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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Thursday, August 24, 2017

(Continued from last week)

Appeasement never satiates, only whets, appetites  

In a recent opinion piece, instructively entitled The problem with the metal detectors is that they are Jewish,  Fred Maroun, an Arab, resident in Canada, succinctly summarized the underlying motivation for the Arab resistance to the Israeli security measures:  “Sadly, most Arabs still see Israel as the “Yahudi” enemy that must be vanquished at any cost. Therefore, when Israel backs down from making a change that is rational and reasonable, it constitutes appeasement...” He warns: Appeasement of people who hate you beyond any common sense does not work.”

He is of course right. As history has shown repeatedly, appeasement never satiates the appetites of an aggressor. It only whets them –with each placatory gesture heightening expectations for additional—and more substantial—concessions in the future.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Education Minister, Naftali Bennett.  

To be sure, I have had—and still have—some serious policy disagreements with Bennett, but his comments this morning (July 27, 2017) were spot on. He lamented "...Israel has come out of this crisis considerably weakened. Instead of strengthening our sovereignty in Jerusalem, we sent a message that our sovereignty can be appealed - not just on the Temple Mount, but in other areas as well."

He continued: "The decision to remove the magnetometers [metal-detectors] was definitely the wrong decision. Israel came out of the whole issue weaker…Every time Israel bows to strategic pressure, it harms us in the long run. It harms our ability to deter attacks.

“When they smell weakness…”

Ominously he warned "I expect to see an increase in violence in the next few weeks. We live in the toughest neighborhood in the world. When they smell weakness, they rise up”. Bennett then urged the PM to rescind all programs designed to improve conditions for the Palestinians and to initiate an assertive plan to combat terror: “The PM must instruct the Defense Minister to take all plans for promoting the Palestinians and offering them 'carrots' off the table, and put in their place plans for operations which will end terror."It, of course, remains to be seen how firmly and effectively Bennett will insist on implementation of his robust prescription. However, it is clear that he seems to have wide public support for tough measures.

Thus, Israel Hayom, usually strongly supportive of Netanyahu, published a blistering condemnation of his performance by its political correspondent, Mati Tuchfeld,  entitled The metal detectors debacle: Netanyahu's feeble response. In it, Tuchfeld cites a Channel 2 poll according to which, on Tuesday evening, after the removal of the metal-detectors, 77% of the Israeli public felt that the government caved in to pressure, while 67% believed that Netanyahu did not handle this situation well. Moreover, 68% thought that the initial decision to install the metal-detectors was correct.All of this seems to indicate that the normally hyper-savvy Netanyahu is seriously out of step with his political base—who appear to be demanding a far more  vigorous approach to the emerging challenge to Jewish sovereignty. 

“Only way Islam can live with Israeli sovereignty…”

But perhaps the gravest threat of all entailed in a sense of Jewish lack of resolve is the prospect of insurrection and revolt by the Arab citizens of Israel. Indeed, it was a threat clearly evident on Wednesday night (July 26, 2017) in the Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm, where thousands attended the funeral of the three terrorists who recently murdered the two police officers on the Temple Mount. The participants reportedly praised the killers as Shahids (martyrs) of Al-Aksa, vowed to follow in their footsteps and defiantly flew the Palestinian flag.    

Clearly, this threat will undoubtedly materialize unless the Arabs are convinced the Jews will brook no challenge – from within Israel’s borders or from without – to their national sovereignty and political independence. Accordingly, what is called for today is not a repetition of reticent restraint, but the demonstration of ruthless resolve. For unless the Jews convey the unequivocal message that any such challenge to their sovereignty will be met with overwhelming lethal force, they will inevitably be the victims of violent insurrection at the hands of their Arab adversaries.

Allow me to conclude with the words of the learned scholar of Islam, and former IDF intelligence officer, Dr. Mordechai Kedar: 

"The only way Islam can live with Israeli sovereignty is by recognizing that Israel is strong and invincible, so that any attempt to overcome it is sure to end in defeat… The possibility of a permanent European-style peace with the Jews does not exist in the Middle East, meaning that only power and a willingness to use it will give Israel a temporary peace that will last forever - that is, if Israel is invincible forever."

Amen.

By: Martin Sherman