There is a lesson to learn from the murder of Eden Atias.
Yes, there have been hundreds, thousands, of similar murders. But it seems to me that we are reaching a tipping point now. Several factors are coming together:
• Israel has, for the first time, released murderers en masse for absolutely nothing in return.
• This action has been forced by an American administration which, for the first time, is tilting hard toward the PLO and away from Israel.
• The US attitude has not been lost on the Arabs. Just in case they didn’t notice, John Kerry threatened Israel with a third intifada the other day.
• Incitement against Israel has reached a fever pitch, and PA officials are not even pretending to want to stop it.
As a sovereign state, Israel must maintain its right to protect its people against internal and external threats. It must not castrate its own justice system, or — worse — allow foreign pressure to do so.
The Arabs understand the US position as tacitly approving of terrorism, whether or not Kerry and others who speak similarly do. If they also understand the Israeli position as tolerance of a certain amount of it, then we can expect more Jewish lives to be lost in the near future.
There are a few steps that Israel can — must — take to make clear that it will not allow its people to be victimized:
• A death penalty for terrorist murder must be implemented. Israel can’t be blackmailed into releasing dead murderers.
• It goes without saying that the two remaining prisoner releases should be canceled, and it should be announced that this is because of the murder of Atias.
• Terrorism of any kind — including rock throwing that doesn’t happen to end in murder — must be taken seriously.
• Self-respect demands that Israel not negotiate with the Palestinian Authority while it is inciting its people to murder Jews. Negotiations must stop and not resume until official incitement stops.
• Israel must protest in the strongest possible terms to the US for the statements of Secretary of State Kerry, and explain that the biased Kerry is not an acceptable choice to mediate between Israel and the PA.
Israel will not stay a sovereign state if it won’t act like one.