Sunday, October 5, 2014

Israel's policy of sweeping things under the rug

We wouldn't  want to upset people

This has been an Israeli policy when there are attacks.  In Jerusalem, buses on certain routes were stoned every day for over a month after the Protective Edge cease fire.  A bus of 13 year old girls on a trip to Hebron that had been cleared by the PLO, was surrounded and hit by stones and Molotov cocktails. The only thing that prevented the deaths of everyone was bulletproof glass and the driver's quick reflexes.  A mother and her two daughters were riding in a van when they were surrounded and attacked by a band of Muslim men.  By some miracle they escaped.  The Mount of Olives Jewish cemetery was vandalized.  Riots at the Temple Mount are a regular occurrence.  The solution to the riots was the dismantling of a bridge that allowed Jews to reach the Temple Mount. If you read about these events at all in an Israeli paper, you will see a short article. Rarely if ever will the common  thread be noted and described.

Since the ceasefire on August 29th, Israel has been attacked multiple times. On September 15th, a rocket was fired from Gaza, and fell just outside the fence of an Israeli community. On September 28th, a man armed with a knife was caught seven km inside Israel.  The following day riots near the  Gaza fence distracted Israeli soldiers, allowing one man to break through the fence and get 9 km inside Israel.

Despite claims that Israel destroyed Hamas’ weapons cache, and Benny Gantz’s claim that the IDF had destroyed rocket production capabilities, on Friday October 3rd terrorists fired a rocket into the sea in a test of Hamas' capabilities.  Hamas has managed to rebuild weapons and has also received large quantities from Iran.

In addition to questions about the appropriateness of Israel’s tactics there is another even more obvious question.  Why does Israel keep these events secret, dismiss attempted terror attacks as misfires, not count some attacks,  and not call Abbas and Hamas on their failure to control Palestinians and their violation of the ceasefire agreement.  In a similar situation, Abbas would not have remained silent. Abba Eban said “the Arabs never miss an opportunity.” Israel it seems is committed to missing as many opportunities as possible.

In Jerusalem, on one specific route, buses were hit with rocks every day. After a month of this the mother of a girl who rode the bus every day complained to the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat.  He said events were not made public or were kept low profile to prevent people from getting upset. The girl’s mother said “I used to accept that policy. Why upset people? I don’t support it now. Failure to act is too dangerous."

Failure to let people know about terrorist attacks so they won’t get upset  is a very shortsighted policy. It encourages complacency in Israelis, removes pressure to respond, and allows terrorists to get away with their potentially lethal attacks.  Rewarding terrorism encourages them to implement more extreme attacks to  test the limits of what they can do.  Israel’s silence misleads the world  into  believing that the ceasefire agreement is being kept by both sides when it is not. Any leverage Israel could have gained from  Hamas’ breach of the agreement is lost.

One can speculate on the reasons for this policy, but that does not change the damage to Israel that results. Unfortunately, this type of response from Israel is not uncommon.


  1. I could never undestand why Israel does not respond. Each of the events you mentioned was in fact an act of terror. Thank G-d nobody was killed.

    1. I understand it psychologically The Oslo Syndrome is a good explanation but it's very destructive. Like wearing a shirt that says "Bully Me"