What the Coronavirus Demonstrates about Israeli Resilience, and Its Relevance to the Conflict with the Palestinians https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/israel-zionism/2020/03/what-the-coronavirus-demonstrates-about-israeli-resilience-and-its-relevance-to-the-conflict-with-the-palestinians/

March 26, 2020 | Alex Selsky
About the author:

Israel has implemented increasingly strict measures to combat the coronavirus; as of yesterday, Israelis are forbidden to go more than 100 meters (roughly 325 feet) from home without some permissible purpose. In return, the citizenry has shown a great willingness to make the sacrifices necessary to contain the disease, writes Alex Selsky:

Israelis are showing every day that they are prepared to suffer in the short term for a long-term good. The public trusts its officials to make the right decisions and to balance the possible loss of life with national-security interests. They understand that sometimes ultimate victory comes with pain. [At the same time], Israelis place an inordinately high value on life. We see how the public mourns for people they did not know and never met. Our nation is one big family connected by minute degrees of separation.

Israel is also a country that understands the value of sacrifice. We still vaunt the battle of Tel Ḥai a century ago, and speak with reverence about the actions of Ro’i Klein, killed in 2006 in the battle of Bint Jbeil in Lebanon after he jumped on a grenade to save his fellow IDF soldiers.

Selsky argues that this is evidence that the Jewish state can face other hardships, such as those that might come as it confronts the constant rocket and incendiary-balloon attacks from Gaza, or the threat of war with Hizballah to its north:

More often than not, [Israeli] political decisionmakers [confronted by lethal attacks] decide to bomb a few empty buildings and then seek a truce with the offending party, whether Hamas or Palestine Islamic Jihad. When one asks political and security officials intimately involved why the response is so extremely limited, many argue that the public does not have the stomach for lengthy wars with large casualty figures.

They are mistaken, and now we have some evidence. Israeli decisionmakers should look at [Israelis’ recent display of] fortitude and resilience [when considering how to deal with the country’s] enemies who are starting to see large cracks forming in its deterrence. Our southern residents, who bear the greatest brunt of the Gaza terrorist menace, are usually the ones calling for a most robust approach. They know that if Israel reacts forcefully, perhaps more aggressively than ever before, they are likely to spend many weeks and even months in and out of their bomb shelters and safe rooms.

Read more on Jerusalem Post: https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-publics-resilience-in-the-face-of-the-coronavirus-pandemic-622305

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register Already a subscriber? Sign in now