Detained 'flytilla' activists at Ben-Gurion Airport 390.
(photo credit: Avi Ohayon / GPO)
The unfortunate incident which took place in the Jordan Valley on Saturday where
an IDF officer was forced to fight off an anti-Israel activist has proven once
again that we are not dealing correctly with this latest attack on the very
legitimacy of our existence.
We witnessed this regrettable phenomenon
again this week with the ludicrous internal debate that has surrounded the
“flytilla” attack on Israel. Our society is busying itself with an absurd
internal debate that includes calls from the extreme Left to welcome these
anti-Israel activists and open a dialogue with them.
This is not only
misguided, but actually endangers the foundations of our
Attempts to explain the rationality behind the Zionist dream of
building a state in our historic homeland will simply not work with those who
are attempting infiltrate Israel’s borders only to attack us from
It is time that we recognize the reality we are faced with. The
State of Israel is at war. This war is being fought on a completely different
battlefield than in the past, one in which the word de-legitimization has
replaced bullets and provocative actions such as the flotilla have replaced
tanks and fighter planes.
Nevertheless, we must not be confused by this
new type of warfare. Just as we did not hesitate to confront to violent acts
perpetuated by our enemies in the past, we cannot waver in our resolve against
this new threat.
Would we allow a suicide bomber into our country so that
we could attempt a “dialogue” with him? Of course not.
Here, too, we must
not be naïve and bury our heads in the sand. While the “delegitimization battle”
may be sometimes confusing and seem less dangerous then actual acts of war, the
implications of capitulation will be just as dire for Israel’s future as a
military loss would be.
TO COMBAT this new form of warfare we must be
just as creative now as we have been in the past on the traditional
We must immediately implement a three-pronged approach to
keeping these terrorists out of Israel: prevent, arrest and deport.
diplomats and envoys abroad must work with our allies around the world to ensure
that these troublemakers never make it on a plane in the first place, and our
security and immigration officials here in Israel should ensure that those who
do get through are arrested and then either jailed or deported.
this past week Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his ministers prepared well
for the current onslaught and the results of having a well thought-out policy are
evident in the fact that the “flytilla” we were warned so much about ended
relatively quietly. They should be commended for their vigilance.
as we saw with the Jordan Valley incident these steps must be further
strengthened and stringently implemented.
The militant activist from
Denmark who attacked the IDF officer should have never been in a position to do
so. He never should have been allowed entry into Israel. Once he was allowed in,
he should have been arrested and tried at the first sign of illegal activity.
Even now, it is unacceptable that he is walking free in our country after
violently attacking an officer. He must be arrested and deported
The State of Israel must defend itself against anarchists
and all those who openly state that their only reason for entering the country
is to work from within to ensure its destruction. We have seen what has happened
in the past when we allow such activities to go on unchecked. What began as
“non-violent” protests against our right to build a security fence to defend
against suicide bombers has turned in to weekly riots in places like Bil’in
where rocks, concrete blocks and firebombs are regularly hurled at our
Theses so-called activists not only take part in these violent
attacks on our security forces, but also gather intelligence against Israel and
donate to organizations that bankroll terrorism against our
While I am a fervent advocate of hasbara (public diplomacy)
outreach – I have personally spent countless hours, days and weeks traveling
around the world speaking out on behalf of our legitimate rights – we must also
know when the time for talk has ended. In dealing those who openly call for the
destruction of the Jewish state, it is a waste of time to make “the case for
Israel.” Instead, we must meet this challenge as we have similar threats in the
past, with creativity and determination, to ensure that the interests of the
State of Israel and the Jewish people are safeguarded against those who seek to
hurt us.The writer is deputy speaker of the Knesset and chairman of the