It is truly amazing how we form perceptions based upon how the media shapes our imagination. Clearly both local and international media portray Israel, in general, and Judea and Samaria, in particular, as a very dangerous place to live. Every bomb and every bullet are reported in graphic detail as terrorists wreak havoc in market places and on buses. The impression is that everyone in Israel takes his life in his hand simply by living here.
I have a friend who lives in the states and has been to Israel quite often. He is a strong supporter of Israel and not afraid to visit. In the recent storms affecting the states this friend of mine is in clear danger of having his home swamped by flood water. He told me that it certainly is an unpleasant and uncomfortable situation, but at least he doesn’t have to worry about being blown up or shot by a terrorist.
I live in Kiryat Arba and I am more worried about my friend having to swim from his living room to the kitchen then I am about being shot by a terrorist. I remember, while visiting in the states about twenty years ago, reading a tiny clip in the New York Times which stated that more innocent people were killed by hand guns in Washington D.C. than all the Jews and Arabs combined in the intifada! This fact was not in the headlines nor did we see graphic depictions of this violence on our television screens.
You may not realize it, but the United States of America is a far more dangerous place to live than is the State of Israel. The attack on the Twin Towers almost exactly seven years ago, proved conclusively that this country is not prepared to protect itself from creative terrorism. Despite all the fanfare of homeland security and the long lines at the airports where bottled water is confiscated and we are made to take off our shoes, the USA is as vulnerable as ever to terror attacks. Turning airplanes into bombs is not the only way to cause mass destruction. Today there are nuclear bombs which can fit into a suitcase and easily be launched just about anywhere by a suicide murderer. And just how difficult would it be for a terrorist to pollute reservoirs simply by dropping a small amount of biological germs? Yes, there are people out there who are willing and ready to do such things and worse. And the fact that they are willing to die in the process makes it almost impossible to prevent such acts.
We may have fools leading our government here in Israel who are making tragic mistakes by negotiating with murderers, but we also have a police force which has tremendous experience with all kinds of terrorist activities and which has successfully thwarted numerous attempted acts of terror. Because of our tragic experiences we have learned how to combat all kinds of terror. It is unfortunate that we have placed ourselves in a situation where we need to accept terrorists as equal citizens. Clearly if we would but remove our enemies from our midst we could drastically reduce terror in Israel. But none of our leaders would suggest such a solution.
But, in spite of our stupidity and unwillingness to act as a self respecting nation, it is still far safer to live in Israel than in the United States or just about any other place in the world. The real reason for this is the fact that the G-d of Creation watches over us here day and night. It is His Will that Jewish sovereignty return to the Holy Land and that His people, Israel, return to their destined homeland and rebuild a truly Jewish country here. We suffer from terrorism only because we fail to accept our Divine role and instead seek to be like all of the other nations in the world. The minute we find a true Jewish leader who conducts all of our policies according to the Law of G-d, we will see an immediate end to terror here and the beginning of true Redemption for all of Mankind.
As we sound the shofar every morning during the month of Elul, we pray that our leaders repent for the evil they have brought upon us and turn to G-d rather than Washington for help. The United States cannot even help itself out of the clear and present war against it by the Moslem world. Were its leaders truly men and women of faith they would turn to Israel for help. For it is only via a truly Jewish Israel that this world will be redeemed and saved from self destruction.