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Stop the Killing

How does the value of an Israeli life become so cheap, that we accept the idea that we have to sacrifice hundreds of lives on a yearly basis in order to exist in the state of Israel?

By and 12.16.02

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How does the value of an Israeli life become so cheap, that we accept the idea that we have to sacrifice hundreds of lives on a yearly basis in order to exist in the state of Israel? Not many years ago, when one Israeli life was innocently lost, Israelis were shocked and there was a sudden hush in the atmosphere and wonderment in our voices. Why is it that now we think of it as an unavoidable sacrifice, as if there are certain questions for which there are just no answers? Why was the loss of an Israeli life so inconceivable before and so acceptable now? The answer is that we are living through another version of the same mentality that accepted the idea that a Jew couldn't help dying in the Holocaust. The idea that a tiny minority of Jews should fight an army of Nazis was so inconceivable that it was even unthinkable. It was as if we were assigned to death by the will of God for reasons only God knows.

When we came to Israel we created this nation with a blazing new mentality. We were offended by our own history of timidity and helplessness. When the Jews were screaming "never again," it was an outburst of our frustration and fury. We were full of contempt against the world and an even greater contempt for our own character as inevitable victims, which is why we were able to win the war of Independence against all the Arab armies with practically nothing but willpower, fearlessness, and bear hands. We acquired not only a new country but also a new mentality and a new confidence in our destiny. Since the Arabs could not tolerate the presence of Jews in their neighborhood they tried to destroy us whenever they could put an army together. Every time they lost a war they couldn't understand it, and they couldn't believe that they wouldn't win the next war.

Like the Americans in Vietnam and the Russians in Afghanistan, the Arabs possessed such a huge advantage of resources, population and power that they couldn't accept the experience of defeat by the tiny state of Israel. As we were winning more and more victories we were paying a bigger price and getting more and more tired of victories in the battlefield at the cost of losing so many of our young Israeli lives. We became so weary and fearful of the next possible war, that we blinded ourselves into believing all the fraudulent gestures of the Arabs about making peace.

We never realized the extent of our self-delusion until Prime Minister Barak offered the Arabs 98% of what they demanded and we were answered with an avalanche of suicide bombers taking more Israeli lives than ever before. Since then, we have become involved in futile efforts to solve the problem by retaliating more decisively than ever before, which has served as a great release from our frustrations, but it has always left us helpless again from the next attack from more and more suicide bombers. Somehow we have become helpless in the face of death as if there were no possible solution to this problem. For the first time in fifty years we have again become a lost, confused, helpless and paralyzed people. Somehow we have resigned ourselves to suffer the constant killing of our people, like another but slower Holocaust. We have paralyzed ourselves by our sickening irrational fear of "World Opinion," which is why we find it impossible to face one simple fact. We will never win this war unless we immediately threaten to drive every Arab out of Israel if the killing doesn't stop.

It is no accident that the Arabs are not concerned with public opinion while killing our people, but we are terrified of public opinion before we dismiss them from our country. Somehow, we have become intimidated into believing that we are obligated to give them a place to live, and we have no right to throw them out just because they are killing our people. It is about time we realize that public opinion is nothing but publicly expressed anti-Semitism and appeasing public opinion makes as much sense as Chamberlain's appeasement of Adolf Hitler. Jews dying in Israel disturbs them as much as watching your neighbor killing a cockroach, even if it doesn't fill you with pleasure you certainly don't feel remorse about it. That is why when suicide bombers kill hundreds of Jews not a word of protest is ever heard, but when we try to defend ourselves by retaliating against our killers the U.N. immediately is called in an emergency session to protect our assassins.

We are brain-dead if we accept the idea that we have to guess which Arab is our next killer. We are not obligated to victimize ourselves by letting the Arabs play Russian roulette with Jewish lives. Israelis are constantly asked the same obnoxious question " How can you throw the Arabs out, where would they go?" The answer is if they don't care whom they kill, why are we obligated to care where they go?

If a gang of killers lived across the street, would you allow them to keep throwing bombs through your window until you can find them another apartment? Are we morally obligated to become a real estate agent for every Arab suicide bomber? We are not obligated to accept a new, slower Holocaust as the inevitable fate of our people. Jordan did not take a poll of world opinion and neither did Kuwait before they routed the Palestinians out of their countries.

America did not wait for public opinion to take whatever action was necessary to protect their country, and there is no reason why we should be afraid to do what is necessary to protect the state of Israel.

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About the Author

Jackie Mason is a comedian.

About the Author

Raoul Felder is a lawyer.