|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 society.
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 within.
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 battlefield.
We must immediately implement a three-pronged approach to keeping these terrorists out of Israel: prevent, arrest and deport.
Our 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.
During 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.
Still, 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 immediately.
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 soldiers.
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 citizens.
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 World Likud.