The Moral Imperative

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In an op-ed first published by The Jerusalem Report, Prof. Yedidia Stern says this intifada of knives has left Israel in a twilight zone. It is not a time of war, in which the army is permitted to use arms more freely. But nor is it a time of peace in which any use of arms is seen as most irregular. Sharp differences of opinion between the public and the army could lead to a crisis in public confidence in the military high command. There is a crying need for responsible leadership.

A central component of our power as a nation is our capacity to meet threats while retaining our humanity and our Jewishness

The Intifada of the knives targets Israelis at random – a pedestrian in the street a soldier at a checkpoint, a settler in her home. But the deeper goal is not injuring individuals; rather it is to break the Israeli spirit and undermine our very existence as a Jewish nation state.

Every dead or wounded Israeli pains us all deeply. But from the terrorists’ point of view, the pain and bereavement are instruments to subvert our national project.

So the question that needs to be asked is: Will the terror succeed in breaking our national will? Anyone who travels around the country will see that it is functioning normally. Everywhere the streets are full of life, with the dynamic tempo that characterizes Israel. Some of us listen to the news more frequently than usual. The security forces have a larger presence. The nerve ends of many mothers are more frayed at the edges than usual. But nothing major has changed in our national life.

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