Netanyahu and Ya'alon. Dealing with a crime which in other countries concerns police only
Photo: Haim Zach, GPO
The photo is similar to the famous one of Churchill and Eisenhower on the eve of the invasion of Normandy. The senior leaders of the free world, with a map spread out between them, consulting each other about moves destined to change the face of history.
Soon the armada will assemble to cross the English Channel and bring military forces to the beach to pave the way to Berlin.
The picture of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon was released to the press in a bid to lift the people's low spirits and present a resolved and experienced leadership. They were both officers in the elite Sayeret Matkal unit, they covered the country by foot and there is not a part of it they are not familiar with.
Israelis vs. Palestinians
Op-ed: Other states would have turned Abbas' wife into bargaining chip until kidnapped citizens' return.
A nice picture. It demonstrates the political echelon's sincere concern for three young boys who have gotten into a lot of trouble.
The grandfather of one of the kidnapped teens expressed our sentiments well when he said that if his family is forced to deal with such a tragedy, it's a good thing that this is happening in the Land of Israel. He is absolutely right: There is no other country whose leaders will use all the power at their disposal to save three citizens.
But a deeper look reveals a further significance: The two leaders are not dealing with a fatal issue, but with a crime which in other countries concerns the district police investigators only. Here the incident is a strategic problem. It's enough for three fine young men to disregard the warnings against kidnapping in order to create a serious crisis which we are now losing sleep over.
It occupies huge forces diverted from other missions, and involves enormous financial expenditures and management resources which carry a price too. It worsens our already shaken relations with the moderate Palestinian leadership, inflicts a lot of damage on hundreds of thousands who are prevented from moving and are unemployed, leads to hundreds of false arrests and sends many who have not committed a crime into the hands of investigators who were not blessed with the hands of pianists.
All this will increase the hatred towards us and lead to further hostile activities, which we will reward with a "proper Zionist response." We will surely build communities on robbed lands, fill our jails with prisoners till the end of time, force-feed administrative prisoners, torch olive groves and kill stone throwers accidentally or as a form of amusement.
Such things have happened before, and so we were not surprised by the kidnapping and we will not be surprised by what follows. Security officials had warned that Palestinian terrorists were plotting incessantly, and the defense minister admitted that the abduction of the three teens "slipped under our radar."
The boiling situation in the prisons, the despair of the Palestinian prisoners' families, the conflicts of prestige between the organizations and the Gilad Shalit precedent signaled what was about to happen.
We can draw conclusions from the past about what is expected in the future: The hostility will grow stronger, the land theft will be expanded, riots will be ignited, protestors will be killed, prisoners will multiply, Jews will be murdered – and so on and so forth.
The process was described very well by six of the Shin Bet directors – and there aren't more credible witnesses – in Dror Moreh's documentary "The Gatekeepers" and in his even more detailed book.
Whether the current crisis ends with a sigh of relief or with lamentations, it shows us what our routine life will look like in a state where evicting Jews and evicted Arabs, oppressing Jews and oppressed Arabs, powerful Jews and powerless Arabs live side by side.
Many of Israel's Jewish citizens witnessing this feel as though they have been kidnapped themselves by a group of zealots, and their reservations are so strong that they don't fully share the concern surrounding most Israelis. There are those who, out of painful patriotism or lack of choice, accept their bitter fate, and there are those who slide down the windows or push their children out.