Israel’s rightwing politicians claim to be the only ones who can be trusted with the country’s security, yet they show a reckless disregard for the dangerous consequences of their policies. Though Netanyahu’s government only has a majority of six seats, in the absence of a well-functioning opposition, he is still seen by Israelis to be the only leader who can provide them with security. The chair of the Knesset defence committee, Avi Dichter, said he isn’t worried about the prospect of a border breach because “the IDF has enough bullets for everyone”. The deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, said that the events in Gaza have nothing to do with the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem.
As a proud Israeli who wants my homeland to be safe and secure, these hollow and simplistic statements just won’t do. The Israeli government, which leads a state founded by Jewish refugees from all over the world 70 years ago who chose to take their fate into their own hands, is saying that the status quo is the only option. Meanwhile Palestinians are paying for the lack of brave leadership with their blood. Even if – for the sake of argument – all those who were killed on Monday had been terrorists, and the soldiers had no other choice, what next? What is the Israeli and Palestinian leadership doing to avoid the next round of violence and avoid further loss of life? If our leaders have no answers to these questions, then we need new leaders. • Maya Ilany is the deputy director of Yachad, and spent three years in the Israeli Defence Force