'A Modest Proposal' to Solve Israel's Jewish Problem
Knesset Plenum session (Image credit: Government Press Office of Israel)
A beloved father of six is ambushed, riddled with bullets at the wheel of his car. Within days a beloved father of four is stabbed on the street while waiting for a bus. Both succumb. Whether stabbed or shot, run over or stoned, unsuspecting citizens are predictably targeted at an alarming rate, week after week, month after month, year after year, one grieving family after another.
Nowhere in the world are Jews systematically slaughtered with so little outcry, with such muted official reaction, with so ineffective a response — as in Israel. Anywhere else these heinous acts would generate universal condemnation, bold headlines, and promises of investigations and legislation, with swift action and grave consequences for the murderers and those who openly celebrate their acts, and increased protection for their chosen victims.
It's long past time that we admit that we have a serious problem: nothing we do, assuming we do anything at all, is protecting the Jews. And vast regions of the world's only Jewish state have become judenrein as a result.
Yet there are whispers in the halls of platitudes and power that a broad coalition supports a comprehensive plan providing unprecedented protection to our most vulnerable citizens — whether they are commuting between home and work or visiting state parks and ancient religious sites, out for a stroll or boarding a bus, sleeping peaceably in their beds, absorbed in prayer in their local house of worship, or sitting in their favorite cafe sipping a latte.
Before details have even been leaked to the media, lawmakers are already congratulating themselves for saving countless lives — if you save one Jewish life, you save an entire world — and moving Jews out of harm's way.
The pillar of this plan, which already has the courts on board, will be the demolition of all Jewish homes and the uprooting of all families in areas surrounded by hostile populations. No sense openly inviting attacks on Jews from their super-sensitive Arab neighbors.
Start with Jewish communities surrounded by overwhelming numbers, weapons factories, and belligerent mobs. Closing the Cave of Machpelah and the tombs of Joseph and Rachel are no-brainers that would go a long way to safeguarding the Jews who live nearby and those who visit these holy sites. Keep Jews out of the "Triangle" in the Galilee and off the Mount of Olives, away from Israel's "Dreamers" who have infiltrated South Tel Aviv and the Bedouin-filled Negev, and Jewish life expectancy will see a dramatic bump. Close the Kotel and no stones will again rain down from above. The Arab populations would instantly become docile if there were no Jews to provoke them.
Additionally, Jewish youth will be aggressively detained and held in protective custody, for their own good, until the Arab mood on the street cools after incidents that burn out of control.
Borrowing a page from Europe's history of dealing with its Jewish problem, one of the new protective measures will be to build ghettos for Jews with very high walls based on the Trump model on America's southern border. They will feature fortified towers, surveillance cameras, and a top-of-the-line fleet of defensive drones, with broken bottles embedded in the walls and rolls of razor-sharp barbed wire strung along the perimeter. Large yellow signs would be posted outside these exclusive gated communities warning off outsiders.
Whole Jewish outposts and vulnerable towns can easily be relocated to these islands of safety where residents can live and move freely without fear of attack. And troops will not be necessary to guard these insular communities, thus eliminating soldiers too as targets of the hostiles. As the number of Jewish targets goes down, it is reasonable to assume that the number of deaths will go down as well. Foreign NGOs will be hired to manage the ghettos and enforce a strict freeze on Jewish construction outside these walled cities.
Since Jews in transit are some of the easiest targets for terrorists, there will be a permanent ban on hitchhiking and congregating on the sides of roads. Bus stops along empty stretches of highway will be closed. Intercity buses will operate only after midnight, after the local Arab populations have retired for the night. Cars owned by Jews, which will be required to carry a minimum of four passengers at all times, will not be permitted to stop within 100 meters of an Arab dwelling, roadside stand, or olive tree. Jewish vehicles, military included, will be banned from rural roads that Arabs frequent. Soldiers posted at border crossings and security barriers will be sent home since their mere presence invites attacks.
Strict curfews too will be imposed on the Jews for their own good. They will be required to be off the streets within 15 minutes of the last Maariv (evening prayers) in the area. If confronted on the way home, Jews will also be banned from fighting back to lessen the intensity of the attack and the likelihood of death.
Another aspect of the new plan — added only after the religious bloc received guarantees that funding for yeshivot would be increased (as would renewed funding for UNRWA schools) — will make it difficult to identify Jews. Would-be attackers surely wouldn't want to mistakenly kill any of their own. Following the lead of enlightened nations such as France, Israel will implement a secular dress code for its religious Jews, albeit to protect them. It will ban kippot and head scarves, tzitzit and payot, black hats and shtreimels in public, rendering the Jews invisible to those who hate the sight of them. Religious symbols such as Magen Davids and mezuzot will also be outlawed in public, as will the carrying of pocket-sized Tehillim.
The most controversial feature of the plan creates sanctuary cities for the murderers of Jews in order to reduce Jewish vigilantism and revenge, and thereby stop the cycle of violence. This will replicate the wildly popular American model that thwarts all government efforts to deport dangerous illegal immigrants. Furthermore, Israel will provide a lifetime stipend to those incarcerated for killing Jews, or to their families should they be killed during the act. Three of these cities of refuge will be located on the coast and three will be located in Judea-Samaria, which will only be called the “West Bank” to avoid antagonizing its ever-growing Arab population. The whole of Gaza will be designated as one large sanctuary city whose streets must never be breached.
Even with these plans to protect our citizens, it is naive to believe that enough can be done to protect the Jews living here. The only viable solution is — to deport them. Maybe those African countries that are willing to take Israel's illegal immigrants will take a chance on its Jews. Maybe they can be sent back to Europe and the Americas and the Levant, which their families once called home.
Only then will we see the end of Jews being murdered in their land — let the rest of the world take care of the Jews as it always has.
A native of Brooklyn now living in Jerusalem, Steven Sher is the author of 15 books. His poetry and prose have appeared in hundreds of publications worldwide. He has also worked as an editor/journalist/media consultant and taught at many universities/writing workshops since the 1970s. More can be learned at his website.