What is the solution to the constant missile attacks in southern Israel?
Those with a solution are the people who warned against signing the Oslo Accords in the first place. These people continue to be sidelined. Clearly, the Oslo advocates have no intention of giving up the profits and perks of the “peace industry” that they have created.
Those profits are not necessarily monetary. Our current president, Shimon Peres, enjoys his position due to the peace industry. He has also become a wealthy man, thanks to “peace.” But that is only a small part of the problem. The peace industry advocates are senior media personalities, well-connected industrialists and politicians who climbed the political ladder with alacrity once they realized on which side their bread was buttered.
Most seriously, the peace industry also includes a thick swath of senior IDF officers who understood that their path to progress was paved with Oslo and who erased the concept of victory from their lexicon. In Oslo we surrendered the belief in the justice of our cause, exchanging it for pragmatism. He who surrenders the belief that he is just is incapable of winning.
On Tuesday of last week, I was at a campaign rally in Sderot. “I would like to ask what some of you may see as a strange question,” I said to the audience in the packed hall. “In the war that is raging right now [this was before the major fighting began the next day] between us and the Gazans, who is right?”
The hall fell silent. The audience looked uncomfortable and curious.
“They are right,” one woman said.
“We are right,” said another.
Most of the audience just looked baffled.
“Look at what is happening,” I continued. “Even here in Sderot, we cannot get a clear answer to the most fundamental of questions. So who is right?”
An endless stream of commentators, security experts and politicians visit Sderot. One advocates targeted assassinations, the other conquest; one says we should talk and the other says we should disengage. When all is said and done it is clear to all that not one of them has gotten to the root of the real problem, and is still incapable – after 12 years of Sderot being on the receiving end of incoming missiles – of relieving the misery of southern Israel’s residents.
Sderot’s problem is not military in nature. Clearly, we are stronger than them. The reason that we cannot deal with murderous attacks against our citizens is not military; rather it is spiritual. We have lost our belief in the justice of our cause. A mistake of this proportion cannot be rectified with shortcuts. We must return to the point at which we strayed from the path.
That point is Oslo. It is there that we declared that this land is not our land. It is there that we recognized the rights of a different sovereign in our country’s heartland. It is there that we lost the legitimacy for our existence in Sderot and, as a result, the ability to fight against an enemy who does believe in the justice of his cause.
About the Author: Moshe Feiglin is the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and a member of Israel's Security and Defense Committee. He heads the Manhigut Yehudit ("Jewish Leadership") faction of Israel's governing Likud party. He is the founder of Manhigut Yehudit and Zo Artzeinu and the author of two books: "Where There Are No Men" and "War of Dreams." Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in Combat Engineering and is a veteran of the Lebanon War. He lives in Ginot Shomron with his family.
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