ELKAN’S VIEW FROM NETANYA 21st October 2015
Doubtless you have been reading in the British papers, and seeing footage on the news, which suggests that life in Israel at the moment is rather like living on the front line. There is no denying that the mood of the country has changed, and parents are now much more aware of possible dangers. My grandchildren are no longer allowed to travel by bus, nor to hang around with friends in falafel bars. In the last few days I have done some collection and delivery for them.
So far, with the exception of the attacks in Raanana, there have been no incidents in the coastal area and for the moment one feels safe but it would not take a lot for the situation to change…
What is different about this particular series of attacks is that many of them are carried out by Israeli Arabs. The accepted wisdom (which I still believe on the whole is true) of Israeli Arab relations is that much of Arab resentment is driven by poverty and that Palestinian Arab prosperity is the best road to Israeli Arab peace. What now seems to be happening however is that Arabs who have benefited from Israeli civilisation, Israeli prosperity and Israeli education, are still prepared to stab Israeli Jews, and this on a lone wolf one to one basis.
The Israeli reaction is different to what has happened previously. One of my friends drives an ambulance in Ra’anana and it is quite clear from what he said that the local terrorist was severely roughed up. Eventually he was taken to hospital, but even then for his own good was not delivered to the Meir hospital in Kfar Saba since his victims had been taken there and the ambulance service was afraid that the relatives would have no hesitation in taking matters into their own hands.
The mood of the country is very angry. Bibi was elected because of perceived expertise in security matters. These attacks appear to have come without warning and are impossible to anticipate, and there seems to be no governmental policy. One Israeli told me that she felt safer during Gaza war when rockets were raining down on Tel Aviv.