists to
treat the residents of the Negev as targets in their own private shooting
As my kids recounted the harrowing Shabbat incident to me, I
could not help but think of how successive premiers have not lived up to the
primary responsibility of any government – to provide for the safety and
security of its citizens.
Just imagine how the siren must have cast a
shadow over the bar mitzva, and how it will be forever etched in the memory of
the young boy, whose rite of passage was disrupted by some cruel terrorists bent
on wreaking havoc. Is this any way for a nation to live? Unfortunately, for
residents of the South, the disruption of daily life has become all too
familiar. Even our dovish President Shimon Peres said that “the Gaza Strip has
turned into a terrorist zone.”
If that is the case, then why on earth do
we allow it to continue? Indeed, perhaps Israel’s gravest error is that we have
been treating the intolerable as if it were tolerable, carrying on as though it
were perfectly normal for our neighbors to be attacking us at will.
Sunday, the government reportedly agreed to a cease-fire with the Hamas
leadership in Gaza. But the question is: to what end? We cease, while they gear
up to continue firing.
A couple of IDF air strikes and some tough words
from the premier just won’t do. Taking out a handful of the bad guys is not a
Israel must end this charade. The Jewish state needs
to reassert control and topple the Hamas terrorist regime once and for all. It’s
time to correct the strategic mistake of withdrawing from Gaza, which allowed
the area to become a launching pad for terror.
The residents of the
entire country deserve some peace and quiet, which can only come once our foes
are truly vanquished.
Sure, an Israeli move into Gaza would have
far-reaching political repercussions, and there is no doubt that it would be
messy and complicated. But we have no choice. Tranquility and calm must be
restored to the Negev, and the lives of Israel’s citizens must take priority
over any other concerns.
Let’s stop tolerating the intolerable and
dismantle the Hamas government, so that southern residents need no longer scurry
to bomb shelters on a regular basis.
For far too long, our leadership has
been asleep at the wheel. They need to wake up and take action, because that is
what the situation demands.