Saturday, 21 November 2015

My Proposal for a Permanent Solution to Palestinian Terrorism

For almost two months now, Palestinians have been conducting their most recent wave of terror using anything they can get their hands on - guns, knives, molotov cocktails, rocks and even their own personal vehicles - to kill Israelis.  Israel has responded to this latest wave of terrorist attacks the same way it has for decades: More police, more soldiers, more checkpoints...Well, you get the idea. But of course, none of these security measures will put a permanent end to Palestinian terrorism. So what will?  My answer to this question doesn't involve trying to negotiate a two-state solution or unilateral territorial withdrawals, because both of these haven't worked.  Israel has been trying for more than two decades since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993 to give the Palestinians a country of their own, only to be turned down multiple times because Palestinian leaders aren't looking for a state of their own to coexist alongside Israel.  They're looking to destroy the State of Israel and replace it with a state of Palestine that would no doubt end up being just like the rest of the Arab dictatorships.  Israel has also tried handing back land to the Palestinians without any prearranged agreements.  But did Israelis get peace in return?  No.  Just more terrorism, in the form of rockets reigning down on their towns and villages.  So much for the argument that removing the so-called occupation would lead to peace.

So what else can be done to end Palestinian terrorism once and for all?  I think the first step is to get rid of the entire Palestinian leadership altogether, because they are the ones that have been inciting young Palestinians to commit acts of terrorism ever since Israel achieved independence.  Hence, I believe that Israel should imprison, exile, and if necessary, even kill each and every senior Palestinian leader both within the pre-1967 armistice lines and in Judea and Samaria.  Not one should remain. Not one should have the opportunity to further incite Palestinian youth to injure and kill Israelis. Once this is done, Israel can begin re-educating Palestinians to live in peace with their Jewish neighbors.

For at least one generation, I believe that Israel will have to exert strong control over Palestinian education and mass media in order to create a new Palestinian ethos that is economically productive and friendly to the continued existence and prosperity of the State of Israel.  Palestinians must be taught what their current leaders refuse to teach them: The fact that the Jewish people have the right to independence and self-determination in the land of their forefathers and that opposing this right is morally wrong and counterproductive to their well-being.  In time, a new Palestinian leadership should emerge that will support the State of Israel rather than seek to destroy it.

At the same time that Israel is re-educating the Palestinians and weaning them off their decades-old diet of anti-Jewish hatred and Islamist fascism, it must also make massive investments in Palestinian social and economic infrastructure so that the Palestinian people will enjoy the same socio-economic fruits of Israel's existence that Jews do.  Hence, Israel must make a concerted effort to ensure that it narrows the gap in living and education standards that exists between Jews and Arabs in the country. After all, the Palestinians will never accept Israel, let alone support it, if they do not reap the benefits that come with the state's existence and continued prosperity.

The reality is that it is up to Israel to resolve the problem of Palestinian terrorism by itself.  The current Palestinian leadership only seeks to fuel this terrorism while the rest of the world naively and foolishly continues to blame Israel for causing Palestinians and other Israel-haters to commit terrorist acts against it.  Talk about blaming the victim.    

Friday, 20 November 2015

Construction and Road Closures in Toronto. Enough Already!

They say that in Canada we have two seasons, winter and construction.  This is especially true in Toronto, although after living in this city all my life, it seems that even when winter starts, construction doesn't stop, nor do the seemingly endless road closures associated with it.  If you drive in Toronto like I do, it's probably very difficult for you to drive anywhere in this city without having to negotiate yourself around a construction zone.  They're everywhere!  Okay, I understand that there's a lot of work to be done to this city's infrastructure.  Roads need to be resurfaced, water mains need to be replaced and potholes need to be filled.  But what I don't understand is, why must these projects take so long, be coordinated so poorly and inconvenience Toronto residents so unnecessarily?

Anyone who lives in Toronto can probably name one of this city's numerous construction disasters. Projects like the St. Clair streetcar right-of-way or the subway extension to Vaughan. These are projects that have been both way over budget and way behind schedule, not to mention the pain and frustration many Torontonians faced.  Everything from traffic jams to lost businesses, just because our politicians and bureaucrats can never seem to get it right.  Now of course, the St. Clair streetcar and the subway extension are two of Toronto's best known construction follies, but what about the construction problems that don't make the news?  I'm talking, for example, about regular traffic jams brought on by construction crews leaving their equipment or material lying idle in the street, blocking lanes for what could be months on end.  Or how about when you're stewing in a traffic jam and out your window, you can see guys in orange vests doing little or no work at all?  You know the routine, right?  One guy works, another two or three guys stand around watching him and drinking coffee.  It's no wonder that construction projects in Toronto take forever.  In fact, can anyone reading this tell me about a project in this city in which construction was completed on time and on budget?  Anybody?

Honestly, every time I pass by a road closure brought on by seemingly endless construction, I think about an important episode in Israeli history.  In 1948, when Israel was fighting its war of independence, Israeli forces built half a highway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in a month.  Yes, that's right, a month!  Under fire, I might add, so that they could get food and supplies to Jerusalem and rescue it from siege and starvation at the hands of Arab forces.  Were it not for this urgent and massive construction effort, my father and his family may very well have starved to death and I wouldn't be alive today.  Yet here in Toronto, where we have much more money, manpower and materials than Israel did in 1948, it takes us three years to fix a few water mains on Avenue Road. How pathetic are we!?      

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Wake Up, Europe!

This past Friday, several terrorists acting in the name of the so-called Islamic State murdered at least 120 people in cold blood in Paris.  It was the worst violence the French capitol had seen since World War II.  The people of France will no doubt want to see justice done to those who were involved in this heinous massacre and I don't think anyone in the international community is going to stand in there way, nor should they.  But what if such an attack had occurred in Israel?  Actually, this is a pretty stupid question, because Israel has always been under constant threat of terrorism, and its people have been the victims of countless terrorist acts.  So what would happen if the international community were to react to the terrorist attacks in France the same way that it usually reacts to attacks on Israel?  There would be a chorus of leaders calling on France to show restraint and not exact a heavy price on the terrorists and their supporters.  There might even be demonstrations around the world calling on people to boycott French products because France is participating in the "oppression" of Muslims by conducting air strikes on the Islamic State.  France would be the victim of a worldwide de-legitimization campaign because of what people would call its heavy-handed tactics meant to stamp out terrorism against French citizens.  Can you imagine a global campaign against the existence of the French state?  Probably not, but this is exactly how the international community has always reacted whenever Israel and its citizens are victims of terrorism.

In fact, just a few days before the City of Lights became a city of bloodshed, the European Union, which of course includes France, officially decided to require the labeling of Israeli products that come from the "occupied" West Bank.  This decision came at the same time that Israelis have been enduring a wave of terrorist attacks by Palestinians involving stabbings, shootings and cars being used as weapons to run over and kill Israeli citizens.  So now that France has endured its worst terrorist attack in its history, will Israel react by enacting measures that would harm France's exports? Certainly not.  Rather, Israel will wholeheartedly support any action that France takes to bring the terrorists responsible for the bloodletting in Paris to justice, no matter how proportionate or disproportionate that action may be, because Israel stands behind those who are fighting terrorism. My question is, when is Europe going to wake up, realize who its real friends are, and support Israel when its citizens are the victims of terrorism?