The show must go on

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) explicitly threatened on Saturday to rain rockets on Tel Aviv’s Eu-rovision parade.

May 5, 2019 21:39
3 minute read.
The show must go on

Israeli flags and flags bearing the logo of the 2019 Eurovision song contest flutter outside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, during the Eurovision Semi-Final allocation draw, in Tel Aviv.. (photo credit: CORINNA KERN/REUTERS)

If you’re feeling deja vu after the weekend’s events, you’re not alone. All of Israel is in the same boat.

Once again, Hamas and its fellow travelers in terrorism shot a barrage of hundreds of rockets in one day, striking Israel’s South and causing injury, death and damage. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in no rush to call a Security Cabinet meeting, waiting until midday Sunday, even though the wave of projectiles began a day earlier.

On Friday, the IDF released the numbers of the fallen who we will remember on Wednesday, which is Yom Hazikaron – Remembrance Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism. Now there’s three more to add to the list, including 60-year-old Moshe Agadi of Ashkelon, who Gazan terrorists murdered with one of their rockets.

The timing of the latest onslaught of rocket fire from the radical Islamists in Gaza is not acci-dental. The day after Yom Hazikaron, we mark Yom Haatzmaut – Independence Day – and Is-raelis around the country plan to celebrate the 71st anniversary of Israel’s establishment. But Hamas does not assault Israel in the first week of the Hebrew month of Iyyar every year.

This year is different. This year, we have a once-in-two-decades event: the Eurovision Song Contest set to take place in Tel Aviv in less than two weeks. Musical acts from across Europe and beyond have already arrived in Israel and begun rehearsals, as well as touring the country and sharing their experiences with their fans at home via social media.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) explicitly threatened on Saturday to rain rockets on Tel Aviv’s Eu-rovision parade.

Thus far, the so-called “Tel Aviv bubble” has not been popped, and in the White City, residents and tourists alike – pop stars or not – can go about their business as planned, for now. But it was less than two months ago when the city’s Thursday-night revelers had to run from bars, clubs and theaters, and its parents had to rush children from bed to bomb shelter when an air raid siren went off. The Jerusalem Post’s Amy Spiro reported that the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said the show must go on, and continued rehearsals.

“We continue to work alongside KAN and the Home Front Command to safeguard the well-being of everyone working in and joining us at Expo Tel Aviv. We will continue to closely moni-tor the current situation, and rehearsals will continue as normal,” the EBU said.

For Israel, too, things are continuing “as normal.” The problem is that our “as normal” has in-cluded Hamas and PIJ shooting rockets at civilians for well over a decade. There are 18-year-olds from the South enlisting in the IDF who cannot remember a life that is not punctuated with sporadic sirens, running for shelter and prayers that their loved ones made it on time.

This is absolutely unacceptable.

We need to put a stop to the rockets from Gaza once and for all. But it is also time that we come up with a clear strategy of what to do with Gaza. If we are going to use military force to try and solve the Hamas threat, then the force this time needs to be overwhelming so that it will deter Hamas for as long as possible – not like after the last round of violence, which was just five weeks ago.

If the government is working to reach a new “arrangement” with Hamas, then that, too, is an option – but it needs to be done in a way that works and does not unravel every time Qatari money is late in making its way into the Strip.

Hamas and other terrorists think that they can set the agenda and decide when we fight and when we don’t. One of the goals of terrorism - as its name implies - is to strike fear in the hearts of civilians and disrupt their lives.

Israelis throughout the country, including south of the “Tel Aviv bubble,” have a right to nor-malcy that doesn’t involve rockets and war. We should be able to celebrate Independence Day without our reservists being away from home – and to hold a major international cultural event safely and proudly.

Let’s hit Hamas and Islamic Jihad hard, and then show them that they can’t kill our spirit and our way of life. Let’s stop the wave of rockets, and then celebrate 71 years of the Jewish peo-ple having our own country and being strong enough to defend it.

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