The Israel we are leaving our children is a much more dangerous place than the Israel we inherited from our parents.
Israel’s founding generation pioneered in a homeland of 600,000 people, with no army to speak of, no fighter jets, no tanks, an economy struggling with austerity measures, seven Arab armies armed to the teeth, Egyptian jets that would periodically bomb the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv, and a war of potential annihilation fought against us approximately once every decade.
What did they bequeath us? A state where, until the end of the 1980s, almost no home-front threat existed (except for the border towns). The prospect of a rocket exploding in Tel Aviv was unthinkable, the Arab armies were defeated and deterred, and Israeli children did not meet security guards at the gates of their schools and shopping centers. Furthermore, they never adorned a gas mask, the color red was only on stoplights and pencil cases (not rocket warnings), and apartment dwellers had no idea which neighbor had the key to the building’s bomb shelter.
We, the second generation (ages 40-60) received a solid state with millions of citizens, a strong economy, and one of the strongest and most modern armies in the world. Today, the Arab armies that threatened to destroy us do not really exist (with the exception of Egypt’s army, thanks to Camp David). Nonetheless, our children meet a security guard at every corner, the entire country lives under the threat of missiles that periodically fly into our cities, car rammings and stabbings have become routine, and parents don’t allow their children to return home alone from school in mixed Jewish-Arab cities.
Oh yes, and there is one other minor issue: We have come to terms with the fact that our children will be living under the cloud of a nuclear Iran and its Arab enemies who are responding with their own arms race.
We tend to accept this situation as if it were our fate, a heavenly decree. But this grim reality did not descend upon us from the sky. We created it. Rocket fire on greater Tel Aviv became legitimate when former Prime Minister Shamir failed to preserve Israel’s deterrence, preferring instead to deposit Israel’s defense into U.S. hands while sending Israeli citizens to wrap their rooms in plastic and wait, bedecked in gas masks, for Sadaam’s Scud missiles to explode outside.
Security guards in every school, exploding terrorists on buses, car rammings and terror attacks on a daily basis were not part of our lives before the Oslo Accords. It was former Prime Minister Rabin and Foreign Minister Peres who scornfully ignored all warnings and preferred to exchange the security of the next generation for Nobel Peace Prizes and impressive ceremonies at the White House.
Over 100,000 missiles pointed at us from Iran-proxy Hizbullah in southern Lebanon are there because former Prime Minister Ehud Barak did not consider the next generation. He preferred populism to responsible leadership and ordered the IDF to flee Lebanon – to the cheers of Israel’s media.
Missiles from Gaza did not slam into Tel Aviv before former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon preferred his own comfort to that of the next generation, destroying Gush Katif and transforming himself into a media darling in the process.
Meanwhile, hundreds of terror attacks and murders have directly resulted from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s very popular release of Gilad Shalit from Hamas captivity. Netanyahu’s strategy of making speeches while transferring responsibility for Iran to the U.S. has also effectively resulted in world and Israeli acceptance of the nuclearization of the Ayatollahs. Our children will have Netanyahu to thank for the fact that they live in the shadow of a nuclear Iran.
Do you understand? This is not the hand of fate. The deterioration of our security is entirely the result of our own actions. Israel’s senior security officials are no less responsible than the politicians for this strategic deterioration. Not only did they not warn us of the dangers, but they generally encouraged the “peace” process and joined the “peace industry” and its perks.
Not one high-ranking military officer put his keys on the table when the government decided to bring the PLO terrorists to Israel from Tunisia and arm them with thousands of rifles. Not one general quit when the IDF betrayed the Southern Lebanon army and abandoned southern Lebanon to the Hizbollah.
All the heads of security caved in and did not publicize their professional opinions. Thus, together with the politicians, they carry the responsibility on their shoulders. And perhaps even a greater share of it. Politicians are not supposed to be professionals. They “do” politics. The generals, on the other hand, receive endless funds and immense public credit in order to give us security. But our generals have chosen to be politicians. They wasted the strategic gift they received from the founding generation as if Israel’s security was another type of air that can never be used up.
No sports coach even entertains the thought of including women in Israel’s all-star soccer team. Because coaches want to win. But when the Chief of Staff insists on integrating women into combat units that require rough, demanding physical activity – much more than required for soccer – the last thing he is thinking about is winning. Our generals go along with the politically correct agenda and its perks. They back the politicians and the politicians advance them in exchange.
The next generation will just have to deal with the results.