NUMBER OF TERRORIST MISSILES THAT HAVE HIT SOUTHERN ISRAEL SINCE THE CEASEFIRE AGREED TO BY BENJAMIN NETANYAHU ON NOVEMBER 21, 2002:
UPDATE 10 am Israel time Saturday:
The events on the Gaza border yesterday would have been unthinkable ten days ago. Because of the hundreds of terrorist attacks that have come out of Gaza over the years (most recently Hamas has embarked on a campaign of planting IEDs next to the fence to kill Israeli soldiers), Israel maintains a 300 meter “no man’s land” on the Gaza side of the fence to keep terrorists away and make them easier to spot:
Yesterday, a large group of Hamas-described “protesters and farmers” began roaming the no man’s land all the way up to the fence, climbing on it where possible and taunting the Israeli soldiers on the other side:
In other sections, the “protesters and farmers” began trying to cut through the barbed wire fence (the fence is not uniform):
It was at this point, after repeated verbal warnings, that Israeli soldiers began firing at the ground in front of the group. According to the Palestinians, 1 “farmer” was killed and 19 others were injured. At some point thereafter, Hamas police showed up on the scene to beat back the protesters (according to Israelis, this was when the injuries occurred–whether anyone actually was killed is in dispute):
The point that your humble servant wants to make this morning is simply that the abominable way that the Netanyahu, Barak, and Lieberman ended this most recent conflict with Hamas has emboldened Palestinians everywhere from Gaza to Judea and Samaria–and needlessly exposed the IDF and security forces to danger. The premature ceasefire, a ceasefire that could have easily been delayed until Hamas had been further degraded, will eventually result in Israeli soldiers and police being killed and wounded.
By the way, Hamas officials told the Al-Hayat newspaper yesterday that they only had enough missiles for another week to ten days of firing. All of us here in the South would have been happy to sit in our bomb shelters for that long to empty Hamas of its arsenal–unfortunately, Netanyahu, Barak, and Lieberman did not, and do not, possess such resolve.
The time has come for a fundamental change in the Israeli political structure.
The leadership of Israel has aged–poorly. Netanyahu (63), Barak (70), and even Peres (89) were, each in his own way, once brave leaders who made courageous decisions. Netanyahu and Barak (Israel’s most decorated soldier) led military units in the IDF on dangerous missions that contributed vitally to the state of Israel. Peres is probably the man most responsible for the creation of Israel’s nuclear program in the 1960s.
But these men are now all shadows of what they once were–especially Netanyahu. Aside from the atrocious decision to actually fund Hamas in the midst of this most recent conflict, Netanyahu especially revealed himself as wracked with indecision: first ordering troops in, then ordering troops out, and endlessly dithering about what course to take while our troops were totally exposed on the border.
Naftali Bennett should be the next Prime Minister of Israel.
Who is Naftali Bennett?
He is the 40-year-old leader of the Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party who has served meritoriously in the IDF (see below), graduated from law school at Tel Aviv University, co-founded a major software company (see below), served as Netanyahu’s Chief of Staff from 2006-2008, and served as Director General of the Yesha Council in Judea and Samaria until earlier this year. This past April he co-founded a movement “Yisraelim” (Israelis) whose main goal has been to enhance the relationship between religious and non-religious communities.
Why does your humble servant think that Bennett should be Prime Minister?
There are many reasons that I have reached this decision, but here are the 5 most important ones:
1. Bennett is the only political leader on the Israeli scene who is making an effort to bridge the gap between the religious and secular sectors in Israel. In the coming years, as the religious population surges, making this connection will become one of the most important challenges facing this country.
2. Bennett is the only political leader on the Israeli scene who is making an effort to give the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria a voice (click here for a presentation that Bennett made about the borders of Israel). In the coming years, as the population of Jews in these communities surge, they will become an increasing force in the country.
3. Bennett is the only political leader on the Israeli scene who actually has any business experience to speak of–as the co-founder of an immensely successful hi-tech company, Cyota. In the coming years, Israel will need to constantly advance in the fields of science and technology, and Bennett is uniquely positioned to lead.
4. Bennett is the only political leader on the Israeli scene who articulately and passionately argued for continuing the attack on Hamas until the job was finished (click on this link for a CNN interview with Bennett).
Bennett’s military experience as a commander in the ultra-elite Sayeret Matkal and Maglan units has led him to intimately understand the nature of terrorism as few others do.
5. Bennett has the political skills necessary to do the job. As Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, Bennett has navigated the wilds of Israeli coalition politics for years. In the last six months while running for the leadership position in the Jewish Home party, Bennett has demonstrated a mastery of the political scene.
During the next two months as the Israeli elections approach, I will be putting contact information on this blog for Bennett and Jewish Home. Will he win the election? Not very likely. Will Jewish Home win enough seats to make a difference? Increasingly likely. The latest polls have Jewish Home taking between 10 and 15 seats in the next Knesset.
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