Before delving into the recent story of the Israeli Air Force pilots who signed a document refusing to take out known terrorist leaders, let’s first examine an interrelated – and even more compelling – phenomenon.

The first notion involves the widespread sentiment regarding Israel’s right to defend itself, or perhaps we should say lack of said right. Let’s start with something as non-violent as building a wall to keep out terrorist murderers.

Nope. No good at all, intoned ambassadors from around the globe. How dare Israel do such a horrible thing? Why, it’s so darned offensive to the (so-called) Palestinians. Never mind that the U.S. has such a wall between much of the border with Mexico. Mind you, that wall is for stopping illegal immigrants, not armed terrorists; if the people coming through were terrorists, Uncle Sam would have blown them off the map pronto!

I recently had the pleasure of doing some gigs in San Diego. One afternoon we took a day trip to visit Tijuana just a tad south of the border. Customs was a joy – a good two-hour wait to get back into the U.S. Paper and passport checks. Bags searched. And that huge ever-imposing wall with all that round barbed wire on top. I guess if Mexico started sending some terrorists to ‘liberate’ Texas, well, the U.S., in order to be consistent with its foreign policy, would just take that wall right down. Wouldn’t want to offend the poor downtrodden ‘militants,’ right?

What should Israel do? Nothing, say the nations of the world. Nothing – other than more negotiating, more talking. And giving its enemies more land, more money, and maybe, just to show how tolerant and forgiving Jews are, some nice weapons, too. Why should the Palestinians have to go through all that effort getting goodies illegally from North Korea and Iran?

How about the Israeli policy of destroying the homes of known terrorists and suicide murderers? Another no-no, says the world. That’s downright mean, don?t you know. So they come to kill you your homes as you?re sitting with your family for the holidays or as you’re driving on the roads – but come on now, show some patience, will you? Yes, we know you guys try to get everybody out of the house first. But where are these poor unfortunate souls supposed to live as they plan future attacks against you?

What should Israel do? Nothing, says international opinion. Be nice. Simply take it on the cheek, mates.

What should Israel do with Mr. Terrorist himself, Yasir Arafat? Nothing, says the world – never mind the fact that he’s been responsible for ignoring peace offers, reneging on his hollow promises time and time again, brainwashing an entire culture to hate, and fattening his own personal bank accounts with millions of dollars meant for his people.

Let him be, goes the conventional wisdom. Moving against him will antagonize the Arab world, worries the U.S. But wouldn’t you think that maybe, just maybe, bombing Afghanistan off the map and taking out Iraq might have gotten some Arabs just a wee bit upset? But we did that to protect ourselves, say the Americans, even if that meant all-out war thousands of miles from U.S. soil. 

But let Israel merely verbalize a threat to exile one terrorist leader – not kill him, mind you, just fly him (probably first class on El Al with his own choice of movies) to another land to live to a ripe old age – and the world is up in arms.

Now about those pilots who claimed that targeting known terrorist leaders, some with murder of Israelis on their resumes, is unethical and immoral. Excuse me, but what’s really unethical and immoral is preaching hatred and racism and then recruiting young people as suicide murderers to kill as many Israelis as possible. Hiding in civilian areas – that’s unethical and immoral. Transporting bombers in ambulances – very unethical and very immoral. 

Never mind that small group of morally obtuse pilots; what should Israel do?

First, it should stop listening to a world that always answers that question with that one word – “nothing.” Israel needs to show the same self-respect that most other countries show. The first right and obligation of any country is the right of self-defense. Israel, thank G-d, has the means to protect itself, but it has been lured into a costly, defensive battle – one that puts Israeli civilians and soldiers at unnecessary risk.

Second, in street lingo, Israel needs to crank up things a whole bunch of notches and, well, take the enemy out. Once and for all. Terrorists and those who support them need to be brought to their knees. To be taught the lesson that crime (terrorism) doesn’t pay.

No dialogue. No compromise. Just some hardcore action from the Israeli Air Force.

Israel needs to stop shadow-boxing and deliver the knockout punch. And if for some reason there’s a sudden scarcity of pilots who know the importance, obligation, and right of self-defense, then please give this proud American boy a call. IAF – I’ll Always Fly!

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