In the past few months, we have laid to rest 18 innocent victims of terror. Most recently, we tragically mourned mother-of-five Lucy Dee, 48, who died from her injuries and her two daughters, Maia, 20, and Rina, 15, who was killed in the attack.
We must not become accustomed to this bloodshed. Children have been orphaned, parents have buried their children and countless families’ lives have been ruined as a result of these tragedies. This is not normal.
It is not normal for a mother and two of her daughters to be murdered just because they are Jewish. It is not normal for our teenagers to be sitting in their cars in a traffic jam on their way to a study group and be murdered in cold blood at point-blank range.
It is not normal for seven Jewish men and women to be shot and murdered as they emerge from a synagogue after their Sabbath prayers. It is not normal for a man going about his work to be shot by a 13-year-old terrorist or for two young brothers of 6 and 8, who have experienced only a few short years of life, to be rammed to death while waiting for a bus. None of this is normal. None of this is acceptable.
It is even more abnormal and abhorrent for the families, friends and communities of the terrorists to celebrate the murderers as heroes, to dance and sing while handing out sweet treats in the streets and to rejoice in the deaths of innocent men, women and children who have done nothing other than be born Jewish.
For too long, Israel’s citizens have put up with this terror
What is even more despicable is the pay-to-slay policy overseen by the Palestinian Authority that incentivizes the Arab population in their jurisdiction to maim and murder for large sums of money. The more people murdered the more money they receive for themselves and their families.
Unsurprisingly, no condemnation was issued from the Palestinian Authority as a result of these most recent abhorrent attacks. Instead, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Hamas terror group, praise the attacks.
For too long, Israel’s citizens have put up with this terror. Many have turned a blind eye to the cruel and shocking celebration of the terrorists in response to these disgraceful acts of butchery. It is time for Israel to declare that this will no longer be acceptable.
THIS IS not how we wish to live our lives. The policies of the past have failed us all. The government’s policy of containment is not effective. We need to implement real change. We need a clear zero-tolerance policy on terror.
The overall strategy should be the elimination of terror within our midst. We, therefore, need decisive and extensive operations to prevent and eliminate threats and to increase the deterrence of future acts of aggression. We need to be tougher on terror, with firm and resolute action taken upon those who commit acts of terror.
Our IDF should have controlled but clear policies in the acts of self-defense. We should ensure current policies are fully implemented, such as the destruction of terrorists’ homes. Additional policies should be included and implemented, such as the complete lockdown of towns that harbor terrorists and the revocation of any benefits for those who wish to maim and terrorize innocent people in their midst.
Another means of deterrence is a review of the education policy within the Palestinian Authority schools and in eastern Jerusalem. Many schools and even kindergartens promote acts of terror. Kindergarteners act out plays where Arabs murder Jews and their textbooks praise and hail as heroes and martyrs those who commit acts of murder.
Israel is erased from the map and children are instead taught that they need to reconquer Palestine. This is unacceptable and we must put an end to this education of violence and the resultant abuse of children.
It is Israel’s duty and responsibility to our people to clamp down on terror at all costs so that no more innocent lives are needlessly taken. Instead of meaningless summits and limiting the development of Jewish communities, we must do the opposite. We must talk less and act more while working to build and strengthen our people in their homeland.
My heartfelt condolences go out to the innocent victims who were taken from us in cold blood and to their families and loved ones. We feel their pain and we pray for an end to their suffering.
In blessed memory of Lucy Dee, Maia Dee and Rina Dee.
The writer is a Likud MK and chairman of World Likud. He was Israel’s previous ambassador to the United Nations.