IMRA Weekly Commentary..
3 February '16..
Historically, settlements were considered the "Zionist response to terror."
A look at the map of modern Israel finds it sprinkled with the names of settlements named in memory of the victims of various Arab attacks.
Today's terrorists are popular folk heroes in Palestinian society. The cost to the Palestinians of terror, in the form of restrictions on movement and commerce, may be painful, but the pain is temporary in nature.
In point of fact, recent restrictions in response to terror haven't even lasted a 24 hour news cycle!
Terrorist attacks may, in fact, be viewed in the long run by the Palestinians as serving their interests by softening Israel's resolve.
Back on September 22, 2013 Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded to the murder of Sgt. Gabriel Kobi in Hebron by ordering the immediate resettlement of Beit Hamachpela, a Jewish owned building near the West Bank city’s Tomb of Patriarchs which was previously boarded up by order of the Defense Ministry.
PM Netanyahu declared that "those who attempt to uproot us from the city of our forefathers will achieve the opposite effect. We will continue on one hand to fight terror and to harm terrorists and on the other hand to strengthen settlements."
Unfortunately, protracted legal wrangling with Defense Minister Yaalon's civil administration has prevented families from moving in to this very day.
So what was supposed mark a return of the Netanyahu Administration to the "Zionist response to terror" turned out to be no more than a "rhetorical response to terror."
And now, two years later, the Netanyahu Administration has pretty much exhausted the alternatives.
So let's give the "Zionist Response" a chance.
With a simple schedule of "prices" for terror:
1. A terrorist who dies while attacking Israelis will be "honored" with a block of housing units authorized for construction.
2. If a terrorist kills an Israeli, a new neighborhood will be authorized for construction.
That's a neighborhood for EACH Israeli killed.
Of course the Palestinians won't be pleased with this Zionist response.
But that's not the question.
The question is if Palestinian terrorists will still be revered as heroes when their action leads directly to the building of yet more Jewish homes.
The "Zionist response to terror" has another benefit. Besides deterring Arab terror, it would serve to bolster the morale of the Israeli public by offering it a positive emotional outlet through which to respond to Arab terror. By establishing living memorials, Israel would be effectively saying: "We are on the map. Terror will not vanquish."
It is said that the Arabs decided to make peace with Israel when they came to the conclusion that they could not destroy the Jewish State on the battlefield.
By the same token, settlement activity today may very well convince the Palestinians that they must compromise now or face the prospects of a considerably worse deal in the future.
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on Arab-Israeli relations
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