JWR Wandering Jews

Jewish World Review Dec. 8, 2002 / 28 Kislev, 5763


Bodies of Kenyan dancers in rubble
of the demolished Paradise Hotel

261 dead

http://www.jewishworldreview.com | I was riding a Jerusalem bus Thursday when news of the intended missile attack against the Arkia flight from Kenya came across the airwaves. For a moment the passengers were in shock. Then we all breathed a sigh of relief.

That was our mistake.

Minutes later, news of the attack on the Paradise Hotel came across the radio waves. There were casualties. There was no sigh of relief.

When we here look at a miraculous escape from a deadly attack and breathe a sigh of relief, we lose the war on terrorism.

Our attitude should be: The terrorists intended to down a plane with 261 innocent commercial air travelers aboard. They did not succeed, thank G-d. However, their intentions were clear. We must consider their intentions and take action with a state of mind, as if they had succeeded.

When the missiles were launched, the Israeli government was shown what the enemy intends to do. The Israelis should react with overwhelming firepower, as if 261 innocents had actually died. It is short sighted to move on in life as if nothing happened. By backing off because no one died, we allow the terrorists to keep on attacking.

And, rest assured, they will until they are stopped.

Since when does a government have to wait until a massacre happens to do something to change reality. Why do people have to die for something to be done to prevent further death from happening?

When the terror attack Pi Glilot Refinery was miraculously averted, Shimon Peres, then foreign minister was quoted as saying that had the attack been successful and killed tens of thousands of Israelis, it would have been considered an act of war against Israel.

In other words, since the attack did not kill ten thousand Israelis, Israel would not take action. In simpler terms, it seems that until people die, no one wants to do anything to prevent deaths. Unfortunately, when I look around me at the senseless and avoidable carnage taking place in Israel and other places frequented by Jews and Israelis, it becomes clear that Peres was not speaking out of turn. Seems pretty clear to me that he was expressing government policy.

Sounds crazy? Not really. This type of thinking happens all the time. I know of a local street corner that is considered a dangerous threat to the preservation of human life. The local city council refused to put in a speed bump because only two accidents had happened there. Finally, after ten accidents, three of them fatal, they put in a speed bump. They had to justify the expenditure to protect human life through collected data about actual loss of human life.

Thursday terrorists attacked the Arkia flight with the expressed intent of murdering 261 travelers in mid air. The terrorists did not succeed to kill their intended targets. We all appreciate the miracle. Thank G-d, 261 people did not die. Yet, our leaders MUST react as if the terrorists did succeed. The fact that the terrorists even dared to try to carry out such an action is reason and justification enough to root them out and exterminate each and every one of their members.

When they fired to kill, they made their intentions clear. They will try again. We need not and should not wait for 261 people to actually be killed.

Retaliate now.

We have been warned.

The next time, they might hit the target. They next time, we might not be so lucky.

  —   Chezi Goldberg

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Chezi Goldberg is a Jerusalem based counselor for Adolescents and Families At Risk. Comment by clicking here.

© 2002, Chezi Goldberg