From Israel: “The Challenge Is Huge!!”

And it is urgent.

In response to the recent terror attacks, the Security Cabinet met on Tuesday.  According to a subsequent statement from the Prime Minister’s office, the Cabinet:

“…made a series of decisions to target terrorists and those who dispatch them and authorized the prime and defense ministers to act on the matter.”  


As there was no elaboration, this tells us very little.  This is not a criticism: It is wiser not to elaborate before action is taken, giving our enemies a heads up.

An unofficial report does indicate that Hamas leaders are going into hiding for fear of being eliminated in targeted assassinations.


Such action is implied in the above statement.  And we did it superbly not so long ago, when stunning intelligence was merged with advanced technological expertise.  Hopefully, this and whatever else is planned will lead to some improvement in the situation.  But my take is that targeting terrorists and their dispatchers is going to fall far short of what is required.


As I see it, there are two major problems, among many, that must be confronted.  The first is the issue of weapons.  Yaakov Lappin, in analyzing the situation, said this (emphasis added):

“Furthermore, their ability to carry out attacks is enhanced by the enormous quantities of firearms flooding the area.

“The guns are being smuggled in from Jordan, produced in Palestinian workshops and stolen from IDF bases in southern Israel. On Aug. 1, Israel announced that it would build a new security barrier on the border with Jordan, in an attempt to staunch the flow.

The July 5-6 Jenin operation launched by the IDF saw hundreds of weapons seized by security forces, and Israel will continue to launch such operations at various scales, but it will not be enough…”


Credit: The MirYam Institute


I have just read that Israel has no plans in the near future to launch a two-day Jenin operation such as the one that was carried out in July.  This is unfortunate, if true.

But in any event, while such operations will certainly help, they will not be enough in part because the weapons, although manufactured and stored in large quantities in places such as Jenin, are not only in these places. They are everywhere in Arab hands, including within Israel.  

The violence within the Arab Israeli communities has reached alarming proportions: they are killing each other in crime-related incidents and clan feuds. Arab culture is a violent culture.

On Tuesday, four Arabs were shot in the head in Abu Snan, an Arab town in the western Galilee (inside of Israel). One of those murdered was a political candidate for a local council, the second political candidate to be killed in as many days.  


Arab Israelis are calling on the government to take action to protect them.  That call is legitimate. But National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir provides an important take on this (emphasis added):

Some of those who were murdered are people who themselves went out in order to murder. Two days ago, there was a story of a man whose body arrived with the gloves and the gun that were in his possession; he was run over by a car on the way to a murder.”

He explained that the Arab street has “entire militias, tens of thousands of weapons – and this did not happen suddenly when I took office. We are talking about many years of neglect.”


It appears that the Shin Bet is going to be involved now, with the blessings of Ben Gvir, who believes that a major investigation of the situation is in order.  Police confiscation of weapons is increasing, but they require backup.

A close associate of mine (who will recognize himself here) says we must do a search and seizure operation.  He is absolutely correct in principle, but I don’t see it happening any time soon.


We must not lose sight of the fact that while Israeli Arabs are turning their guns on each other, those weapons are also readily available to Arabs (whether citizens, residents, or workers, legal or otherwise) who might choose to turn them on Jews.           


The other problem that must be confronted is the ease of movement of Palestinian Arabs within Area C.  To address this, there must be checkpoints, as well as a permanent IDF presence of some consequence at critical crossroads, which are common venues for terrorism.   

“The roads of Judea and Samaria must no longer be a green route for terrorism’” said Settlement Affairs Minister Orit Strock (RZ, pictured). MK Michal Woldigger, Deputy Finance Minister (RZ), concurred: “As long as terrorists move freely in Area C, we will, unfortunately, continue to see attacks and victims.”


 Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO

Putting up those checkpoints, many of which existed once upon a time, is a great deal easier than searching Arab homes for illegal weapons.  But still it has not been done.


For some time now I have had a negative reaction when a terrorist is caught, and Prime Minister Netanyahu says, in essence, “See, we always get the perpetrators, they cannot escape us!”  As if that were sufficient.

Yes, of course, it is good that they are apprehended, and the security forces (Shin Bet, IDF) are to be  commended for their operations in this regard.  But it is not nearly enough!  For they are apprehended AFTER the fact of the terror act.

And yes again, many, many acts of terrorism are prevented – many more than the acts that are carried out.  The security forces are to be highly commended for this, as well.

But the number of terror acts that are successfully carried out is far too great. The cry in the country now is for action that will change this scenario.

Head of the Mount Hebron Regional Council, Yochai Demari, said it very well (emphasis added):

“I have respect for the security forces, but at the same time I think it is necessary to examine how to create a change so that this kind of thing does not happen again. I am not satisfied with catching the terrorists. The task is that this will not happen again. We want to live and not die.”

Credit: Arutz Sheva


What is needed in order to enact the changes that will make a difference is unshakable determination on the part of the government.  We need officials who have spines of steel: They must recognize that protecting the people of Israel is the priority and that they are called upon to take action to this end.  

But we are not there yet.

During the Security Cabinet meeting, Minister Ben-Gvir proposed imposition of closures on Palestinian Authority towns and cities. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant was opposed, saying, “There is a danger of friction, and we need to pay attention to it.”

Ben-Gvir’s response: “… People were murdered, a mother in front of her daughter, a few days ago a father and his son and you keep talking about the danger of friction… The discussion here is about terrorism. We need to come up with operative measures…”


Credit: Haaretz

Gallant has a spine that is flexible; he is looking over his shoulder.  Several on the right charge that he is not effective. Nor is he alone.


In order to better understand what is going on, we need context:

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas Greenfield – speaking for the Biden administration – participated in the UN Security Council’s monthly discussion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Monday.

She said: We strongly condemn Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis, including this morning’s shooting attack near Hebron.”

Then she added: “We strongly condemn the terror attacks by settlers in Burka on August 4th that killed a 19-year-old Palestinian.” (Emphasis added)


Statements from the White House had already made it clear that Biden had drawn a wrong-headed moral equivalency between the two events: identifying as “terrorism” the action of a Jewish shepherd, who was badly wounded by an Arab and subsequently shot and killed him in self-defense.


Biden’s pro-PLO stance is something we have been confronting for some time (emphasis added):

“The Biden administration pressed forward with plans to allocate hundreds of millions of [US] taxpayer dollars to the Palestinians despite concerns within the administration that those funds could end up supporting the Iran-backed terror group Hamas.

“According to internal documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, U.S. State Department officials expressed those concerns privately, asking the Treasury Department to exempt them from laws barring the United States from sending funds into areas run by Palestinian terror groups.”



This rings alarms, big time.

We recognize that we don’t have a friend in the White House.  His priority is enabling that “two-state solution,” not protecting the lives of Israeli Jews. And he lets it be known that he expects us to conduct ourselves in a manner that is, shall we say, “gracious” to the Palestinian Arabs.  

Greenfield identified certain Israeli actions that should be halted because they “inflame tensions”: “settlement activity, evictions [of Palestinians] and the demolition of Palestinian homes.”  The first is with regard to our rights to the Land, the other items refer to punitive actions taken against Palestinian Arabs, which must be halted so as to reduce “tensions.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said pretty much the same thing when he met with Israeli Minister Ron Dermer recently and called for “taking affirmative steps to de-escalate tensions and bolster stability in the West Bank.”  Unless he is an even bigger fool than I think he is, Blinken knows very well that the PLO is going to do nothing to “de-escalate tensions.”  And so apparently, he thinks it falls to us. “Play nice!”

I would hope to be wrong, but I believe I detect an echo of this expectation in Gallant’s concern about “causing friction.”


When we block the freedom of movement of Arabs in Judea & Samaria – as we must – it will be called improper “collective punishment” of the Arab population and a deprivation of their human rights.  Charges such as this led to the removal of many of those checkpoints in the past.  This is Oslo thinking. We were bidden to offer “confidence building gestures.”  That term makes me choke. What about the confidence of Israeli Jews, that they will be safe?  


And if we do a search for illegal guns in Arab homes, confiscating them when they are found?  A furor will ensue, with charges – brought to the UN – that we are improperly impinging on Arab rights.   


This, my friends, is why I say our leaders need spines of steel in order to take necessary actions – to put protection of Jewish life ahead of all else.

Shmuel Sackett embraces the same concept but puts it differently:

He cites Shifra Hoffman z”l, who wrote that we Jews, rather than being a stiff-necked people, have become “a short-necked people.” “When things get difficult for our nation and we reach out to our leaders for help, they put their hands and shoulders up, making their necks very short and say: ‘Sorry, but what can we do?’

“Comments such as ‘We have never seen such violence’ or ‘Thousands of people are working day and night to provide security to the residents of Israel’ serve no purpose whatsoever. We know our soldiers are working hard – and we pray for their success – but that does not help the 200+ cars that are getting stoned daily on the roads in Judea and Samaria. Those quotes do not comfort the families who are sitting – and have sat – shiva for loved ones murdered on the roads. We want to see results, not hear soundbites. (Emphasis in original)


’Short-neck syndrome’ means refusing to do the non-politically correct work that needs to be done. When leaders fear the morning newspaper more than the enemy, the task will remain unfulfilled. Every IDF soldier knows what they must do but their hands are tied, and weapons locked for fear of being condemned by the ungrateful nations of the world. Israeli leaders – both political and military – are afraid to straighten up their necks, hold their heads high and fight the battles according to Torah values.” (Emphasis added)


Credit: World Mizrachi


It is written in Talmud – Sanhedrin 72a: “When someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.”

Our people have forgotten.


It was announced on Tuesday that two terrorists involved with the attack outside of Beit Hagai on Monday night have been apprehended and the murder weapon, an M-16 assault rifle, confiscated.  The two are relatives, from Hebron.



Aryeh Gottlieb, the driver of the car that had been attacked, is still in serious condition but his situation has, thankfully, stabilized.  Please, do not stop praying for him: Aryeh Leib ben Ella.


Batsheva Nigri (alternate spelling, Nagri) was laid to rest in Beit Hagai on Monday night. I have received messages from people who knew her and praised her as a very special person.

There is one correction I must make with regard to this situation.  Relying on several news sources, I had reported that Batsheva’s six-year-old daughter was in the car.  But in fact, Shirel, the daughter who was in the car, is 12. She had the presence of mind to call an ambulance after the attack.

At the funeral, Shirel addressed her mother, whose body lay before her:

“You were the happiest person I know… You always said that your heart was wide and open to everyone.

“Mom, I want to give you one last hug. I miss you and I will always miss you. You are always in my heart. I know that you are watching over me, even when I cannot see you. You always looked after me.

“I am asking you, mother, to take care of me, of father, of all of us. And don’t ever leave me.

“I envy all the angels who are privileged to have you in heaven.

“I love you. I promise you that you will always be in my heart, and my children will know what a lioness mother I had.”


Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg/AP

Dear Heaven, let there be no more!!


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by independent journalist Arlene Kushner. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.