New Report: European Governments Funding Efforts to Demolish Netiv Ha’avot Neighborhood

The left-wing organizations spearheading the legal battle against the Netiv Ha’avot neighborhood in Gush Etzion have received over 47 million shekels from foreign governments over the past several years, according to a new report released by the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu.

In 2016 the High Court of Justice ruled that 17 structures in Netiv Ha’avot neighborhood, including 15 homes, a carpentry shop and monument for fallen IDF soldiers, were not built on state land and must be demolished by March 6th.

According to the Im Tirtzu report, the legal battle over Netiv Ha’avot began in 2008 when left-wing NGO “Peace Now” filed a petition to the High Court of Justice contesting the neighborhood’s legality.

Multiple petitions against the neighborhood have since been filed by “Peace Now” and “Yesh Din,” including a petition against the relocation of the 15 families to portions of the neighborhood built on state land.

The report states that “Peace Now” and “Yesh Din” have received over 47 million shekels ($13.4 million) from foreign governments and entities, including the European Union, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, Norway, Holland and Switzerland.

Im Tirtzu contends that this funding is part of an ongoing effort by European governments to undermine the policy of the Israeli government by means of anti-Zionist Israeli NGOs.

“It is inconceivable that European governments operate in Israel’s judicial system by means of radical anti-Israel NGOs, rather than going through the proper diplomatic channels,” said Im Tirtzu Chairman Matan Peleg.

“This European attempt to alter Israel’s internal policy not only harms Israeli sovereignty, but is an affront to the Israeli public who democratically elected its government. This subversive activity and use of lawfare against Israel must end immediately.”

WORLD CHANGE: Why the Modi Visit to Israel is set to Radically Reshape the World

We are living in amazing times. History will show that this three-day visit by Neandra Modi to Israel was a moment in world history when two of the most ancient cultures decided to leave the prism of their past behind and work together in order to build a strategic partnership that would not only benefit one another, but the world.

Israel and India are thousands of years old.  Judaism and Hinduism are the two most ancient spiritual paths in the world. It is under this backdrop and the geopolitical turmoil in which we see the old power structure of the west and its colonial and neo-colonial influences collapse that these two countries have begun to rise.

Modi’s visit comes after more than a decade worth of growing ties between the two countries.  These political ties are built on the back of thousands of years of personal relationships between Jews and Hindus.  These relationships were built on respect of one another.  Jews have been living in India for more than 2000 years and during that time no tinge of anti-Semitism was expressed.

In a world that has seen the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the weakening of the post cold-war order these cultural ties have grown far more overt as more and more Israelis have spent time in India backpacking and taking a breather after the army.  Indians have taken the opportunity to visit the only Jewish State, to learn and admire another ancient culture.

Technology Partnership Built by the People

Israel, being the technology powerhouse it is has built many of its tech partnerships with other countries through government introduction.  With India it has been built by the people itself. Indian programmers have become the go to source for Israeli teams for the last decade.  Both groups have worked together on virtual teams and learned how to achieve success an ocean away.

It is no accident that as Prime Netanyahu said, “The two most spoken languages in Silicon Valley are Hebrew and Hindi.”

Strategic Importance

During Modi’s visit to Israel and after several closed-door sessions that lasted four hours each, the two countries elevated their relationship to a Strategic Partnership and signed seven MOU’s.  Beyond these developments as well as the announcement of a direct flight between Tel Aviv and Mombai/New Dehli, the partnership erases the false narrative of “Palestinian” indignity and rightful rebellion against the “Jewish Occupier.”

India has always been admired by third world countries in Africa and the Middle East as the leader against the International European colonial regime.  The Jewish State was seen as part of this unwanted colonial regime. With the growing ties and Modi’s about-face on Israel’s place within the broader neo-colonialist dynamic it is the Palestinians who have been exposed as the European tool to divide and conquer the Levant.  Afterall, the Palestinians are supported and funded by the EU.  It is also the Europeans who have bolstered Islamic regimes and totalitarian governments, which have burned a path through indigenous communities from Africa to the MIddle East, to the Indian Sub-Continent.

For Indians, who have known for decades if not more, that the mentality of Jihad is just another form of colonialist aspirations, the Modi visit is only natural in exposing the lie of Islamic indigineity in Africa, Israel, and India.

It is no accident that India and Israel’s embrace of one another has come after tens of Sub-Sahara African countries have turned to Israel as a partner and friend. India’s partnership is an erasure and exposure of European implanted lies within the context of their own need to exploit and expand using the land of ancient cultures in Africa, the Middle East, and India.  The Europeans did this by unleashing the Islamic hordes within the wider Arab world through turning one against another and finally setting them upon non-Islamic Africans, Jews, Druze, Arameans, Kurds, Indians, native Pashtun in Afghanistan, and more.

Modi’s visit is about the future and it is about rectifying a narrative that was injected by a self-serving Europe who sought to twist history for its own purposes.

In three days, India and Israel have found themselves again.  They have taken a path away from their former colonial masters who wanted only to divide the two in order to conquer. This partnership will be built on true friendship and goodwill.

To see a touch of just how genuine this is, Netanyahu and Modi met Moshe Holtzberg – an Israeli child who as a toddler survived the 2008 terror attack at a Jewish centre in Mumbai. Moshe, now 11, read out a welcome note for PM Modi, saying “Dear Mr Modi, I love you”.

Modi tweeted this moving image during the visit.

Friendships are built on the little things. It is those little things, from basic respect, mutual work relationships, and truly feeling another’s pain that India and Israel find themselves in a relationship that is both ancient and entirely innovative.  This is the partnership that the next phase of world development can and will be built on.


Israel is finally taking a constructive position in its own defense.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adopted a new strategy for managing Israel’s diplomatic relations with the West. Long in the making and increasingly urgent, Israel’s new strategy is very simple. Foreign governments can either treat Israel in accordance with international diplomatic norms of behavior, or they can continue to discriminate against Israel.

If they act in accordance to international diplomatic norms, Israel will respond in like fashion. If they choose instead to discriminate against Israel and treat it in a manner no other democratic state is treated, Israel will abandon diplomatic convention and treat foreign governments as domestic critics.

On Monday, after his repeated requests for Germany’s visiting Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel to cancel his plans to meet with Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem, Netanyahu gave Gabriel an ultimatum. Gabriel could meet with Netanyahu, or he could meet with Breaking the Silence.

Gabriel refused to cancel his meeting with Breaking the Silence. So Netanyahu canceled their meeting.

To understand the strategic significance of Netanyahu’s decision and what further steps are now required to ensure the success of his strategy, it is necessary to understand what Breaking the Silence represents. It is then important to recognize how it is used by Berlin and other foreign governments.

But first, Netanyahu’s move has to be seen in a general context.

Today’s Western democracies are in a furor over the notion that foreign governments would dare to interfere in their domestic affairs. The uproar in the US over Russia and in Europe over Turkish efforts to drum up support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan among Turkish nationals in Europe make clear how roundly democracies decry attempts by foreign governments to influence their internal politics.

This then brings us to Israel, and the unique rules that the West applies in its dealing with the Jewish state.

In the final quarter of the 20th century, European and other Western states abandoned their earlier support for Israel. From 1974 on, Europeans could be depended on to either support condemnations of Israel at the UN and other international forums, or to abstain from votes.

Whereas from 1974 to 2000, European hostility was largely limited to the diplomatic arena, beginning in 2000, the Europeans began to expand their anti-Israel policies to the Israeli domestic political sphere.

After the PLO abandoned the peace process with Israel at the July 2000 Camp David summit and initiated its terrorist war against Israel two months later, the Europeans began massively funding radical leftist groups registered as NGOs in Israel. The collapse of the peace process and the initiation of the Palestinian terrorist war all but dried up domestic support for groups like Peace Now, B’Tselem and Rabbis for Human Rights. But with millions of euros in their pockets and the unconditional diplomatic support of Europe, these groups were able to become players in Israel’s domestic politics and cause massive harm to Israel’s international standing.

As for the Europeans, their Israeli contractors gave them the ability to fend off allegations that they were antisemites engaged in systematic and prejudicial discrimination against the Jewish state.

Every time Israeli officials and others protested about their unfair treatment of Israel, the Europeans responded that they were simply restating allegations made by Israelis.

The fact that the Israelis they quoted were only able to speak because Europe paid for their microphones was entirely beside the point, as was the fact that those Israelis reflected the views of next to no one in Israel.

In the face of this assault – fronted by Israel-registered organizations staffed by Israelis, for the past 17 years, official Israel has been paralyzed. First it didn’t know how to respond. And second, when it responded, it was beset with the prospect of Europe retaliating by backing its political war against Israel with economic warfare.

As a result, time after time, Israel buckled to European pressure. Consequently, it saw its international status undermined and its very right to sovereignty questioned.

The most significant example of that buckling came in 2008, when then-prime minister Ehud Olmert agreed to transfer Israel’s postal codes to the EU and so enabled the Europeans to discriminate against Israeli products made beyond the 1949 armistice lines.

In another example, in 2013, then-minister Bennie Begin convinced the government to bow to European pressure – exerted through its Israel-registered nonprofits – to legalize Beduin settlements in the Negev built on stolen state land.

In both instances, far from placating the Europeans and their Israeli contractors, these actions convinced them to escalate their pressure against Israel and to adopt ever more prejudicial positions against the Jewish state.

The playing field between Israel and Europe has shifted in recent years. Today, the EU is fighting for its life. Donald Trump’s victory in November, Britain’s decision to exit the EU, and the growing power of anti-EU forces in Europe have all had a debilitating impact on Brussels’ ability to throw its weight around in the global arena.

Moreover, over the past several years, the government has actively promoted expanding Israeli trade to Asia. One motivation for the policy is the desire to diminish Europe’s economic leverage over Israel.

The diminishment of Europe’s power advantage over Israel set the conditions for Netanyahu’s adoption of his strategy for dealing with Europe’s war against it.

And just in a nick of time. Because as Europe becomes less powerful, Europe’s policies toward Israel become more toxic.

And this brings us to the nature of Breaking the Silence.

Breaking the Silence, which was formed in 2002, is a group dedicated to libeling the IDF and its soldiers and officers by constantly accusing them of carrying out war crimes. Since its inception, Breaking the Silence’s budget has come almost entirely from European governments. Germany is a major backer.

Germany’s interest in Breaking the Silence is understandable. As polls taken between 2011 and 2015 showed, between a third and half of Germans view Israel as the moral equivalent of Nazi Germany. The Palestinians, by their telling, are the new Jews.

Likewise, a large majority of Germans is sick of hearing about the Holocaust. And an even larger majority says that Israel is behaving unjustly toward the Palestinians.

Breaking the Silence’s work not only legitimizes these views, shielding them from condemnation as indications of the growing virulence of German Jew-hatred. It also, to a degree, justifies the Holocaust. After all, if the Jews are as evil as the Nazis, then they are illegitimate actors who deserve to be defeated.

Europe’s rapidly escalating campaign against Israel can be viewed through its rapidly escalating embrace of these groups.

According to senior Foreign Ministry officials, until very recently, European governments conducted their meetings with these organizations in private, far from the glare of television cameras.

This changed in February. During his visit to Israel, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel shocked Netanyahu when in defiance of Netanyahu’s request, he personally met with Breaking the Silence during his official visit to Israel.

Last month, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson went even further.

Johnson, who has a reputation for being a friend to Israel, surprised Netanyahu and his advisers when, during their meeting he all but refused to discuss anything but Israeli construction beyond the 1949 armistice lines.

Ahead of his meeting with Netanyahu, Johnson traveled to Judea with Peace Now and got himself photographed looking gravely at a map held by a Peace Now leader who pointed to where Jews were building in the area around metropolitan Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim.

When Johnson was asked by reporters why he wasn’t meeting as well with representatives of the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, he scoffed. Netanyahu will give the other side of the story, he insisted.

In other words, for Johnson, Netanyahu was expected to answer the allegations launched against his government by a European-funded NGO. Johnson treated Peace Now as a more credible source of information than the government.

During his visit, Peace Now served as a general prosecutor of Israel. Johnson treated Netanyahu as the defendant. And he, whose government funds Peace Now, served as judge and jury.

Gabriel’s decision to opt for a meeting with Breaking the Silence over a meeting with Netanyahu took matters one step forward. In acting as he did, Gabriel showed that as he sees things, Israel’s elected leader is less legitimate than representatives of an organization that legitimizes German antisemitism.

By refusing to meet with Gabriel, Netanyahu made clear that new rules will now apply to Europe and other Western governments that have joined Europe’s campaign against Israel. But his move – while important – is not enough.

To ensure that his strategy of demanding that Europe treat Israel in a manner that accords with diplomatic norms, Netanyahu needs to take additional steps. Like his decision to deny Gabriel diplomatic cover for his meeting with anti-Israel groups, Netanyahu needs to deny Western governments diplomatic immunity for their other actions aimed at undermining the government’s capacity to carry out its domestic duties.

For instance, one of the major ways that European- funded groups subvert the government is by suing the government in local courts. The government must require the foreign governments that fund these groups to appear as sides in the court battles. In this manner, the government can ask the courts to compel these foreign governments to hand over documents relevant to the cases being adjudicated.

So, too, the government should require foreign government- funded groups to submit all communications between their representatives and those governments, and all internal documents of foreign governmental funders relating to their decision to fund the Israel-registered group. Given that the goal of the funding is to interfere with domestic Israeli affairs, those communications should not enjoy diplomatic immunity.

The penalty for failing to present all the required documents will be the imposition of a 100% tax on the foreign government contributions to the Israel-registered nonprofit.

Perhaps the most discouraging aspect of Netanyahu’s diplomatic gambit this week is that opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog refused to support him. Instead, Herzog sided with Gabriel. He insisted that Netanyahu harmed Israel’s relations with Germany by demanding to be treated in a manner that comports with international norms.

For decades, the political Left has claimed that it can manage Israel’s diplomatic ties better than the Right, which it castigates as inept, incompetent and dangerous to Israel’s international standing. By failing to recognize why Netanyahu’s move was vital for Israel’s international standing, or to understand that international conditions have changed sufficiently to allow Israel to stand up for itself, Herzog and his colleagues showed that their boastful claims to diplomatic capabilities are empty.

Netanyahu took a necessary first step toward implementing a constructive strategy for handling Western diplomatic warfare. More steps are still required for this strategy to succeed. But at least, for the first time in years, Israel is finally taking a constructive position in its own defense.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

God Will Continue to Punish Nigeria Until Nnamdi Kanu is Released

Nnamdi Kanu
When the dust settles over the numerous calls for separation and restructuring in Nigeria, the world will know that it all started with the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu. Fortuitously, Retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s public approval rating was 80% in October 2015, the same month he illegally kidnapped Nnamdi Kanu. Ever since, Buhari’s personal political standing as well as Nigeria’s economic well-being has nose-dived to 30% approval rating as at July 2016. As Prophet Nwoko had predicted, “Heaven will strike if Nnamdi Kanu is not released.”
We recall that on the 14th of October 2016, agents of Buhari known as the Department of State Services (DSS) trailed Nnamdi Kanu to his hotel in Lagos as he was on transit to Biafraland and arrested him. After several physical abuse and torture, he was flown to Abuja for further torture and physical abuse.  Desperate to jail Nnamdi Kanu, the DSS raised several trumped-up charges which were summarily dismissed by the courts. Both Magistrate and High courts issued orders for the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu but Buhari’s DSS refused to obey the court orders.
On the 30th of December 2015, Buhari boasted to the global viewing audience that Nnamdi Kanu will never be released. In the meantime, as Biafrans in Biafraland gathered to pray for the success of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in the legal battle against the DSS, Buhari ordered his military and other security agencies to open fire at them, which resulted in the death of scores of Biafrans. Recently, on the 30th of May 2016, Buhari in conjunction with the governor of Anambra state—Willie Obiano, deployed the Nigerian Army from Onitsha military barracks who shot and killed over 200 unarmed peaceful Biafrans that gathered to commemorate the day Biafra was formally declared (49 years ago) as well as remember the fallen heroes of the war of genocide levied on Biafra by Nigeria and Britain.
Between the illegal detention of Nnamdi Kanu and the massacre of Biafrans on the 30th of May 2016, Buhari has steadily and continually engaged in ethnic cleansing of the Biafran people. His killing spree on Biafrans and the despoliation of the Biafran environment plus the refusal to obey court orders on the release of Nnamdi Kanu were harbingers to the emergence of diverse freedom-fighting groups which Buhari and his acolytes nicknamed militants. One of these freedom-fighting groups is the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA). The NDA has dealt a devastating blow in the oil and gas industry and for which hydrocarbon production has plummeted.
The political environment in Nigeria has remained unstable. Nigeria has developed irreparable fault lines engendered by Buhari’s inept partisan governance style and his non-observance of the ethos of democracy and the rule of law. Both Executive and Legislative arms of government are confused, unproductive, and antithetical to democratic objectives. Instead of Buhari to carry out reflexive praxis on the many issues bedeviling the country he claims to be the president of, he is busy beating war drums and enjoying his pastime which is the slaughter of innocent Biafrans. Unknown to Buhari, the root cause of the aforementioned political woes facing his country is the illegal incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu and the flagrant disobedience of court orders related to the unconditional release of Mr. Kanu. As a matter of fact, the call for restructuring wouldn’t have happened if not for Nnamdi Kanu’s well-articulated and relentless pursuit of Biafra and Buhari’s dictatorial nature of interfering with the judiciary.
Meanwhile, the social spectrum is also badly hit by Buhari’s lack of basic understanding of how democracy works and the need to subject himself to the law of the land which he swore to uphold and obey under Schedule-7 of Nigeria’s Constitution. Several thousands of lives have been avoidable lost to terrorist attacks coming from Islamic fundamentalists of Northern extraction under the protection of Buhari. From Borno to Benue and from Potiskum to Port-Harcourt, several lives have been cut short courtesy of a dysfunctional security and law enforcement system. People are now walking and looking over their shoulders and around them while thanking their creator for sparing every minute of their lives. This was not the situation prior to the illegal incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu.
The jet speed with which the economy of Nigeria descended into the abyss since the illegal incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu has been unprecedented. Readers should take time to review the economy of Nigeria before and after the illegal arrest of Nnamdi Kanu. Today, the only income-generating resource (Crude oil) for Nigeria is at all-time low. Even the Managers of Nigeria’s finances have openly confessed that Nigeria will not be able to execute 50% of planned projects because of the activities of militants who are all in unison in their demand for the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu. As a matter of fact, the investors in oil and gas in Nigeria should blame Buhari for the activities of NDA and other militants because if Buhari had released Nnamdi Kanu there would not have been the destruction of oil and gas pipeline and facilities nor would there be any momentum or impetus for other separatist groups to emerge. If the present trend continues Nnamdi Kanu would have succeed in destroying Nigerian economy as militants will not stop blowing up pipelines until one of their key demands are met which is his release. In particular, the militants’ demand for the unconditional release Nnamdi Kanu is 7th item on their list of demands and the question bothering everybody’s mind is why Buhari and his government have chosen to downplay demand #7 when that is the only opening available to them to make meaningful human contact with the militants.
Religious bigotry has reached a crescendo in Nigeria under the presidency of Buhari especially since the illegal incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu. There have been beheadings of Christians by Islamic fundamentalists, lynching of non-Muslims by Boko Haram members, and outright mass-murder of Shiite Muslims by Sunni-practicing members of Buhari’s armed forces. Buhari deployed Boko Haram members to Biafraland to rampage and massacre Christians especially members of Indigenous People of Biafra under the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu. Buhari did this with the sole aim of stifling the quest for the restoration of the nation of Biafra.
The Judiciary has been completely compromised and put under the direct dictation of Buhari from the time Nnamdi Kanu was illegally arrested. Most Judges now pander to the whims and caprices of Buhari for fear of being dismissed from service or killed in a mysterious manner. The shenanigans going on in the court room of Justice John Tsoho speak for itself. The independence of the Judiciary is now an unknown phenomenon in Buhari’s Nigeria.
Nigeria is truly in a very big mess from the time the DSS illegally arrested and unconstitutionally detained Nnamdi Kanu. The reputation of Nigeria and that of Nigeria’s assumed president (Buhari) is in tatters and got worse from the time Buhari illegally arrested and detained Nnamdi Kanu. There is a bleak future for Nigeria as long as Buhari continues to keep Nnamdi Kanu in captivity.
Nigeria is already on a cliff-hanger and just a tiny strand is what remained for it to descend into irredeemable catastrophe. Like Somalia under Siad Barre, Nigeria under Buhari is sliding into the abyss because of the stubbornness or some would say suicidal tendencies of one man. As Somalia collapsed into a failed state and terrorist heaven today, so will Nigeria follow suit because of the antics of Buhari. Nnamdi Kanu’s illegal detention and Buhari’s disobedience of court orders have negative implications for the stability of West African region as well as crude oil price stability globally. It has been confirmed form reliable sources in Nigeria’s Presidential Villa that 60 percent of calls to Aso Rock from overseas is about Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB, Niger Delta Avengers, and the collapsing economy.
The European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America must take notice that there will surely be another war in Nigeria with far more deadly consequences worse than that of Somalia and Sudan combined. The only way this prediction can be avoided is to ensure that Buhari obeys court orders by releasing Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally. Anything short of unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu in accordance with the court orders will make Nigeria current political instability snowball into anarchy and at the very end, Nigeria as we know it now will never be the same again. The ball is in the court of the international community to make the right decision of requesting Buhari to release Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally and the time to make that decision is now.

Insecurity is not inevitable

The primary responsibility of every government is to provide security for its citizens so they can go about their daily business without fear of death or injury. When this security is fundamentally lacking, we are no longer talking about a society going about its normal business, but about a state of anomaly, whether the society and its government explicitly recognizes this or not. This means that the basic, most fundamental pact between the government and its citizens lies in tatters.

Israel is living in a state of anomaly. Those who will say that it has always been so — that the current state of unceasing terror in which more than 30 people have been killed and almost 400 injured in terror attacks since September is no different — are dangerously missing the point. Those who come up with a world of excuses as to why the situation cannot be remedied and daily security on the streets reinstated are even more off target. The only question that matters from the point of view of Israelis who are performing their civic duties — serving in the army or sending their children to do so, paying their taxes, being law-abiding citizens — is why the other half of this societal contract, their right to physical security, is not being upheld. One has a fundamental right to go about one’s daily life without fear of being shot, stabbed, rammed by a car, or hit with a rock.

The answer to this question can never be that the international community may not like the measures needed for the government to provide such security. Physical security is every human’s primary right. Nothing can stand above it. Besides, the international community, or what passes for an “international community” these days, has already proved beyond all doubt that it cares nothing for Israeli lives. The European Union keeps pumping millions of euros into the Palestinian Authority, despite the fact that the PA is an authoritarian and undemocratic regime that ceaselessly indoctrinates its own citizens to murder Israelis and ruthlessly abuses and brainwashes its own children in the process.

The international community does not care about Israeli lives, but it cares tremendously about Israeli houses. It spends endless hours debating “settlements” and the soil on which these “settlements” rest. It is Jewish houses, sheds and vegetables, not knives and guns and the Arab terrorists who wield them, that the civilized Western nations have a problem with. How many more decades do we need to learn that crucial lesson?

At least one person was killed and more than a dozen were wounded in a series of terrorist attacks across Israel on Tuesday. The next morning, two terrorist attacks occurred in Jerusalem, with one Israeli critically injured. What is there left to debate? There have been dozens of stabbings, shootings and vehicular attacks to date. This is not normal. This is not something we should accept. This is sheer insanity.

And yet Israeli society goes on every day, almost as if nothing abnormal is happening. Because we have to, because we are tough, and “life must go on.”

But there is a tremendous fallacy in this. It endows the status quo with a dangerous legitimacy, as if we have all collectively told ourselves that such is our fate and that there is no other way. Why? Because the world might not like it if our government used harsher measures that would effectively root out the terror from our streets? The economy might — or might not — suffer if we were to care less what our trade partners think of our security policies. Personally, I would much rather suffer with a bad economy than with an anomalous and horrific security situation.

Perhaps millennia of exile and political anomaly — living without our own state or the possibility for self-determination and consequently being subjected to the whims and mercy of foreign rulers — has settled in the Israeli genome, leading even the most patriotic Israelis to unwittingly and subconsciously believe that this kind of security situation, unlike that of any other civilized nation on earth, is just the “Jewish normal.” It is not, and if we wish to be a full-fledged state, respected by other states in the world, it can never be the “Jewish normal.” Strength is the only thing that garners respect. And strength means upholding one’s most basic and fundamental rights.

Every Israeli has a fundamental and inherent right to physical security, but we seem to have forgotten this and dangerously accepted that this is how it is, that we always have to watch our backs, our children, our supermarkets and our doorways for Arabs with knives and guns. We must understand that it does not have to be this way. Such a disastrous and anomalous situation is not inevitable. It is one that we have chosen and continue to choose, every single day, for as long as we allow ourselves to be stabbed, shot, rammed by cars, and showered with rocks while we go about our business as if it were normal.

This article was originally published on Israel HaYom